The International Civic and Citizenship Education Study (IEA ICCS 2022) will be implemented in Latvia through the end of 2023. This is provided for in the cooperation agreement concluded on 1607.2020, between the Ministry of Education and Science and the University of Latvia.

Gunta Arāja, Deputy State Secretary of the Ministry of Education and Science of Latvia – Director of the Policy Initiatives and Development Department, remarks: “Participation in the International Civic and Citizenship Education Study will provide us with internationally comparable data; therefore, the study will make a significant contribution to improving the quality of education in Latvia in the future. Analysis of the study will provide answers to questions such as the role of students in global citizenship and in environmental sustainability; social interactions at school; the use of new social media for civic engagement; digital citizenship; and migration and diversity.”

Already this year, researchers from the Education Research Institute of the Faculty of Pedagogy, Psychology, and Art of the University of Latvia will start work on the IEA ICCS 2022 pilot study on behalf of the Ministry; the pilot study will involve 1,600 students and almost 400 teachers from about 30 schools throughout Latvia. The IEA ICCS 2022 baseline study will be conducted from 2021 to 2023, while Latvia’s results and a more extensive analysis of these results as compared to those of other study countries are expected in the second half of 2023. Thirty-eight countries from four continents have expressed interest in the ICCS 2022 study. Latvia is one of the 28 member states participating in this research cycle that plans to collect data digitally instead of on paper.

Ireta Čekse, ICCS National Research Coordinator, says: “Latvia is already participating in the IEA ICCS study for the fourth time; it first took place in 1999. The study provides Latvia an advantage in following the growth of civic knowledge among fifteen-year-old students and in studying the dynamics of young peoples’ readiness to fulfill their civic duties. The civic knowledge of Latvian students slightly increased from 2009 to 2016, according to previous studies’ results; however, we are still comparatively lagging behind the democracies of the Baltic Sea region, including Estonia and Lithuania.”

In this iteration of the study, part of the student test is designed similarly to the basic principles of gamification. It will mean more exciting process of answering for students, as some of questions will no longer be as linear as they used to be. In turn, digital data collection and research results will allow education policy makers and researchers to assess the effectiveness of the new, competency-based approach to making a curriculum.

The IEA ICCS is the world’s largest international longitudinal and only dedicated study of civic and citizenship education. Its aims are to study the readiness of young people to fulfill their civic responsibilities, and to understand the level of civic education knowledge among eighth grade students. For a detailed analysis of the situation at the national level, survey questions will be prepared; this will allow for in-depth study of issues important for the Latvian education system’s development and the content of civic education therein. At the same time, the IEA ICCS study allows for inclusion in European Union and UNESCO reports and for monitoring the country’s progress towards UN Sustainable Development Goals.

The research takes place within European Social Fund project No. “Development and implementation of an education quality monitoring system”.

Additional information: Aivis Majors, Project Communication Coordinator of the Policy Initiatives and Development Department, Ministry of Education and Science of Latvia,