OECD COUNTRIES AND CHINA: A COMPARISON OF “GOOD” CITIZEN IN SECONDARY SCHOOLS
In 1971, 1999, and 2009, the IEA conducted several successful measurements on CCE among many countries, including Chinese Taipei and Hong Kong SAR, China. Although China didn’t participate in these investigations, the IEA has made ambulant international databases available for the Chinese research community, which can have a closer look and compare CCE among OECD countries or regions. We will use some results from IEA for the following secondary analysis to have a comparative study between China and the West.
Status-Quo of Good Citizen in Secondary Schools of OECD Countries and Regions: Degree of Identity is Higher than Knowledge
IEA developed a framework that includes 16 indicators and tools to measure the situations of good citizen in 1971. The investigation was carried out among 9 OECD countries. The investigation assumed that citizenship can have a very broad meaning, including, for example, national identity, legal or social entitlement, obligations such as military service, and opportunities such as political participation, which was based on two scales such as active citizenship and non-political citizenship.
CIVED in 1999: higher degree of identity on good citizen
Civic Education Study (CIVED) is the main content of the IEA evaluation in 1999.The framework, tools, and conception of IEA Civic Education Study in 1999 were inherited from that of 1971. The pilot instrument contained 21 indicators; the final instrument contained 15. One of the examples of core questions from 1971 of good citizen was as the following:
An adult who is a good citizen ...”. The response options were 4= very important, 3=somewhat important, 2= somewhat unimportant, 1= not important. (IEA, 2001, p. 77)
IEA conducted the investigations among 28 OECD countries and regions including Australia, Hong Kong SAR, and China. The results show that there are only two items about which there is consensus across the countries according to this categorization (IEA, 2001, p. 77).
The first item, ‘a good citizen who obeys the law’, is rated as very important (international mean of 3.65). The second, ‘engages in political discussion’, is rated much lower (international mean of 2.37). Participating in environmental groups, in human rights groups, in activities to benefit the community, and voting in every election earned approximately eighty percent or more of the respondents thought these activities were desirable. Showing respect for government representatives, knowing about political issues, and knowing about history were rated as less important by students. Joining a political party and engaging in political discussions got a rating of between 30 and 45 percent. (IEA, 2001, p. 79)
Hong Kong SAR, the former socialist countries in Eastern Europe, and the United States received higher rates than the international mean. Australia, Germany, the Russian Federation etc. are below the international mean. No matter what the means or percentages are, an adult good citizen should participate in social activities actively but not in the conventional political activities in the eyes of most 14 year old students around the world. Young people think voting is important, but activities that imply conflict of opinions (political party membership and political discussion) are not highly rated on average. In sum, the degree or rates of identity on good citizen are much higher than before, influenced by the enthusiasm in civic education of the former socialist countries in Eastern Europe, which supported the revival of traditional civic education clearly at that time.