Academic Civic Mindedness and Model Citizenship in the

Working Paper
Academic Civic Mindedness and Model
Citizenship in the International
Baccalaureate Diploma Programme
Anna Rosefsky Saavedra, The RAND Corporation
RAND Education
WR-1044-IBO
April 2014
Prepared for the International Baccalaureate Organization
NOT CLEARED FOR OPEN PUBLICATION
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Preface
The study described in this paper examines the International Baccalaureate (IB)
Diploma Programme (DP)’s development of students’ “academic civic mindedness” and
“model citizenship” at four case study schools in California. Despite several national
initiatives intended to increase U.S. public schools’ emphasis on developing students’
civic engagement and citizenship, most U.S. schools do not prioritize either objective. IB
programmes are a widely implemented intervention—currently operating in 1,500 U.S.
schools, over 90 percent of which are public—with a strong stated commitment to
developing students’ citizenship. Greater understanding of both the extent which the IB
DP promotes students’ citizenship and the means through which it does so could
contribute to strengthening the effort to improve the current state of U.S. civic education.
This understanding could also provide the IB Organization (IBO) with recommendations
for how to improve its civic focus. The results of this study also contribute to the debate
over whether a holistic educational philosophy that encompasses development of
citizenship and complex thinking and communication skills is compatible with
developing basic academic skills and knowledge. Finally, the survey developed to
measure sample IB DP students’ academic civic mindedness and model citizenship could
be used to measure those constructs in other students.
This paper should be of interest to U.S. education policymakers and practitioners with
concerns about the civic purposes of education and about developing the skills and
knowledge students need for future success in college and career. It should also be of
interest to IBO staff and others who are involved in IB programmes in the U.S. and
elsewhere.
The research for this study was conducted within the Education Unit of the RAND
Corporation. For more information about the RAND Education Unit, see
http://www.rand.org/topics/education-and-the-arts.html or contact the Unit Director
(contact information is provided on the web page). The International Baccalaureate
Organization contracted with the RAND Education Unit to conduct the research
presented in this report.
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TABLE OF CONTENTS
Preface ............................................................................................................................... iii
Acknowledgements ......................................................................................................... vii
Executive Summary ......................................................................................................... ix
Introduction ....................................................................................................................... 1
The Civic Purposes of Education ............................................................................................ 1
Definitions: “Academic civic-mindedness” and “model citizenship” ........................ 2
The International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme ................................................ 4
IB and broad-versus-narrow conceptions of education ................................................ 7
Research Questions .................................................................................................................... 7
Research Design ................................................................................................................ 9
Sample ............................................................................................................................................. 9
Measures...................................................................................................................................... 11
Analytic methods ...................................................................................................................... 17
Limitations ....................................................................................................................... 19
Results .............................................................................................................................. 21
RQ #1: Description of the student sample and differences between IB and nonIB students within schools ........................................................................................................... 21
RQ #2: IB DP development of students’ academic civic mindedness..................... 24
RQ #3: IB DP students’ academic civic mindedness performance .......................... 30
RQ #4: IB DP development of students’ model citizenship ....................................... 33
RQ #5: IB compared to non-IB alternatives .................................................................... 40
RQ #6: Barriers to emphasis on civic mindedness and model citizenship .......... 42
Findings and Recommendations.................................................................................... 45
Summary of results .................................................................................................................. 45
Implications for all educators concerned with the civic purposes of education47
Recommendations for the IB Organization..................................................................... 47
References ........................................................................................................................ 49
Appendix A: Student interview protocol ...................................................................... 55
Appendix B: Teacher interview protocol ...................................................................... 57
Appendix C: Student survey .......................................................................................... 59
Appendix D: Student survey details .............................................................................. 65
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Acknowledgements
I would like to thank the International Baccalaureate Organization (IBO) for its
support of this paper and particularly IBO program officer Liz Bergeron for her
comprehensive guidance. IBO staff Mandy Newport, Alison Smith and Dandan Wang
also provided invaluable survey support for which I am very grateful. Thank you as well
to Kei Kawashima-Ginsberg and Peter Levine from the Center for Information and
Research on Civic Learning and Engagement for generously sharing their 2012 voting
survey data. I am also very appreciative of study design advice from Keith Barton, Diana
Hess and Joseph Kahne. Thank you especially to Kim Hui for her excellent research
assistance. In addition, the paper benefited substantively from a RAND quality assurance
review by Cathy Stasz.
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Executive Summary
Originally founded as a private means for diplomats’ children to earn an
internationally recognized high school diploma, today the International Baccalaureate
(IB) Diploma Programme (DP) serves students from a variety of backgrounds in 144
countries. In the U.S., 1,500 schools offer IB programmes, over 90 percent of which are
public, to kindergarten through twelfth grade students, including 807 that offer the DP. In
schools that the IB Organization (IBO) authorizes as “IB World Schools” to offer the IB
DP, teachers use standardized IB curriculum and pedagogy to teach a range of courses
and to offer other activities that are intended to prepare IB-enrolled students for college
and citizenship.
The IB mission is to, “develop inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who
help to create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and
respect” (IBO, 2009a, 5). The purpose of the IB Learner Profile—consisting of ten ideal
qualities to foster in students—is to provide schools and teachers with a practical means
through which to translate the IB mission into practice. IB explicitly prefaces the ten
attributes with the overarching principle of “educating the whole person for a life of
active, responsible citizenship” (IBO, 2008a, p.1), suggesting that development of
students’ citizenship is the core purpose of an IB education. The Learner Profile is central
to the curricular model and reflects “the concern with developing competent, caring and
active citizens as well as subject specialists” (IBO, 2009a, p.2). Again, this language
emphasizes the centrality of citizenship to IB. The IB Learner Profile prefaces every IB
course-specific guide, as the overarching purpose of every course is to develop the ten
attributes in students.
In this study, in the U.S. context, I investigate IB DP development of students’
“academic civic mindedness” and “model citizenship” using a case study methodology.
This study follows the definition of “academic civic mindedness” as, “student knowledge
of the U.S. system of government, 1 public policy and effective advocacy techniques”
(IBO, 2013, p.1). This paper adopts the term “model citizenship” following the
Westheimer & Kahne (2004) citizen typology that includes participatory, personally
responsible and social justice citizenship orientations.
In four public schools located in the state of California that offer the IB DP, I
interviewed IB DP Coordinators, teachers (n=15) and students (n=24) to learn their
perspectives about how and the extent to which the IB DP prepares students for
citizenship. To supplement the qualitative understanding of the relationship between
1
U.S. government in the U.S. context.
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students’ enrollment in the IB DP and their civic mindedness and citizenship, I also
surveyed students using items focused on measuring civic mindedness and citizenship
that were administered as part of other surveys to large samples of high school-enrolled
17 and 18 year olds. Given the small sample size and other limitations, the results are
suggestive rather than definitive and further research is needed to confirm the findings.
Results
The results indicate that the DP’s heavy pedagogical reliance on discussions, debates,
oral presentations, written assignments and teamwork, enables students to develop many
of the complex thinking and communication (Levy & Murnane, 2004) skills that are
necessary for civic advocacy. For example, the DP emphasis on seeking, considering,
weighing and synthesizing different perspectives, particularly through the Theory of
Knowledge (TOK) course, seems to develop students’ critical thinking, objectivity,
openmindedness and ability to compromise. Further, the list of skills that students and
teachers believe are necessary for civic engagement overlaps to a significant extent with
most lists of skills that students need for success in college and careers. IB could,
however, be more intentional to teachers, and teachers in turn to students, about the civic
applications of these skills.
Results also indicate that the IB DP places a strong emphasis on students’ knowledge
of issues related to public policy, particularly through discussions of current events in
TOK, English and History courses. Teacher and student interview results indicate that the
IB DP does not seem to strongly prioritize students’ knowledge of U.S. government
structure and functioning. The student survey results, however, show that compared to
nationally representative samples of similarly aged 12th-grade students, the sample of IB
students scored higher on nine of ten items that tested their knowledge of U.S.
government history and functioning.
Though the data suggests that individual teachers and students relate to several
citizenship orientations simultaneously, teachers seem to most frequently identify with
participatory, followed by social justice and then personally responsible citizenship.
Student survey and interview results indicate that they most strongly relate to the social
justice type, followed by personal responsibility and then participatory citizenship. The
IB DP develops students’ model citizenship through promoting their awareness of
political and social issues and required active engagement with a local or global issue.
Several structural features of the IB DP may also develop the attitudes students deem
necessary for civic engagement.
In the schools included in the study, alternatives to courses offered through the IB DP
primarily include Advanced Placement (AP) and California Prep (CP) courses. Like the
IB DP, AP courses also have a rigorous college preparation reputation while the CP
courses are not honors level and are intended for students with average or below average
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academic backgrounds. Most IB students and teachers feel that IB DP develops students’
academic civic mindedness and model citizenship to a considerably greater extent.
Finally, teachers feel that the strongest limitation to their prioritization of students’
citizenship development is their lack of clarity on how to frame the civic implications of
the knowledge, skills and attitudes they seek to develop. Teachers also feel that limited
student skills and lack of Diploma examination questions’ emphasis on citizenship also
challenge their civic focus.
Recommendations
The main implications of the findings are:
For the greater community of civic education researchers and practitioners:
1) The skills that educators, parents and employers believe are necessary for success
in college and career overlap substantially with the skills that students and
teachers in this study believe are necessary for civic engagement. As part of
efforts to increase schools’ civic focus, it might behoove the civic education
community to emphasize this message to teachers, including the need to be
explicit with their students about the overlap.
2) The DP’s emphasis on seeking, considering, weighing and synthesizing different
perspectives, particularly through the TOK course, might be a useful model for
other educators to follow as a means of developing students’ critical thinking,
objectivity, openmindedness and ability to compromise.
3) The carefully structured “best-case” model of the Creativity, Action and Service
(CAS) course demonstrates promise as a means of developing the knowledge,
skills and attitudes that students need for civic engagement.
