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FSD2762 International Civic and Citizenship Education Study (ICCS) in Finland 2009: Schools

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Authors

  • International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement (IEA)
  • Kupari, Pekka (University of Jyväskylä. Finnish Institute for Educational Research)
  • Suoninen, Annikka (University of Jyväskylä. Finnish Institute for Educational Research)
  • Törmäkangas, Kari (University of Jyväskylä. Finnish Institute for Educational Research)

Keywords

adolescents, attitudes, citizen participation, citizenship, democracy, education, political action, political awareness, political interest, political participation, schoolchildren, schoolteachers, social systems, teaching

Abstract

The study on young people's civic competencies, participation and attitudes was conducted in Finnish schools in 2009 as part of a larger ICCS 2009 study. It investigated the civic skills and knowledge of young people, as well as their disposition to active citizenship. The study had three parts: one for students, teachers and schools each. This dataset contains the responses to the questionnaires for schools, which were sent to the head teachers of lower secondary schools and included questions about school environment, local community, teaching of civics, and school resources. The FSD participated in the funding of the study.

First, the head teachers were asked how much decision-making power the school had in different issues relating to the school and how many teachers participated in school decision-making and development. One set of questions charted the 8th graders' possibilities to participate in different forms of civic engagement organised by the school and their participation in choosing a class representative and voting in the school board elections. Parent participation in school-related issues was investigated as well as the influence of different people in school decision-making (e.g. school board members, school staff other than teachers). The respondents were asked how well student opinions were taken into account in deciding about things such as study material, timetables and school rules, and how many of the students behaved well and abided by the school rules. The extent to which the respondents agreed with several statements describing the prevailing situation in the school was studied (e.g. "teachers are proud of the school", "students feel part of the school community").

Questions in the next section pertained to the local community. These explored whether there were different facilities (library, theatre, park etc.) in the school vicinity, whether different issues, such as immigration, unemployment and substance abuse caused social tensions in the area, and how often there were different problems (vandalism, racism, bullying, sexual harassment etc.) among students.

Relating to the teaching of civics in the school, the respondents were asked how the teaching of civics was organised for eight-graders, which were the most important goals of civic education in the school and whether certain teachers had been given any special tasks concerning civic education.

In the final section information about the school size in terms of the number of students and teachers was charted as well as whether the school was a public or private school and the size of the municipality in which the school was located.

Background variables included the number of years the respondent had been working as a head teacher and the respondent's age group and gender.

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