The ICCS 2016 student and teacher population definitions and sampling methods were the same as those used in ICCS 2009. The ICCS student population is defined as all students in Grade 8 (students approximately 14 years of age), provided that the average age of students in this grade was 13.5 years or above at the time of the assessment. If the average age of students in Grade 8 was below 13.5 years, Grade 9 became the target population.
ICCS aimed to sample up to 15 teachers at random from all teachers teaching the target grade at each sampled school. In schools with 21 or more teachers of the target grade, 15 teachers were sampled at random. In schools with 20 or fewer such teachers, all teachers were invited to participate. The participation rates required for students in each country were 85 percent of the selected schools and 85 percent of the selected students within the participating schools, or a weighted overall participation rate of 75 percent. The same criteria were applied to the teacher sample. The student and the teacher samples, however, were adjudicated independently. The number of students sampled in the countries that sampled 150 schools ranged from 3000 and 4500.
The conception and development of ICCS 2016 serve to maintain continuity with and extend the scope of ICCS 2009 by measuring changes in civic and citizenship education contexts, processes, and outcomes, as well as outcomes between 2009 and 2016. Because changing national, regional, and global contexts also affect civic and citizenship education, ICCS is designed to respond to such changes. Mindful of the major changes and developments since 2009, three areas namely Environmental sustainability in civic and citizenship education, social interaction at school, the use of social media for civic engagement warranted a stronger profile in ICCS 2016 than they had been afforded in ICCS 2009.
The key research questions for ICCS 2016 concern students’ civic knowledge, their dispositions to engage and their attitudes related to civic and citizenship issues as well as contexts in this learning area. Each of the following general research question relates to a subset of specific research questions to be addressed in ICCS 2016:
• How is civic and citizenship education implemented in participating countries?
• What is the extent and variation of students’ civic knowledge within and across participating countries?
• What is the extent of students’ engagement in different spheres of society, and which factors within or across countries relate to it?
• What beliefs do students in participating countries hold regarding important civic issues in modern society and what are the factors influencing their variation?
• How are schools in the participating countries organized with regard to civic and citizenship education, and what is its association with students’ learning outcomes?
The civics and citizenship framework is organized around three dimensions:
• A content dimension specifying the subject matter to be assessed within civics and citizenship (with regard to both affective-behavioral and cognitive aspects)
• A cognitive dimension describing the thinking processes to be assessed in the student test
• An affective-behavioral dimension describing the types of student perceptions and activities measured by the student questionnaire
The ICCS 2016 framework is organized along the following types of dimensions:
• Four content dimensions
• Two affective-behavioral dimensions (four in ICCS 2009 framework)
• Two cognitive dimensions
The ICCS assessment framework addresses the different contexts in which civic learning takes place. Along these lines and consistent with the set of instruments established and informants targeted as part of the 2009 design, the following core instruments were administered in ICCS 2016 main study:
• Student instruments:
o International cognitive test (45 minutes)
o International student questionnaire (40 minutes)
• Teacher questionnaire (up to 30 minutes)
• School questionnaire (up to 30 minutes)
• National Contexts Survey to be completed at the country/system level