4) The survey developed to measure sample IB DP students’ academic civic
mindedness and model citizenship could be adapted to measure those constructs
in other (IB or non-IB) students.
For the IB Organization and U.S. IB schools:
1) The IB Organization (IBO) could be more intentional in their curricular and
pedagogical materials and through professional development (PD) in explaining
to teachers the connections between the DP requirements and civic mindedness
and citizenship. Greater IBO intentionality could increase emphasis on developing
students’ academic civic mindedness and model citizenship across IB World
schools and reduce cross-school variation.
2) The IBO could be more explicit to teachers about the overlap between the
knowledge, skills and attitudes necessary for civic engagement and for college
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3)
4)
5)
6)
and career preparation so that teachers internalize and share that message with
students.
The IBO could consider strengthening teachers’ accountability for developing
students’ civic mindedness and citizenship through greater Diploma examination
focus on evaluating students’ academic civic mindedness and model citizenship.
The IBO could help to improve the CAS program by providing schools with more
detailed guidance on the best ways to structure it.
In addition to making citizenship connections more explicit through subjectspecific materials and PD, the IBO could consider offering PD sessions that
deepen teachers’ understanding of their own civic orientations.
Finally, the survey developed to measure sample IB DP students’ academic civic
mindedness and model citizenship could be used to measure those constructs in
other IB DP students.
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Introduction
Originally founded as a private means for diplomats’ children to earn an
internationally recognized high-school diploma, today the International Baccalaureate
(IB) Diploma Programme (DP) serves students from a variety of backgrounds in 2,470
schools spread across 144 countries and is one of the fastest growing education
innovations in schools worldwide. In schools that are authorized to offer the DP by the IB
Organization (IBO), teachers are trained to use standardized IB curriculum and pedagogy
to teach a range of courses and to offer other activities that are intended to prepare IBenrolled students for college and citizenship. As of 2014, 1,500 U.S. schools—over 90
percent of which are public—offer IB programmes for K-12 students, including 807 that
offer the DP.
In the introduction, I first provide background on the current state of civic education
in the U.S. and define the “academic civic mindedness” and “model citizenship”
constructs. Next I provide background on the IB DP as a means of developing students’
civic mindedness and citizenship based on a selection of IB DP curricular documents.
The Civic Purposes of Education
Historically, public education has served as the primary means through which to
develop students’ capacities and inclinations to function effectively as citizens. In the
U.S. context, educational forefathers including Webster, Jefferson, Dewey and Hutchins
believed that education should shape and strengthen democratic society and fashioned
schools to accomplish these ends (Ravitch & Viteritti, 2001). By 1984, however, the
focus of the influential publication, “A Nation at Risk,” signified a shift away from the
civic purpose of education toward the economic purpose of education (Reuben, 2005). By
2014, there is a strong case to be made that U.S. schools do not sufficiently prioritize the
civic purposes of education (e.g., Campbell, Levinson and Hess, 2012; Gardner, 2006;
Nussbaum, 2010), that Americans are decreasingly engaged in the civic sphere (Keeter,
Zukin, Andolina, & Jenkins, 2002; Putnam, 2000) and that there is an inequitable civiceducation gap between advantaged and disadvantaged students (Kahne & Middaugh,
2008; Levinson, 2012a; Levinson, 2012b). Greater understanding of educational
interventions that focus on promoting students’ civic knowledge, engagement and
citizenship—and subsequent increased use of those interventions that are found to be
effective—could serve to attenuate these concerns.
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Definitions: “Academic civic-mindedness” and “model citizenship”
The crucial first step of this study is to clarify the meanings of “academic civicmindedness” and “model citizenship.”
“Academic civic mindedness”
The IBO’s “academic civic mindedness” construct is defined in the study research
request as, “student knowledge of the U.S. system of government public policy and
effective advocacy techniques” (IBO 2013, p. 1). This definition assumes that students
need civic knowledge and skills to embrace their civic rights and responsibilities. In
support of this assumption, in their seminal work on the American public’s knowledge of
politics, Delli Carpini & Keeter (1997) demonstrate that democracy functions best when
its citizens are politically informed. A broadly and equitably informed citizenry helps
assure a democracy that is both responsive and responsible. From this perspective it is
highly problematic that youth and adult political knowledge today is lower than it was
several decades ago, even though education levels have risen considerably and there is
much greater access to information through expansive media options (Niemi, 2012).
Though assessment of academic civic knowledge can gauge students’ ability to engage
as citizens, it is not sufficient for measuring engagement. Civic knowledge can be a
foundation for engagement, but it is not necessarily the case that an individual who is
very civically involved will do well on a civic knowledge test. Another concern with sole
reliance on a measure of academic knowledge as a proxy for civic engagement is that
knowledge tests can be little more than reading tests. For example, testing understanding
of “bicameralism” is a test of vocabulary. And in the age of Google, with politics or any
topic, it is often more important to know how to find information than to know it.
Similarly, while it may be important to possess skills that could be used for civic
engagement—like the ability to organize and run a meeting, express views in front of a
group of people, organize a petition or contact an elected official—engagement may not
happen in the absence of motivation to harness those skills for civic purposes.
“Model citizenship”
The idea of citizenship means different things to different people. Correspondingly
there is a great deal of variation in the goals of civic education and the methods used to
develop a certain type of citizen. For example, throughout history, democracies and
fascist regimes have employed civic education with the purpose of developing markedly
different types of citizens. Civic education to promote democratic principles might
include activities that require deliberation and debate, while civic education to promote
fascist ideals might promote obedience and order.
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Consensus around a singular definition of model citizenship will probably always
remain unresolved. For example, in the U.S. historical context, according to Thomas
Jefferson, the model citizen is an educated white man who can protect his rights and who
knows enough to function as a part of the economy and social discourse (Jefferson,
1856). Horace Mann defines the model citizen is someone who is educated beyond the
scope of utilitarian knowledge and virtuous according to Protestant ethics (Mann, 1891).
More recently, Amy Gutmann argues that model citizens are mutually respectful, have
faith in the democratic system and demonstrate civility, tolerance and ability to see issues
from multiple perspectives (Gutmann, 2000). Indeed there are many ways in which one
person’s “model” might differ from another’s with regard to learning attitudes, morals,
character, identity, respect for others, critical thinking, knowledge, concern for oppressed
people and so forth. Consequently, answers to the question "To what extent does Program
X develop model citizens?" necessarily engage the political views that surround varied
conceptions of citizenship. Any examination of civic education must first consider the
type of citizen the educational experience seeks to develop.
To address this challenge, this study adopts the Westheimer & Kahne (2004) citizen
typology framework as a way to conceive of different types of model citizenship. In their
empirical study of ten civic education programs, Westheimer and Kahne (2004) found
that some programs place the greatest emphasis on fostering the ability and/or the
commitment to participate, others encourage personal responsibility and others may
prompt critical analysis that focuses on macro structural issues, the role of interest
groups, power dynamics, and/or social justice.
Westhemer and Kahne (2004) suggest that engaged citizens can be participatory,
personally responsible and/or justice-oriented. In the U.S. context, participatory citizens
vote and help others to vote, write letters to the editor, peacefully protest and engage in
other activities aimed at fostering democracy. Personally responsible citizens may follow
laws, perform acts of community service, stay out of debt and generally behave in a way
that conforms to the status quo. Finally, justice oriented citizens seek to reduce inequality
and prejudice, promote human rights and represent diverse perspectives.
A given program, curriculum or pedagogy may seek to develop one or more of these
citizenship types (Westheimer & Kahne, 2004). My review of state-level social studies
standards and curriculum frameworks suggests that civic education that promotes
participatory citizenship is by far the most common form of civic education, followed by
promotion of personal responsibility and then social justice at a distant third (Education
Commission of the State, 2011).
Although this taxonomy has its limitations, the three-pronged conception of the
conceivable purposes of civic education can serve as a lens through which to understand
the citizenship focus of the IB Diploma Program.
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The International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme
The IB school-level authorization process and subsequent requirements for students
and teachers are rigorous (Byrd, Ellington, Gross, Jago, & Stern, 2007; Mathews & Hill,
2005; U.S. Department of Education, 2011, 29). To earn DP authorization from the IB
Organization (IBO), schools must demonstrate adherence to IBO’s requirements as stated
in the most current version of the “Handbook of procedures for the Diploma Program”
(IBO, 2012). Typically, the IB accreditation process requires extensive faculty and staff
participation, takes several years to complete and, if successful, results in authorized “IB
World School” status. IB World-School DP teachers must use IB curricular and
pedagogical materials to teach IB courses, and participate in ongoing PD and self-review
processes.
U.S students enroll in the official IB DP in eleventh grade. To be eligible to earn the
IB Diploma, students must successfully complete required IB courses at standard or
higher levels—distinguished by hours spent per course and level of difficulty—in six
subject groups: 1) Language and Literature, 2) Language Acquisition, 3) Experimental
Sciences, 4) the Arts, 5) Mathematics and Computer Science and 6) Individual and
Societies. Depending on the availability of courses by school, students take a course in
each area at either the standard (150 teaching hours) or higher (240 teaching hours) level.
For Diploma eligibility, students must take at least three and not more than four subjects
at the higher level and successfully complete the IB Theory of Knowledge (TOK)
epistemology course; participate in the weekly Creativity, Action and Service (CAS)
requirement; and write a 4,000-word Extended Essay (EE). They must also score above
defined thresholds on IBO-created and administered examinations in six subjects
including languages, social studies, experimental sciences and mathematics. Nine
thousand IB-certified examiners, in 121 countries worldwide, score the examinations
(IBO, 2009a).
