Amsterdam - Lima, April 11, 2018 – results from the Latin American report of the IEA´s International Civic and Citizenship Education Study (ICCS) 2016 reveal a strong association between students’ attitudes and their levels of civic knowledge in five Latin American countries. Findings such as these make a strong case for improving civic learning in the region, with the prospect of developing more democratic orientations. This is especially relevant since the report also reveals a concerning level of undemocratic and anti-social orientations among substantial proportions of young people.
The Latin American addition to ICCS 2016 offers a unique insight regarding key features of the national contexts for the five participating countries: Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Dominican Republic and Peru. The report shows that the way in which civic and citizenship education (CCE) is represented on countries’ national curricula differs and is strongly influenced by their historical and political backgrounds.
A regional questionnaire collected information on Grade 8 (13-14 years old) students´ attitudes and trust toward the government and its institutions. In all Latin American countries participating in ICCS 2016, students’ endorsement of authoritarian government practices is related to lower levels of civic knowledge. Most students said they would agree with a dictatorial government when it brings order and safety (average of 69 percent agreed) or economic benefits (average of 65 percent agreed). Most students tended not to endorse a wide range of corrupt practices, but 53 percent agreed with the notion of civil servants helping friends by giving them employment in their office. The results revealed that schools are the most trusted institutions.
ICCS also investigated the attitudes, views and beliefs of students toward violence and the law. The results revealed that 72 percent of students surveyed agreed that peace is only achieved through dialogue and negotiation. However, 65 percent of students also agreed that to achieve peace, the end justifies the means. Another striking finding was that a strong majority (73 percent) of students agreed that a law may be disobeyed when it represents the only way of helping one´s family.
The study surveyed students´ acceptance of neighbourhood diversity, their attitudes towards homosexuality and perceptions of discrimination against social groups in their country. Results show that girls and students with a higher score in civic knowledge expressed a higher acceptance of diversity. The survey also suggests that homosexual persons constitute a group that may be suffering the largest extent of discrimination in the region. At the same time, however, the percentage of students who endorse marriage equality has generally increased since 2009.
The issues explored in ICCS 2016 offer unique insights into young peoples’ civic attitudes, generating policy-relevant results for governments to address societal challenges across Latin America.
About the ICCS 2016 Latin American report: This report encompasses results based on data collected using an additional student questionnaire specific to the Latin American region, which was completed by about 25,000 students towards the end of lower secondary education in five countries. The report includes results from Chile, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Mexico and Peru as well as comparisons with the previous 2009 study in four of these countries. Peru participated for the first time in the 2016 study. Supplemented by data from the ICCS 2016 international instruments (a student test and questionnaire, school questionnaires, and a national context survey), the report focuses on contexts for civic and citizenship education in the region, students’ perceptions of public institutions and government, students’ views of peaceful coexistence, and students’ perceptions of social cohesion and diversity. Learn more
About IEA: The International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement (IEA), with headquarters in Amsterdam, is an independent, international cooperative of national research institutions and governmental research agencies. It conducts large-scale comparative studies of educational achievement and other aspects of education, with the aim of gaining in-depth understanding of the effects of policies and practices within and across systems of education. Learn more