National Report on Schooling in Australia 2013
5.2 NAP – Civics and Citizenship
The National Sample Assessment in Civics and Citizenship
(NAP–CC) commenced in 2004 and is held every three years. It assesses samples of Year 6 and Year 10 students in civics and citizenship education
Civics education focuses on knowledge and understanding of formal institutions and processes of civic life (such as voting in elections). Citizenship education focuses on knowledge and understanding of, and opportunities for, participation and engagement in both civic and civil society. This focus aims to develop students as active and informed citizens, in line with the Melbourne Declaration on Educational Goals for Young Australians 1
In 2013, NAP–CC was trialled and delivered to students online for the first time. The NAP–CC sample assessment was administered to 11,255 students from 671 government, Catholic and independent schools between 9 October and 5 November 2013 in all states and territories. The assessment included an online test with multiple-choice and open-ended questions, and an online student questionnaire. The same test was made available to a small number of schools on USB drives as a back-up delivery method.
The next NAP – Civics and Citizenship will be undertaken in 2016.
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) demonstrate more than minimal or elementary skills; they are considered to have an understanding appropriate to Year 10 and perform 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 key performance measure (KPM) in the Measurement Framework for Schooling in Australia 2012.
The proportion of students achieving at each proficiency level is reported in table 5.5.
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, 2013 (percent)
CI = Confidence interval
Confidence intervals 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 2013
As shown in table 5.5, 52 per cent of Year 6 students and 44 per cent of Year 10 students achieved at or above the Year 6 and Year 10 proficient standards for Civics and Citizenship in 2013.
The detailed National Assessment Program – Civics and Citizenship Years 6 & 10 Report 2013
is available on the National Assessment Program website
. A technical report on NAP–CC 2013 is also available on this site.
Goal 2 of the Melbourne Declaration is that all young Australians become successful learners, confident and creative individuals, and active and informed citizens.
Back to top