In a 2008 survey, 96 percent of IB DP Coordinators at 105 Title 1 schools reported
that developing students’ civic responsibility was an important or very important reason
for choosing to implement the DP (Siskin, 2008). Despite the widespread belief that IB
enrollment promotes students’ civic responsibility and the implications of evidence
supporting or refuting this claim, no empirical studies have investigated the relationship
between the entirety of the IB DP experience and students’ academic civic mindedness
and citizenship. One study, set in a single school in Lesotho, Africa, investigates the
relationship between enrollment in IB and students’ civic responsibility (Kulundu &
Hayden, 2002). The authors find that 70 percent of IB students believe that the service
component of the CAS course developed their sense of responsibility to the community,
which is a fairly narrow sub-construct of a broader conception of citizenship. A second
study compares development of young students’ global citizenship—a construct related
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to yet different from the academic civic mindedness and model citizenship constructs—at
IB and Montessori schools (Brunold-Conesa, 2010). The most recent study, set in
Argentina, Canada and the U.S., examines the relationship between DP students’
participation in CAS and their conceptualization of “civic-mindedness,” motivation to
serve their communities and perceived impacts on personal qualities (Biling & Good,
2013). This multiple-country study finds that IB DP students engage in a wide range of
service activities and serve their communities for altruistic reasons, though they do not
have a clear understanding of “civic-mindedness.” The study also reports that IB DP
students and Coordinators believe that CAS helps students develop their commitment to
service, self-confidence, maturity, open-mindedness and reflective abilities.
The present study builds on the 2013 Biling & Good research by considering the IB
DP more holistically, moving beyond CAS to investigate the extent to which IB
curriculum, pedagogy and classroom and school climate may develop student’s academic
civic mindedness and model citizenship.
How the IB DP might promote civic engagement
The IB mission is to, “develop inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who
help to create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and
respect.” This mission suggests that the IB conception of the good citizen is someone
who actively engages with his/her surroundings (participatory) to improve and make the
world more peaceful.
The purpose of the IB Learner Profile is to provide schools and teachers with a
practical means through which to translate the IB mission into practice. The Learner
Profile consists of ten attributes to foster in IB students, including that students be
inquiring, knowledgeable, thinking, communicating, principled, open-minded, caring,
risk-takers, balanced and reflective. Each of these attributes could relate to each of the
three citizen types as defined in Westheimer and Kahne’s typology. IB explicitly prefaces
the tens with the overarching principle of “educating the whole person for a life of active,
responsible citizenship” (IBO, 2008a, p.1), suggesting that development of students’
citizenship is the core purpose of an IB education. The Learner Profile is central to the
curricular model and reflects, “the concern with developing competent, caring and active
citizens as well as subject specialists” (IBO, 2009a, p.2). Again, this language
emphasizes the centrality of citizenship to IB. Another way to understand the Learner
Profile is as a definition of IB’s culture.
The IB Learner Profile prefaces every IB course-specific guide, as the overarching
purpose of every course is to develop the ten attributes in students. Course-specific
guidelines do not explicitly enumerate development of students’ civic engagement, but
refer to students’ civic development using suggestive language. For example, the
“Information Technology for a Global Society,” (ITGS) (IBO, 2010, p.4) course
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overview states that the “increasingly widespread use of information technology
inevitably raises important questions with regard to the social and ethical considerations
that shape our society today. ITGS offers an opportunity for a systematic study of these
considerations…” A conceivable implication once students are better informed about
social and ethical considerations of technology is that they will understand the social
justice implications of unequal distribution of technology and/or that they will be better
informed to participate civically in issues regarding information technology.
The Economics course overview states, “If all participants in the global economy are
to achieve a better quality of life for their populations, there must be economic
cooperation between all countries” (IBO, 2007, p. 9). The concern for achieving a better
quality of life for all populations suggests a social justice conception of citizenship.
The History overview asserts that the course:
“Provides a sound platform for the promotion of international
understanding and, inherently, the intercultural awareness necessary to
prepare students for global citizenship. Above all, it helps to foster
respect and understanding of people and events in a variety of cultures
throughout the world” (IBO, 2009b, p. 4).
Again, this course overview suggests a form of civic education dedicated to promoting
students’ participation and concern for social justice.
The Service component of the core Creativity, Action and Service (CAS) program is
another means through which IB purports to address the civic objectives enumerated in
the Learner Profile. The IBO describes the Service requirement as “an unpaid and
voluntary exchange that has a learning benefit for the student,” the purpose of which is to
“develop a ‘will to act’ and the skills and values necessary to make a positive
contribution to society” and asserts that one of the key CAS objectives is for students to
be “aware of themselves as members of communities with responsibilities towards each
other and the environment” (IBO, 2008b, p. 5). Unlike the Learner Profile and course
overviews, the Service requirement seems to promote the conception of the personally
responsible citizen to a somewhat greater degree than the participatory or social-justice
orientations discussed earlier. The degree of latitude in the projects that students can
pursue, however, suggests that it would be most accurate to say that CAS’s benefits are
variable across students. If a student identifies with participation, personal responsibility
or social justice more strongly, he or she has the opportunity to pursue a CAS project that
aligns with that aim.
The IB mission and Learner Profile broadly relate to all three of the citizen types
identified in the taxonomy. The selected course overviews suggest that the IB Diploma
Program stresses participatory and social justice conceptions of civic education. The
service component of CAS could develop students’ personal responsibility, participation
and/or social justice orientation. In sum, IBO documents suggest that the DP could
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educate students in terms of all three conceptions of civic engagement.
IB and broad-versus-narrow conceptions of education
Another reason to examine academic civic-mindedness and citizenship in the IB DP is
to contribute to the debate over whether more narrowly conceived academic achievement
goals and broader conceptions of the educated child are compatible. There is a
longstanding educational debate between i) proponents of a narrower educational focus
on building students’ basic reading, writing and math skills (i.e. Hirsch, 1987) and ii)
more progressive, whole-child supporters, who believe that the purposes of education
more broadly defined include building students’ civic competencies, guiding their
character development, developing their leadership capacity, stimulating their ability to
ask good questions and so forth (i.e. Gardner, 2006; Perkins, forthcoming). This debate
necessarily encompasses many shades of gray. For example, “narrow-focus” supporters
believe that education ought to prepare students to participate effectively in civil society,
not solely to demonstrate success in recall tests. “Broad-focus” advocates believe
students must master basic skills.
IB occupies a middle space in this debate. On the one hand, a clear set of standards,
testing and associated external accountability systems serve as the foundation for the DP.
On the other, the DP curriculum broadly encapsulates first and second languages, social
and physical sciences, mathematics and arts, as well as epistemology, intensive research
and writing and service to the community, and promotes development of a range of core
attributes through the IB Learner Profile (see Conner, 2008 for discussion of this idea).
A fairly robust literature base (i.e. Caspary, 2011; Coates et al, 2007; Coca et al, 2012;
Culross & Tarver, 2008; Higher Education Statistics Agency, 2011), including a causal
study (Saavedra, 2014), indicates that IB DP enrollment increases students’ academic
outcomes. By investigating the IB DP’s development of citizenship, a “non-academic”
outcome, this paper seeks to contribute empirical evidence to this current debate.
Research Questions
Currently, policy makers, administrators, teachers, parents and students lack an
empirically-based understanding of the relationship between the IB DP package—
including curriculum, pedagogy and culture—and students’ development of “academic
civic-mindedness” and “model citizenship.” Results will provide the IBO with
understanding of the extent to which it is realizing its civically oriented goals. It will also
provide potential consumers of the IB DP—students, parents, educators, university
admissions officers, policy makers and others concerned with students’ civic
engagement—with information they can use to inform decisions about future investments
in the IB DP. Finally, it will provide the greater community of civic education
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researchers, practitioners, policy makers and advocates with information with which to
strengthen the movement to reintegrate the civic purposes of education in U.S. schools.
To address the gap in understanding of the civic value of the IB DP and to contribute
policy-relevant information to the IBO, potential IB DP program consumers and the
greater civic education community, this study addresses the following research questions:
RQ #1: What are the differences, if any, within schools between IB DP and non-IB DP
students in terms of level of socio-economic advantage and academic background?
RQ #2: To what extent and how does the IB DP curriculum, pedagogy and culture
promote development of students’ academic civic mindedness?
RQ #3: How do IB DP students perform on measures of academic civic mindedness?
RQ #4: How do IB DP teachers and students conceive of model citizenship? To what
extent and how does the IB DP curriculum, pedagogy and culture promote development
of students’ model citizenship?
RQ #5: How do IB DP teachers and students characterize differences between IB and
non-IB courses regarding the extent to which and how each develops students’ academic
civic mindedness and model citizenship?
RQ #6: What challenges limit teachers’ ability to prioritize development of IB DP
students’ academic civic mindedness and model citizenship?
The next section of the paper describes the research methods employed to address
these questions.
-8-
Research Design
The research employs a mixed-methods approach that focuses on IB DP instruction
and student outcomes at four schools that offer the IB DP in the state of California. I use
semi-structured teacher and student interview methods to address all of the research
questions and a student survey to address the second, third, fourth and fifth research
questions.
Sample
California, with a majority-minority, 25 percent foreign-born population and over 40
percent of households speaking a language other than English, is among the most racially
and culturally diverse state in the U.S. (U.S. Census, 2011). From a sheer numbers
perspective, California is an ideal state in which to conduct this study. Of 807 U.S.-based
IB DP’s operating in 2014, 89 (11 percent) are offered in California IB World Schools
and overall, approximately 1 in 8 U.S. students is educated in California schools.
Since civic education opportunities are greater and students’ civic outcomes are
stronger at more advantaged schools compared to less advantaged schools (Levinson,
2012b, Kahne & Middaugh, 2008), the primary consideration for selection into the school
sample was to include a range of average levels of student body socio-economic (SES)
advantage. In consultation with the IBO, I selected schools that serve a range of student
body proportions that are eligible to receive free or reduced price lunch (FRL). 2 I
collected the FRL data from the National Center of Education Statistics 2011-2012
Common Core of Data.
I include one school in the sample in which the majority of the student body is
eligible for FRL and describe this school as serving a less advantaged student body. At
two of the schools, close to half of the student body is eligible for FRL; these schools
serve a mixed-advantage student body (see school characteristics in Table 1). Finally, at
one school only a small proportion of the study body is eligible for FRL and I describe
this school as serving a more advantaged student body. NCES describes all sample
schools’ level of urbanicity as “large suburb” or “city.”
