FSD2760 International Civic and Citizenship Education Study (ICCS) in Finland 2009: Students

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  • 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)


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

Sisällön kuvaus

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. The questionnaire for students is the broadest of the three with questions focusing on the students' civic awareness and views on civic society and European identity. This dataset includes the international, European and national modules of the student questionnaire. The FSD participated in the funding of the study.

The first section presented the international questions. The respondents were asked how often they did different activities outside school (doing homework, discussing political issues with friends etc), whether they had participated in the activities of different associations and organisations, and whether they had participated in civic activities in their school (e.g. been involved in the school's decision-making). A number of statements related to civics classes and student participation at school (e.g. "students can openly disagree with the teachers", "every school should have a student board").

Views on society were charted with several statements relating to freedom of speech, rights of the citizens and the role of the media. The respondents were asked how important different actions are if one is to be a good citizen, for instance, voting in all national elections, following politics in different media and always abiding by the law. Opinions on equal rights in society were probed with various statements (e.g. "men and women should get equal pay when they are doing the same jobs", "all ethnic groups should have an equal chance to get a good education in Finland"). Perceptions of Finland were investigated with questions covering trust in civic institutions, attitudes towards Finland, and political party preference. Interest in political and social issues was investigated, as well as self-perceived awareness and knowledge of these issues.

The respondents were requested to rate how well they would perform in different civic activities (e.g. writing a letter to a newspaper) and whether they would be prepared to protest by using different means (wearing a badge or t-shirt expressing their opinion, occupying public buildings etc.) The respondents were asked how they expected they were going to participate in politics and civil society as adults. The questions in the international module have been coded with the letter 'i' (e.g. i13_2).

The second section covered questions relating to European citizenship and identity. These included, among others, statements probing whether the respondents saw themselves primarily as citizens of Europe or Finland, felt pride for living in Europe and thought themselves as part of the EU. The respondents' civic participation at the European level (school trips to other European countries etc.) was investigated, as well as the opportunities to participate provided by the respondents' schools. Involvement in discussion about issues and events relating to Europe was charted. Attitudes toward intercultural relations were surveyed with numerous statements focusing on European language learning, freedom of movement within Europe, equal opportunities for different groups, and immigration. The respondents were asked to rate several statements regarding European policies, the single currency and European integration (e.g. "it would be good if European countries had more similar rules and laws", "all countries in Europe should aspire to become members of the European Union"). The respondents also rated their knowledge of the EU.

National questions covered what degree of influence the respondents thought students of their age could have by using different means and how often they participated in the activities of different organisations, clubs or groups. The importance of Internet for different activities and purposes, as well as trust in civic institutions (universities, religious communities etc.) and market forces were charted. The questions in the European and national modules have been coded with the letter 'e'.

In addition to question and background variables, there are several auxiliary and weight variables in the data. For more information on these variables, see Data appraisal and notes.

Background variables included, among others, the respondent's date of birth, gender, group identification, expected level of education, country of birth, language spoken at home, parents' levels of education, number of books in the household, and household composition.

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