National Report on Schooling in Australia 2010

Student achievement

5.2 NAP – Civics and Citizenship

The National Sample Assessment in Civics and Citizenship commenced in 2004. Samples of Year 6 and Year 10 students participate in this assessment.
Every three years samples of Year 6 and Year 10 students from across Australia are tested on their civic knowledge and understanding, and the skills and values needed for active citizenship.
The 2010 NAP – Civics and Citizenship assessment was undertaken by more than 7,200 Year 6 students from 335 schools and more than 6,400 Year 10 students from 312 schools. The participating students were from both government and non-government schools.
The next NAP – Civics and Citizenship will be undertaken in 2013.

Proficient Standards for Civics and Citizenship

Proficient standards for Civics and Citizenship were established for both Years 6 and 10 in 2004. Each proficient standard is a point on the NAP – Civics and Citizenship scale that represents ‘a challenging but reasonable’ expectation of student achievement at the respective year level.
Proficiency scores are grouped into six proficiency levels ranging from below Level 1 (comprising the least difficult items) to Level 5 (comprising the most difficult items). Each level represents an equal range of student ability/item difficulty on the scale.
The full Civics and Citizenship proficiency scale and descriptions are available on the National Assessment Program website.
The Year 6 Proficient Standard in Civics and Citizenship is set at Level 2. Year 6 students achieving at Level 2 have demonstrated more than minimal or elementary skills; they are considered to have an understanding appropriate to Year 6 and have performed at ‘a challenging but reasonable’ level.
Year 6 students who reach the proficient standard demonstrate accurate factual responses to relatively simple civics and citizenship concepts or issues in responding to multiple-choice items and show limited interpretation or reasoning in their responses to open-ended items. For example, they recognise the division of governmental responsibilities in a federation, that respecting the right of others to hold differing opinions is a democratic principle, and can identify a link between a change in Australia’s identity and the national anthem.
Year 10 students achieving the proficient standard (Level 3) have demonstrated more than minimal or elementary skills; they are considered to have an understanding appropriate to Year 10 and have performed at ‘a challenging but reasonable’ level. They demonstrate relatively precise and detailed factual responses to complex key civics and citizenship concepts or issues in multiple-choice items. In responding to open-ended items they use field-specific language with some fluency and reveal some interpretation of information. For example, they recognise some key functions and features of parliament, and can identify the importance in democracies for citizens to engage with issues.

Key performance measure

The proportion of students achieving at or above the proficient standard (Level 2 in Year 6 and Level 3 in Year 10) is a basic measure of civics and citizenship achievement in Australian schooling. This is a key performance measure (KPM) in the Measurement Framework for Schooling in Australia.
The proportion of students achieving at each proficiency level is reported in Table 5.5.
 

Key Performance Measure 4
Proportion of students achieving at or above the proficient standard in Civics and Citizenship

Table 5.5        Proportion of students achieving at each proficiency level and at or above the proficient standards  (Level 2 in Year 6; Level 3 in Year 10) in Civics and Citizenship, 2010 (per cent)

 

Proficiency level

 

At or above the proficient standard

 

Below 1

1

2

3

4
(or above for Year 6)

5
(for Year 10 only)

Year 6

Australia (%)

CI±

 

13

(1.7)

 

35

(1.9)

 

38

(2.3)

 

13

(1.4)

 

1

(0.6)

 

 

52

(2.4)

Year 10

Australia (%)

CI±

 

5

(1.3)

 

14

(2.0)

 

32

(2.2)

 

36

(2.5)

 

12

(1.9)

 

1

(0.4)

 

49

(3.7)


Notes:

CI = Confidence Interval

Confidence intervals (1.96*SE) are reported in brackets. Because results are rounded to the nearest whole number, some totals may appear inconsistent.

Source: ACARA, National Assessment Program – Civics and Citizenship Years 6 and 10 Report 2010

 
The National Assessment Program – Civics and Citizenship Report 2010 is available on the National Assessment Program website.