2
California schools, including those in the study, participate in the National School Lunch Program
(NSLP). According to NSLP regulations, FRL eligibility is determined in one or two ways: i) Families
have the opportunity to self-report their eligibility using the Household Eligibility Application and ii)
through the Direct Certification method, in which the California State Board of Education reports to school
districts all children who are part of families eligible for food stamps and/or the Temporary Assistance for
Needy Families program and these children are eligible for the lunch program (U.S. Department of
Agriculture, 2012).
-9-
Table 1: Sample school characteristics (n=4)
School ID
Approximate
percent Free/reducedlunch eligible
Approximate 2012
Base Academic
Performance Index
Length of IB World
School authorization
1
66
746
27 years
2
50
829
16 years
3
38
873
3 years
4
13
879
18 years
California state law established the Academic Performance Index (API) in 1999 as
part of the state’s K-12 public school accountability system. The API is a number on a
scale of 200 to 1000 that summarizes schools’ and districts’ group-level student
performance based on statewide assessments in multiple content areas. The state API
target is 800. Schools that do not meet that target must meet annual growth targets
leading toward 800. I use the 2012 Base measure of API for each sample school, which
is calculated based on Spring 2012 testing and was released in May 2013. (California
Department of Education, undated[a]) Each school’s API from the CA Department of
Education 2012 API school level reports Base API (California Department of Education,
undated[b]). In the sample schools there is an inverse relationship between the average
level of advantage of the student body and school-level academic performance.
The sample schools vary in the number of years they have been authorized as IB
World Schools to offer the DP, though only School 3 has offered the IB DP for less than
five years while the other three have been authorized for at least 15 years. All of the
schools offer the IB DP in addition to Advanced Placement (AP) and College Prep (CP)
courses. In one of the schools, teachers teach IB courses—with the exception of TOK and
CAS—in combination with AP courses. In all sample schools, IB students comprise a
minority of the overall high school population and the majority of IB students participate
in the IB DP as diploma candidates rather “IB course takers” who take IB courses in an
ad-hoc fashion.
The IBO sent an initial letter of introduction to the selected schools that expressed its
support for the study. A follow-up letter explained the project details, highlighted
schools’ and participants’ rights as research subjects, and requested a phone conversation
with the IB Coordinator.
The IB Coordinators selected IB teachers and students to participate in the study. It
was requested that selected teachers collectively teach CAS, TOK, History of the
Americas and English. Across schools, within the IB DP, IB teachers typically take on
various roles. For example, a teacher might serve as Coordinator and teacher History
- 10 -
courses or teach science courses and TOK or teach English courses and direct the CAS
program. In most schools, there was only a limited choice of teaching staff who would
logically participate in the study.
A total of 15 teachers participated in the study, three per school at Schools 1, 3 and 4
and six at School 3. Most teachers held multiple roles, including: IB Coordinator (n=4),
CAS Coordinator (n=4), English teacher (n=4), TOK teacher (n=4), History of the
Americas teacher (n=1), EE advisor (n=2) and IB chemistry or biology teacher (n=3).
With just one exception, all teachers in the sample also have current or recent non-IB
teaching responsibilities. Without exception, no sample teachers have experience
teaching IB outside of their current school.
IB Coordinators were asked to select students who represent a range of levels of
success and effort. A total of 24 students participated in the study, five at Schools 2 and
4, six at School 1 and eight at School 3. I provide more detail about the student sample
below.
Measures
The data collection instruments include semi-structured interview protocols for
students and teachers and a student survey. Interview protocols and survey items were
pilot-tested on two teachers and two students and revised accordingly based on their
responses.
Student interview protocol
A challenge inherent to asking people direct questions about citizenship is that the
idea of citizenship means different things to different people. To surmount this challenge,
the protocol first briefly talked through the idea that citizenship means different things to
different people. For example, some people equate citizenship with voting, others with
recycling, others with following laws and rules, others with fighting for individual rights
and others with issues of legal documentation. Then, in order to avoid the need to
explicitly provide a singular definition of citizenship, the protocol followed Westheimer
and Kahne (2004, p. 247) by, "asking participants to identify and discuss particular social
issues that are important to them… encouraging them to describe their perspective on the
nature of the problems, the causes and possible ways of responding… [and] to describe
ways in which their participation in [the IB Diploma Programme] might have altered
their attitudes, knowledge or skills in relation to those issues". It first asked students to
think about a problem that is important to them, possible ways to address the problem and
the knowledge, skills and attitudes necessary to address the problem. Then it asked a
series of questions about the extent to which students feel that they develop the
“necessary” knowledge, skills and attitudes through the IB DP and through what means,
- 11 -
including curriculum, pedagogy, classroom and climate. It also asks students to compare
DP versus non-DP course development of their “necessary” knowledge, skills and
attitudes. It asks students to provide examples that substantiate all of their responses. See
the semi-structured student interview protocol in Appendix A.
Teacher interview protocol
The semi-structured teacher interview protocol first asks about the DP and non-DP
courses teachers teach and then the socio-economic status and academic background of
the majority of their DP as compared to non-DP students. Then, following Westheimer &
Kahne (2004) it poses questions roughly equivalent to those included in the student
protocol. As with the student protocol, the teacher protocol does not define citizenship
because the idea means different things to different people. The teacher protocol asks
teachers to think about a social issue that is important to their students, the knowledge,
skills and attitudes necessary to address that issue and the curricular, pedagogical and
climate-based means through which the DP attempts to develop that knowledge, skills
and attitudes. The teacher protocol also asks about barriers to developing these
“necessary” knowledge, skills and attitudes. See the teacher interview protocol in
Appendix B.
Student survey
I administered the online, 15 minute survey to students individually immediately after
conducting each interview.
The survey includes six categories of items that address students’:
• Civic skills: Familiarity with effective advocacy techniques
• Civic knowledge: of US government and public policy
• Citizenship orientation: Participatory, personally responsible and social justice
orientations
• Civic education exposure: experience with high-quality civic-education
practices
• Means: Estimation of the means through which students developed the
knowledge, skills and attitudes addressed in the survey
• Background: Demographics and education background
With the exception of the “means” category, the survey only includes items that have
been administered as part of other surveys to fairly large populations of high schoolenrolled 17 and 18 year olds. Other researchers have demonstrated the internal
consistency of these items with large student samples. The student survey is provided in
Appendix C. Further information about survey measurement of each construct, including
sources, item lists and internal consistency is provided in Appendix D.
- 12 -
Civic Skills: Familiarity with effective advocacy techniques
To measure students’ familiarity with “effective advocacy techniques,” a part of the
IBO project’s definition of “academic civic mindedness,” I use a scale administered as
part of the California Survey of Civic Education (Kahne, Middaugh & Coddy, 2005).
This measure asks students how well they think they would be able to execute a series of
eight civic skills in response to a concrete problem in their community (all survey items
in Table 2).
Table 2: Student survey construct details
Construct
Source
Item list
Civic skills
California
Survey of
Civic
Education
(Kahne,
Middaugh
& Coddy,
2005)
If you found out about a problem in
your community that you wanted to
do something about (for example,
high levels of lead were discovered
in the local drinking water), how
well do you think you would be able
to do each of the following (I
definitely can’t, I probably can’t, I
probably can or I definitely can)?
• Create a plan to address the
problem.
• Get other people to care
about the problem.
• Organize and run a meeting.
• Express your views in front
of a group of people.
• Identify individuals or
groups who could help you
with the problem.
• Call someone on the phone
that you have never met
before to get their help with
solving the problem.
• Contact an elected official
about the problem.
• Organize a petition.
- 13 -
Flanagan et al.
(2007) internal
consistency
IB sample
internal
consistency
0.90
0.79
Civic
knowledge
Civic
knowledge
Center for
Information
and
Research on
Civic
Learning
and
Engagement
(CIRCLE)’s
2012 youth
voting
survey
•
•
•
•
Does the U.S. federal
government spend more on
Social Security or foreign
aid?
Which U.S. political party
is more conservative?
How much of a majority is
required for the U.S. Senate
and House to override a
Presidential veto?
Which of the following best
describes who is entitled to
vote in federal elections?
The
The NAEP items require students to
National
draw from their civic knowledge to:
Assessment
• Identify a violation of the
of
Fifth Amendment
Education
• Know that the Constitution
Progress
does not describe
(NAEP)
Presidential budget
2010
responsibilities
twelfth
• Understand the
grade civics
circumstances of the
assessment
Fourteenth Amendment
• Understand the argument
for the positive role that
lobbyists can play in U.S.
politics
• Identify an argument used
by critics of the Articles of
Confederation
• Identify how the federal
system encourages the
growth of interest groups
Citizenship Westheimer
Please indicate your agreement
orientation: & Kahne,
with the following statements
Participatory 2004
(Strongly Disagree, Disagree,
Slightly Disagree, Slightly Agree,
Agree, Strongly Agree):
- 14 -
Not applicable
Not
applicable
Not applicable
Not
applicable
0.82
0.90
•
•
•
•
Citizenship
orientation:
Personally
responsible
Westheimer •
& Kahne,
2004
•
•
•
•
•
•
Citizenship
orientation:
Social
justice
Westheimer •
& Kahne,
2004
•
•
Being actively involved in state
and local issues is my
responsibility
Being concerned with national,
state and local issues is an
important
responsibility for everybody.
Everyone should be involved in
working with community
organizations and local
government on issues that affect
the community
I think it is important to be
involved in improving my
community.
I think people should assist
those in their lives who are most
in need of help.
I think it's important for people
to follow the rules and laws.
I try to help when I see people
in need.
I am willing to help others
without being paid.
I feel personally responsible for
keeping the community clean
and safe.
I try to be kind to other people.
I think it’s important to tell the
truth.
I think it’s important to
challenge inequalities in society.
I think it’s important to think
critically about laws and
government.
I think it’s important to protest
when something in society
needs changing.
- 15 -
0.89
0.83
0.81
0.79
•
•
When thinking about problems
in society, it is important to
focus on the underlying causes.
I think it’s important to buy
products from socially
responsible businesses.
I think it’s important to work for
positive social change.
Civic Knowledge
The choice of items to include as measures of students’ “knowledge of U.S.
government and public policy”—the other part of the IBO’s “academic civic
mindedness” construct—is challenging. There is no widespread agreement on what
exactly the construct of “civic knowledge” should encompass. Knowledge domains, for
example, might include what students should be expected to know given their IB DP
coursework or what U.S. twelfth graders should expected to know after successful
completion of a U.S. Government course. Given time limitations, the survey prioritizes
the possibility of comparing the sample IB students’ responses to those of other student
populations on particular knowledge items over trying to fully capture a knowledge
domain.
The knowledge items included in the survey are from two sources, the Center for
Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement (CIRCLE)’s 2012 youth
voting survey and the National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP) 2010 twelfth
grade civics assessment.
Citizenship orientation: participatory, personally responsible and social justice
To measure students’ “model citizenship” the survey uses three scales that Kahne and
co-authors have used to measure students’ civic orientations in previous studies
(Westheimer & Kahne, 2004; Kahne, Middaugh & Coddy, 2005; Kahne & Sporte, 2008).
The online survey used in the present study randomizes the order of the 17 items for each
student in an attempt to rule out the possibility that students could guess how the items
“should” fit together and answer correspondingly in a socially desirable way.
Civic education exposure
A 2010 NAEP civics item stem is used to measure the types of high quality civic
education practices that the Civic Mission of Schools recommends (Gould, 2011). The
item asks students how often they engage in discussion of current events, debates,
simulations and letter writing in the following contexts: through the IB DP including DPrelated extracurricular activities; through non-IB DP courses and non-IB DP
- 16 -
extracurricular activities; informally with IB DP peers; and informally with non-IB DP
peers.
Means
The survey asks students to estimate the means through which they developed the
knowledge, skills and attitudes they drew from to answer the survey questions. Response
possibilities included the IB DP, non-IB DP courses and extracurricular activities and
non-school sources. Other response options include, “I don’t know” or “I don’t have the
knowledge, skills or attitudes.”
Background
Finally students are asked to report their age, gender, ethnicity, whether either or both
parents were born outside of the U.S., and mother’s and father’s educational attainment.
The survey also asks students about their intention to enroll in college next year,
frequency of discussion of political issues with their parent(s), approximate grade point
average (GPA), and whether they previously enrolled in IB Primary Years and/or Middle
Years Programmes.
Analytic methods
Qualitative analysis
All interviews were conducted in English. Parents of students under 18 years of age
provided consent for their child to participate in the study. Interviews with teachers and
students took approximately 30 and 20 minutes each, respectively. Participants were
asked and gave permission to record the interviews.
Notes and audio files were used to create detailed summaries of each interview,
following the template strategy approach to facilitate comparability across case study
sites (Marshall & Rossman, 2006). The templates are based on the interview protocols
and enable organization of the information into individual summaries. The analysis
yielded 39 summary documents, including 24 student interview summaries and 15 IB DP
teacher summaries.
Next, summaries were transferred into a single Excel file to organize the qualitative
data from all four schools and to further organize the data into more detailed categories.
Example categories include, “skills needed,” “skills IB DP provides,” “student issues of
interest,” “IB versus non-IB,” “Teacher experience,” and “Barriers for teachers.”
Finally, the information was summarized into analytic memos on each of the
interview protocol topics and on cross-topic themes. These memos served as the basis for
the presented results I present.
- 17 -
Quantitative analysis
The small sample size of 24 students in four schools constrained the range of analytic
possibilities. Quantitative results for the survey are purely descriptive and are provided
only across schools because school-specific sample sizes are too small to make betweenschool comparisons.
- 18 -
Limitations
There are several limitations to the validity of the results presented in this paper. The
first internal validity threat is that all results are contingent upon students’ decision to
enroll in the IB DP. Unlike an experimental evaluation of the IB DP “treatment,” students
were not randomly assigned to the IB DP. Students who choose to enroll in the IB DP
likely differ from those who do not in important measured and unmeasured ways.
Therefore all findings are contingent not only on the IB DP itself, but on the composition
of the students who enroll. The second internal validity threat is that all interview and
survey data are reported from the perspective of individual teachers and students so are
subject to the limitations of self-report data. The third internal validity threat is that in
qualitative research, the researchers’ presence affects their participants’ behaviors and
responses. This concern could be even stronger when interviewing teenagers, because of
perceived age and power differences (Marshall & Rossman, 2006). Though all research
subjects gave informed consent, it is possible that they modified their answers to our
research questions and/or would have answered differently in a non-research setting.
There are three external validity threats. First, findings from the four sample schools
are not representative of all Californian schools that offer the IB DP. Second, selection of
IB teachers and students was necessarily left to the IB coordinators and school directors,
which could bias the results. Third, the very small sample, both in terms of number of
sites and respondents, considerably limits the generalizability of the findings.
The small student sample size (n=24) poses further limitations to the types of
analyses that are possible.
A final limitation is that the survey did not measure knowledge of public policy
because of the decision to only include in the survey items that have been administered as
part of other surveys to similarly aged samples of twelfth grade students with available
validity and reliability information. Assessing knowledge of current public policy is
typically time sensitive, so is infrequently measured in such surveys (Niemi, 2012).
- 19 -
Results
RQ #1: Description of the student sample and differences between IB and non-IB
students within schools
Though the student sample is too small to use the background statistics to inform the
quantitative analysis, survey responses provide a description of the student sample. All
students in the sample are in twelfth grade and data collection took place in January, by
virtue of which most are seventeen or eighteen years old. The survey asks about age to
confirm that most are in fact seventeen or eighteen so that comparisons to the California
Civic Survey, CIRCLE and NAEP samples will be age-appropriate. The average age of
students in the sample is 17.3 years (see Table 3).
Table 3: IB students’ demographic characteristics and family backgrounds (n=24)
Frequency
Percent
Gender
Male
Female
Race
White
Black
Hispanic
Asian
Mother's Educational Attainment
Some high school
High school graduate
Some college
4-year college graduate
Masters
PhD
Parental birthplace
Mother born outside the U.S.
Father born outside the U.S.
Both parents born outside the U.S.
Both were born in the U.S.
Missing
Age (n=21)
9
15
38
63
2
2
8
12
8
8
33
50
3
0
6
9
6
0
13
0
25
38
25
0
3
2
13
5
1
Mean=17.3
(SD=0.6)
13
8
54
21
4
- 21 -
Notes: Due to rounding, percentages can equal greater than 100 per cent. One of the students
identified as half-Hispanic, half-White and is categorized as Hispanic.
Gender differences in political participation have been persistent, especially regarding
more formal forms of political participation (Hooghe & Stolle, 2004). Girls compose just
over 60 percent of the sample.
Student ethnicity, parental birthplace and parental education—which serves as an
imperfect proxy for individual students’ socio-economic status—are important because of
the civic engagement gap between minority, immigrant and economically disadvantaged
students on the one hand, and white, native born and SES-advantaged students on the
other (Levinson, 2012b). Overall, over 80 percent of the sample IB students are minority
(n=22), with 44 percent of students identifying as Asian, 26 percent Hispanic and 7
percent African American/Black. For 20 percent (n=5) of students both parents were
U.S.-born and for 75 percent one or both parents were born outside the U.S.
Two-thirds (n=10) of teachers think that within their school, IB and non-IB students’
SES is comparable (see Table 4). These teacher perceptions suggest that across the
sample schools the IB DP program is accessible to students regardless of SES.
Table 4: By school, frequencies of teachers' perceptions of IB and non-IB students’ socioeconomic and academic backgrounds (n=15)
Socio-economic difference
Academic difference
Higher
Same
Lower
Higher
Same
Lower
SES in
SES in
SES in
Don't
in IB
in IB
in IB
No
School
IB than IB and IB than Know
than
and
than
Response
non-IB
non-IB non-IB
non-IB non-IB non-IB
1
2
1
3
2
3
3
3
2*
3
1
4
2
4
1
2
2
1
* These two teachers indicated that socio-economic differences between IB and non-IB differs
by grade; for 11th grade, the SES status is the same and 12th grade, the SES status is higher for IB
than non-IB.
Student survey responses about their parents’ educational attainment indicate that for
the majority, either or both parents have at least some college education (responses for
mother’s and father’s educational attainment are highly correlated). According to
students, nearly 80 percent of IB students’ mothers have attained at least some college
education and only 11 percent had not graduated from high school. As an imperfect
proxy for family SES, these responses indicate that on average in the sample, IB students
are not from impoverished family backgrounds.
- 22 -
The survey asks about students’ grade point average (GPA) and college intentions
because there is a strong relationship between educational attainment and civic
participation (Kahne & Middaugh, 2008; Nie, Junn & Stehlik-Barry, 1996). Students
included in the survey sample, on average, reported a GPA of over 4.0, indicating strong
overall academic performance. The vast majority of students intend to attend a 4-year
college (96 percent) with just one student unsure (see Table 5).
Table 5: IB students’ educational backgrounds and aspirations (n=24)
Frequency
Percent
5
1
21
4
3
12
3
13
50
13
23
0
1
96
0
4
Pre-IB DP preparation
Middle Years Programme (MYP) only
Both PYP and MYP
A non-MYP 9th and 10th grade IB DP
prep
No formal IB DP prep
Missing
Intention to enroll in college next year
4-year
No
Undecided
Frequency of political discussion with parents
Daily
1-3 times per week
1-3 times per month
Occasionally
Never
4
7
3
5
5
Mean=4.1
GPA (n=21)
(S.D.=0.5)
Notes: Due to rounding, percentages can equal greater than 100 per cent.
17
29
13
21
21
Over two-thirds of the teachers (n=12) indicated that IB students tend to have
stronger academic backgrounds than their non-IB counterparts. Since IB is known for its
rigorous requirements, this strength of IB students’ academic backgrounds is most likely
attributable to selection bias.
The student survey asks about frequency of conversations with parents about political
issues because of the documented relationship between these conversations and civic
outcomes (i.e. Sporte & Kahne, 2008; Torney-Purta, Amadeo, et al, 2007). Sporte &
Kahne (2008), for example, find in the Chicago Public Schools context that discussion of
current events and politics with parents is strongly related to commitment to civic
participation as measured with the same Westheimer and Kahne scale used in this study.
Close to half of the IB sample discusses political issues with his/her family at least once a
- 23 -
week, though 20 percent report only occasional discussion and 20 percent report never
discussing political issues with parents.
Finally, of those with official IB preparation, five students—all from the same
school—previously participated in the Middle Years Programme (MYP) only and just
one participated in both the Primary Years Programme and MYP. Three students
participated in a non-MYP 9th and 10th grade IB DP preparatory program.
RQ #2: IB DP development of students’ academic civic mindedness
Following the IBO’s project description (IBO 2013, p. 1), “academic civic
mindedness” includes, “student knowledge of the U.S. system of government, public
policy and effective advocacy techniques.”
Knowledge of U.S. government
Students’ and teachers’ interview responses indicate that the IB DP curriculum does
not strongly emphasize development of students’ knowledge specific to the U.S. system
of government. A minority of teachers and students were able to articulate the knowledge
necessary to understand government functioning, however, they did not provide specific
examples of how the DP curriculum develops this knowledge.
In response to interview questions about the knowledge students need to actively
address a broad spectrum of political and social issues, five teachers and six students say
they need to understand the legal context and how government works. Two teachers
further commented that students should understand the balance of power between federal
and state levels and between citizens and the government. No interviewees, however,
described the curriculum or pedagogy of any DP courses as placing a specific emphasis
on building their direct knowledge of how the U.S. system of government works. A
history teacher explained that since knowledge of how the U.S. government works is
typically not assessed in the Diploma exams, he does not focus on it, though he has found
that when he does dedicate a day or two to discussing the U.S. system of government, his
students are very interested.
Though the interview results indicate that the DP curriculum does not directly
emphasize factual knowledge of U.S. government functioning, several teachers and
students pointed out that students have the opportunity to research topics that interest
them for their TOK presentations, EE and CAS projects.
Knowledge of U.S. public policy
All teachers and students (n=39) provided examples of ways in which IB DP
curriculum and pedagogy promotes knowledge of U.S. public policy issues. In total
students and teachers mentioned 28 separate public policy issues. The most frequently
- 24 -
mentioned issues included education quality and equality (n=7), gay rights (n=5) and
immigration reform (n=5).
Interview data indicate that the top three IB DP courses through which students
develop knowledge of U.S. public policy are TOK, History of the Americas and English.
Across schools, seven teachers and 23 students reported that TOK teachers focus on
developing students’ ability to consider multiple perspectives on a topic through
discussion of U.S. public policy issues. A total of 14 interviewees responded that students
develop knowledge of public policy issues in the History of the Americas course through,
as two students described, “studying topics with social and historical relevance” and
“learning how past issues were resolved, which is helpful for implementing change.” The
same number responded that students learn about public policy issues through study of
literature in IB English courses. One English teacher described teaching the social justice
ideas of marginalization and universal human rights through literature about apartheid.
Another English teacher shared the example of teaching about racism and discrimination
through Toni Morrison’s Beloved.
Students did not mention foreign languages as a dominant means through which they
learn about public policy issues, except for one school where interviewed students
mentioned their Spanish class as among their most policy-relevant IB courses. Students
and teachers across the four schools also mentioned that IB students’ knowledge of
public policy relevant to their EEs or CAS projects is student-driven (n=8). Finally, three
students and two teachers provided examples of addressing public policy issues in
mathematics or science courses, for example, the health- and social-implications of the
use and sale of marijuana.
Understanding of effective advocacy techniques
The interview data suggest that the DP strongly promotes students’ understanding of
effective advocacy techniques through development of the skills necessary to execute
advocacy activities.
In response to the interview question on the skills students need to address the social
and political issues they care about, across students and teachers the most common
responses included: oral communication (n=29 mentions); interpersonal skills including
listening, patience, flexibility, intercultural sensitivity, diplomacy and ability to
compromise and negotiate (n=24); written communication (n=23); collaboration or
teamwork (n=10); ability to organize activities, information and time (n=10); leadership
(n=8); persuasion (n=8); thinking skills including critical thinking, creativity, intellectual
humility and respectful questioning (n=8); research skills including close reading and
source evaluation (n=7) and consideration of alternative perspectives (n=5). A teacher
summarized these skills as, “the 21st century skills we are struggling to teach all
students.” Indeed, this list of skills overlaps to a significant extent with most lists of “21st
- 25 -
century skills” that students need for success in college and careers (i.e. AT21CS,
undated; Saavedra & Opfer, 2012; Wagner, 2008). These responses indicate that students
and teachers believe that successful implementation of civic advocacy activities requires
“21st century skills” competence.
DP development of students’ advocacy skills
According to all student and teacher interviews (100%), the DP’s heavy pedagogical
reliance on discussions, debates, oral presentations, written assignments and teamwork,
enables students to develop many of the skills necessary for civic engagement. Teachers
commented as follows:
“IB compels students to consider other ways of thinking and articulate in
written and oral form. Internal and external assessments promote
communication skills. Close reading, understanding of tone and
understanding authors’ backgrounds are critical to being an informed
citizen.”
“Discussions and debates help to develop communication and
presentation skills, which also develops open-mindedness and general
involvement,”
“Presentations and discussions develop effective communication skills,
collaboration.”
Students expressed similar sentiments about the relationship between IB pedagogy
and skill development. Their comments include the following:
“IB has debates, discussions, simulations, which help students feed off of
others’ ideas, creating better awareness and more skills.”
“Through oral presentations, group projects, study groups develop
interpersonal and communication skills that we don’t develop through
lectures.”
“Through IB I learned to lead group projects, share opinions, consider
others’ perspectives and express views without offending others.”
Interviewees most frequently mentioned TOK (n=21), IB English (n=17) and CAS
(n=18) contributions to developing students’ communication, interpersonal, perspectivetaking and thinking skills. Regarding TOK and English, students explain that,
“My TOK presentation built perspective-taking, public speaking skills,
speaking accurately. English oral commentaries build verbal and analytic
skills.”
“TOK develops leadership skills and interpersonal relations, other IB
classes do too.”
- 26 -
Regarding other IB DP courses’ development of skills necessary for civic engagement,
five interviewees each mentioned History and the Extended Essay, and three mentioned
additional language courses. Only two interviewees (one teacher and one student)
mentioned IB mathematics or sciences courses as opportunities to develop civic skills.
CAS development of students’ civic skills
The IBO defines Creativity to include, “arts and other experiences that involve
creative thinking,” Action to include, “physical exertion contributing to a healthy
lifestyle,” and Service as, “an unpaid and voluntary exchange that has a learning benefit
for the student (IBO, 2008b, p.11). Students must successfully fulfill their CAS
requirements to earn the Diploma—successful completion is determined through
students’ documentation of their activities and demonstration of engagement with eight
specified learning outcomes.
Students can develop the skills necessary for civic engagement through CAS, though
the extent to which they do seems to depend on both the way the school organizes the
CAS program and individual students’ level of motivation. In the best-case scenario,
exemplified at one sample school, students’ CAS experience is a mission-based project
through which students actively address a social topic about which they are passionate
about effecting change. They start with an issue they may have learned about through
TOK or other DP course discussions. They develop and execute a comprehensive project
plan, beginning with a mission statement, including plans for time management, resource
management and expected outcomes and follow through to a major culminating goal.
This version of the CAS experience is explicitly not about counting hours, and students’
meetings with their CAS coordinators are outcomes focused, not time focused.
At this school, all the teachers and all but one student reported that CAS develops
useful skills. Within the careful structure of the best-case scenario CAS, most students
seem to find a project they care about and develop valuable project management skills
that will serve them well as citizens and in their careers. Students at the best-case
scenario school described starting a club to promote recognition of the rights of
intellectually disabled students, engaged in a project to beautify an elementary school,
started a peer-counseling program and advocated for animal rights culminating with an
animal adoption event. For each project, according to student interviews, they started
with an issue they were passionate about (educational improvement, student emotional
struggles, animal rights), created a detailed work-plan including goals and action steps to
reach those goals, communicated their ideas to adults and peers from whom they needed
support (including elementary school and high school principals and shelter staff),
collaborated with others, persisted through setbacks, reflected on their personal growth,
executed a culminating event and earned the satisfaction of reaching their goals.
- 27 -
In comparison, at the three other schools, a small minority of interviewees described
CAS as a means through which students develop the skills necessary for civic
engagement (one student and one teacher each at two schools and three students but no
teachers at another). In the worst-case scenario, students and teachers see CAS solely
through the lens of counting hours, such that according to a teacher, a student would
“count” the hours he/she already spent on the soccer team to fulfill the CAS commitment.
Except for the school with well-structured CAS program, student comments about
CAS were mixed and indicated that, “CAS can be meaningful if you are passionate about
the activity and getting something out of the experience. If you are not, it’s about logging
hours.” Without a strong CAS structure and self-motivation, students could fail to engage
with their CAS project and correspondingly not develop useful skills. That said, even
when the CAS structure promotes hour counting as the chief outcome, some students
with strong self-motivation positively harness their experience. For example, three
students in the program their teacher described as “hour-counting” explained the value
they had gained through CAS including, “Thinking about the learning outcomes,”
“Learning the perspectives of others in the community,” and “Being forced to volunteer.”
Student experience with civic education “best practices” through the IB DP
Student survey responses quantify the extent to which they feel they engage through
the IB DP in the sorts of educational activities that develop the skills necessary for civic
engagement (Gould, 2011). Close to 100 percent reported that they discuss current events
at least once a week through the DP, 60 percent of which do so daily (see Table 6). The
majority (70 percent) of students also report that they debate in the DP at least weekly
and that simulations, though occurring at somewhat less frequency, take place at least
once a month. Only letter writing takes place in the IB DP with notably less frequency,
with a quarter of the IB students indicating that they do so just a few times a year and 45
percent indicating they never write letters. 3 The respective frequencies of IB students’
discussion of current events, debating and simulations formally through the DP are
similar to those that students report they engage in informally with their DP peers.
3
A possible explanation for the infrequent letter-writing responses may be semantic. While the survey
maintained the item language to ensure comparability with NAEP, students may not have considered letters
to include those sent through email.
- 28 -
Table 6: Students views on civic education “best practices” (n=24)
Almost
1-2
every times
day
week
% (#) % (#)
NAEP (Percentages only)
*Discussion of current events
*Debates or panel discussions
*Role-playing, mock trials or dramas
*Write a letter to share an opinion or
help solve a problem
Through the IB DP including DPrelated extracurricular activities:
*Discussion of current events
*Debates
*Simulations
*Write a letter to share an opinion or
help solve a problem
Informally with your IB DP peers:
*Discussion of current events
*Debates
*Simulations
*Write a letter to share an opinion or
help solve a problem
Through non-IB DP courses and
extracurricular activities:
*Discussion of current events
*Debates
*Simulations
*Write a letter to share an opinion or
help solve a problem
Once
or
twice a
month
% (#)
A
few
times
a
year
% (#)
Never
% (#)
Missing
% (#)
0
0
0
0
30
8
3
32
16
4
19
23
12
10
22
26
8
31
55
1
3
7
20
70
58 (14)
38 (9)
8 (2)
38 (9)
33 (8)
29 (7)
0 (0)
21 (5)
33 (8)
4 (1)
4 (1)
21 (5)
0 (0)
4 (1)
8 (2)
4 (1)
4 (1)
13 (3)
29 (7) 46 (11)
4 (1)
50 (12)
63 (15)
8 (2)
33 (8)
29 (7)
29 (7)
8 (2)
0 (0)
17 (4)
8 (2)
4 (1)
13 (3)
0 (0)
4 (1)
33 (8)
0 (0)
0 (0)
0 (0)
0 (0)
8 (2)
8 (2)
8 (2)
75 (18)
0 (0)
4 (1)
8 (2)
4 (1)
21 (5)
8 (2)
0 (0)
33 (8)
17 (4)
17 (4)
8 (2) 29 (7)
13 (3) 50 (12)
25 (6) 50 (12)
4 (1)
4 (1)
4 (1)
0 (0)
0 (0)
8 (2)
8 (2)
79 (19)
4 (1)
25 (6)
17 (4)
4 (1)
21 (5)
17 (4)
4 (1)
38 (9)
29 (7)
17 (4)
0 (0)
8 (2)
8 (2)
13 (3)
25 (6)
63 (15)
4 (1)
4 (1)
4 (1)
0 (0)
0 (0)
8 (2)
8 (2)
79 (19)
4 (1)
0 (0)
0 (0)
0 (0)
Informally with your non-IB DP peers:
*Discussion of current events
*Debates
*Simulations
*Write a letter to share an opinion or
help solve a problem
Students report engaging in discussion of current events, debates, simulations and
letter writing with much less frequency during non-IB courses and extracurricular
activities and with their non-DP peers. For example, only 25 percent of students reported
- 29 -
discussing current events at least weekly in their non-IB courses and the majority rarely
or never debate or engage in simulations in their non-IB courses or with their non-IB
peers. The infrequency of civic education best practices in non-IB courses and
extracurricular activities, for the most part, mirrors the national trend with the exception
of current events—approximately 60 percent of the national sample reports classroom
discussion of current events at least weekly.
RQ #3: IB DP students’ academic civic mindedness performance
The student survey measured students’ knowledge of U.S. government using four
CIRCLE and six NAEP items. The survey also measured students’ comfort implementing
eight advocacy techniques and where students believe they developed most of the
knowledge, skills and attitudes measured in the survey.
Compared to the nationally representative CIRCLE and NAEP samples, higher
proportions of students in the IB sample answered nine of the ten questions correctly. At
least three-quarters of the IB students reported that they “probably can” or “definitely
can” implement each of the eight advocacy activities. Finally, two-thirds of students
estimate that they learned most of the knowledge tested in the survey through the IB DP.
Nearly half estimate that they gained the skills necessary to implement the eight
advocacy activities through the IB DP.
Knowledge of U.S. government
Compared to the CIRCLE national sample of high school enrolled or recently
graduated 18 year olds, the proportion of IB students scoring correctly on each of the four
CIRCLE items was greater by approximately twenty percentage points. Across the four
items, on average 74 percent of IB students scored correctly compared to just 51 of
CIRCLE students (see Table 7).
Table 7: Comparisons of student knowledge with NAEP and CIRCLE samples (% correct)
Does the federal government spend more on Social Security
or on foreign aid?
Which U.S. political party is more conservative?**
How much of a majority is required for the U.S. Senate and
House to override a Presidential veto?
Which of the following best describes who is entitled to
vote in federal elections?
- 30 -
IB DP
(N=24)
%
NAEP
(N=9,900)
%
CIRCLE*
(N=359)
%
54
--
37
96
--
73
71
--
47
75
--
48
In the given speech, Joseph McCarthy seems to ignore
constitutional rights granted by the ____ Amendment?
54
38
--
What is one responsibility that modern Presidents have that
54
44
-is NOT described in the Constitution?
Under what historical circumstances was the Fourteenth
83
59
-Amendment passed?
People who claim that lobbying is a positive force in
American politics often argue that lobbyists play an
46
34
-important role by ______?
Which of the following did critics of the Articles of
46
42
-Confederation consider the document’s greatest flaw?
The federal system encourages the growth of organized
50
55
-interest groups by _________?
*CIRCLE responses were from students who were 18 years old and either currently enrolled in
high school or had graduated from high school for appropriate comparison with IB DP students
(who have an average age of 17.29).
**This question was asked slightly differently on the CIRCLE survey, which simply asked if one
political party was more conservative than the other
The proportion of IB students scoring correctly on each of the NAEP items (56
percent) is also higher than the national population (45 percent). The only exception is in
response to the question that asks how the federal system encourages the growth of
organized interest groups, to which 50 and 55 per cent of the IB and NAEP samples
responded correctly.
Regarding IB students’ absolute performance on the knowledge items, in response to
five of the six items, approximately half of the IB student sample answered correctly. The
majority (83 percent) of IB students responded correctly to just one item, which asked
about the historical circumstances that facilitated the passage of the Fourteenth
Amendment.
Comfort implementing effective advocacy techniques
The vast majority of students indicated that they probably or definitely can
accomplish each of the eight advocacy activities (see Table 8). Over half of the students
responded that they definitely can “express views in front of a group of people,” and
“Call someone on the phone that you have never met before to get their help solving the
problem.” The only activities that more than four students think they “probably cannot”
execute are “contacting an elected official about the problem” and “organizing a
petition”—and even with those, no students said that they “definitely cannot.”
- 31 -
Table 8: Student self-assessment of skills related to civic engagement (n=24)
Create a plan to address the
problem.
Get other people to care about the
problem.
Organize and run a meeting.
Express your views in front of a
group of people.
Identify individuals or groups
who could help you with the
problem.
Call someone on the phone that
you have never met before to get
their help with solving the
problem.
Contact an elected official about
the problem.
Organize a petition.
I
definitel
y can't
% (#)
I
probably
can't
% (#)
I
probably
can
% (#)
I
definitel
y can
% (#)
Missing
% (#)
0 (0)
13 (3)
63 (15)
25 (6)
0 (0)
0 (0)
8 (2)
71 (17)
21 (5)
0 (0)
4 (1)
13 (3)
46 (11)
38 (9)
0 (0)
0 (0)
4 (1)
13 (3)
79 (19)
4 (1)
0 (0)
8 (2)
58 (14)
33 (8)
0 (0)
4 (1)
17 (4)
25 (6)
54 (13)
0 (0)
0 (0)
29 (7)
54 (13)
17 (4)
0 (0)
0 (0)
25 (6)
50 (12)
25 (6)
0 (0)
IB DP contribution to students’ academic civic mindedness
In response to the student survey question that asks, “Please describe how you gained
most of the knowledge addressed in this survey,” close to 70 per cent (n=16) of students
responded, “through the IB DP including DP-related extracurricular activities (see Table
9). Since the CIRCLE and NAEP knowledge items ask exclusively about U.S.
government (as opposed to addressing public policy issues), we can understand students’
responses to this survey question to mean that most students feel they have gained some
knowledge of U.S. government through the IB DP.
Table 9: Student reports of source of knowledge, skills and attitudes addressed in the
student survey (n=24)
Through IB DP including DP-related
extracurricular activities
Through non-IB DP courses or extracurricular
activities
From non-school sources
I don’t know/No response
- 32 -
Knowledge
% (#)
Skills
% (#)
Attitudes
% (#)
67 (16)
46 (11)
25 (6)
17 (4)
33 (8)
21 (5)
13 (3)
4 (1)
13 (3)
8 (2)
46 (11)
8 (2)
In response to the survey question that asks how IB develops the skills necessary to
engage civically, 11 of the students reported that they gained most of the advocacy skills
through the IB DP, eight through non-IB DP courses or extracurricular activities, three
from non-school activities and five said they don’t know how they acquired their skills.
These responses seem lower than expected given students’ interview responses about the
skills they believe they are acquiring through their IB DP participation and their surveyexpressed perceptions of the high frequency of the IB DP’s civic education best practices
implementation. A possible explanation is that students gain comfort with advocacy skills
through their participation in clubs and other extracurricular activities that they do not
consider DP activities, even if their involvement is technically part of their CAS
requirement.
RQ #4: IB DP development of students’ model citizenship
This study follows the Westheimer & Kahne (2004) participation, personally
responsible and social-justice citizen typology as a means of conceptualizing “model
citizenship.”
The interview and survey data suggest that individual teachers and students relate to
several citizenship types simultaneously. Teachers seem to most frequently identify with
participatory, followed by social justice and then personally responsible citizenship.
Student survey and interview results indicate that they most strongly relate to the social
justice type, followed by personal responsibility and then participatory citizenship.
According to the student and teacher interviews, the IB DP develops students’ model
citizenship through promoting their awareness of political and social issues, required
active engagement with a community issue and, to some extent, development of the
attitudes students deem necessary for civic engagement.
Teachers’ conceptions of model citizenship
A teacher’s personal civic orientation—and the strength of their conviction—can
affect the type of “model citizenship” they consciously or sub-consciously promote
through their teaching (i.e. Barton, 2012). As one teacher explained, the quality and
frequency of teachers’ citizenship-related teaching, “often relates to teachers backgrounds
and their own values, morals and sense of civic mindedness. If they aren’t present,
citizenship isn’t part of the teaching.”
Two-thirds (n=10) of the teachers said that they frequently and consciously attempt to
promote students’ awareness of local, state, national and/or international issues—a
critical feature of the participatory citizen—through their curriculum and pedagogy,
particularly through discussion of current events. All four TOK teachers attempt to
develop students’ concern with political and social issues, for example through
- 33 -
discussions of newspaper editorials and Op-eds to expose students to multiple
perspectives and the idea that people develop divergent opinions from the same set of
“facts.” All four IB English teachers provided examples of ways they promote discussion
of political and social issues including how to share resources, racism and gender
discrimination. Two CAS Coordinators’ comments also indicated their perspective that
CAS is a prominent means through which the IB DP promotes the ideal of the
participatory citizen who takes the step beyond awareness to actual civic engagement
with issues that affect the local or wider community.
A quarter (n=6) of the teachers’ comments suggest that they relate to the social justice
conception of citizenship. Three teach at one of the sample schools and the other three
teach across two other sample schools. At the school with the concentration of socialjustice oriented teachers, the DP Coordinator explained that,
“Their pre-IB summer reading assignment addresses social issues. Last summer
students read a book that addressed race relations, poverty, public health and
education, themes they discussed during the first weeks of IB. I impose a social
justice issue on the program, inequality of educational opportunities in Los
Angeles.”
At another school, an English teacher‘s interview responses emphasized the DP
“Power and Privilege” unit that encourages teachers to address differences between
marginalized and mainstream populations’ rights in the U.S. and in other countries, and a
biology teacher addresses the issues of equity of access to medicine and the social
implications of AIDS, particularly for areas in Africa where the disease has had the most
devastating effects. At a third school, the TOK teacher explains that, “IB promotes social
justice and political engagement… [though] it doesn’t happen institutionally or
systematically, rather happens on a teacher-to-teacher basis.”
A smaller proportion of teachers’ comments reflected a strong orientation to the
personally responsible conception of citizenship. A comment representative of the four
sample IB DP teachers who relate to the personally responsible conception, at least as
part of their conceptualization of model citizenship is, “For all students I should be
teaching subject matter and how to be a good person and community member. You can’t
prepare for college and career without also preparing for citizenship.”
Finally, at least to some extent, two teachers seemed to equate citizenship with
patriotism. One said that, “instead of developing citizenship through activities like
mandated Pledging Allegiance to the Flag, public schools should develop good thinkers
who question and doubt.” The other strongly critiqued the “anti-IB” idea that learning
about global issues and developing concern for others beyond national borders interferes
with students’ citizenship development.
- 34 -
Another way to assess the extent to which teachers identify with and strive to promote
participatory, personally responsible and/or social-justice oriented citizen types in their
IB DP students is to analyze the attitudes they believe students need to advocate on
behalf of political and social issues. Across schools, teachers responded that the most
important attitudes students need are empathy (n=6), confidence (n=5), motivation (n=4),
persistence (n=3), sense of efficacy (n=3), openmindedness (n=2) and optimism (n=2).
One teacher each also spoke of the importance of humility, tolerance and sense of
community. Empathy might relate most strongly to personal responsibility or social
justice. Openmindedness might also relate most strongly to social justice. The other
attitudes arguably apply equally to the three Westheimer and Kahne citizen types.
Student conceptions of model citizenship
Student survey responses indicate that they most strongly identify with a social justice
citizen orientation, such that 84 percent of students strongly agree or agree with
statements that describe the social justice orientation, 49 percent of which strongly agree
(see Table 10). In comparison, 70 percent of students strongly agree or agree with the
personal responsibility statements (38 percent strongly) and 65 percent with the
participatory statements (29 percent strongly). This is not to say that in the absolute,
sample students do not relate to participatory citizenship. On the contrary, in response to
the “participation item” that asks students to rate their agreement with the statement,
“Being actively involved in state and local issues is my responsibility,” only 8 percent of
the IB sample disagrees, compared to 53 percent of Californian twelfth graders who
responded to the California Civic Survey (Kahne, Middaugh & Croddy, 2005, p. 2). 4
Thus, while IB students in this study relate most strongly to the social justice orientation,
they also demonstrate strong agreement with the personally responsible and participatory
orientations.
4
Both samples responded to the same item.
- 35 -
Table 10: Students’ self-reported citizenship orientation (n=24)
Justice-Oriented Citizen
*I think it’s important to challenge
inequalities in society.
*I think it’s important to think critically
about laws and government.
*I think it’s important to protest when
something in society needs changing.
*When thinking about problems in society, it
is important to focus on the underlying
causes.
*I think it’s important to buy products from
socially responsible businesses.
*I think it’s important to work for positive
social change.
Participatory Citizen
*Being actively involved in state and local
issues is my responsibility.
*Being concerned with national, state and
local issues is an important responsibility for
everybody.
*Everyone should be involved in working
with community organizations and local
government on issues that affect the
community.
Strongly
Agree
% (#)
Agree
% (#)
Somewhat Somewhat
Agree
Disagree
% (#)
% (#)
Disagree
% (#)
Strongly
Disagree
% (#)
Missing
% (#)
50 (12)
33 (8)
13 (3)
0 (0)
4 (1)
0 (0)
0 (0)
58 (14)
29 (7)
13 (3)
0 (0)
0 (0)
0 (0)
0 (0)
38 (9)
33 (8)
25 (6)
0 (0)
0 (0)
0 (0)
4 (1)
50 (12)
42 (10)
8 (2)
0 (0)
0 (0)
0 (0)
0 (0)
13 (3)
46 (11)
25 (6)
4 (1)
13 (3)
0 (0)
0 (0)
63 (15)
25 (6)
13 (3)
0 (0)
0 (0)
0 (0)
0 (0)
21 (5)
8 (2)
58 (14)
0 (0)
4 (1)
4 (1)
4 (1)
25 (6)
33 (8)
33 (8)
4 (1)
0 (0)
4 (1)
0 (0)
17 (4)
50 (12)
29 (7)
0 (0)
0 (0)
4 (1)
0 (0)
- 36 -
*I think it is important to be involved in
improving my community.
Personally Responsible Citizen/Person
*I think people should assist those in their
lives who are most in need of help.
*I think it's important for people to follow the
rules and laws.
*I try to help when I see people in need.
*I am willing to help others without being
paid.
*I feel personally responsible for keeping the
community clean and safe.
*I try to be kind to other people.
*I think it’s important to tell the truth.
50 (12)
42 (10)
4 (1)
0 (0)
4 (1)
0 (0)
0 (0)
29 (7)
33 (8)
33 (8)
4 (1)
0 (0)
0 (0)
0 (0)
17 (4)
29 (7)
46 (11)
4 (1)
0 (0)
0 (0)
4 (1)
46 (11)
42 (10)
8 (2)
0 (0)
4 (1)
0 (0)
0 (0)
46 (11)
38 (9)
17 (4)
0 (0)
0 (0)
0 (0)
0 (0)
13 (3)
33 (8)
42 (10)
8 (2)
0 (0)
4 (1)
0 (0)
38 (9)
33 (8)
42 (10)
33 (8)
21 (5)
29 (7)
0 (0)
0 (0)
0 (0)
4 (1)
0 (0)
0 (0)
0 (0)
0 (0)
- 37 -
In agreement with the survey results, in response to the interview question asking
students to think of a social issue they were concerned about, most students responded
with a problem related to social justice. As Westheimer and Kahne (2004, p. 247) note,
whether students, “emphasize needs for individual morality, civic participation or
challenges to structures or social inequalities” sheds light on their citizenship orientation.
Students could have posed problems that indicated identification with participatory or
personally responsible citizenship and that according to teacher interviews they had
studied in the IB DP—like the Ukraine-Russia political situation, social media
regulations or gun control—though none did. The clear majority of students (n=20) chose
as their example an issue that indicated concern for social inequalities. Topics included:
world hunger; distribution of wealth and consequential poverty; inequitable education
access and quality; disability students’ rights; bullying; immigration reform; gay rights;
media disenfranchisement and misrepresentation; tolerance of other cultures and
religions; and racial and sexual discrimination. The only topics that students (n=4)
presented that seem less directly related to social inequalities (e.g., animal rights, the
2014 California water shortage and other environmental concerns).
This interview comments illustrates students’ social justice orientation: “Through
philosophical discussions of justice in TOK and IB Philosophy, students develop their
own definitions of citizenship.” Regarding the participatory orientation, most IB students
feel that they are more informed about social issues through IB than they would be
otherwise and that being informed makes them want to be involved. Representative
student comments include,
“I wouldn’t know about many social issues without IB.”
“Learning about social issues makes me want to try to address them. I didn’t care
about what was going on in the world before IB. IB makes you think outside of the
book. I wouldn’t be as involved if not for IB.”
Three students’ comments indicated identification with personally responsible
citizenship, for example, “IB promotes the ethics of social issues. Teachers try to develop
character, not just intellectual capacity.”
Range of student perceptions of IB development of model citizenship
Students’ comments about the extent to which they feel that IB develops model
citizenship fall on a continuum ranging from the belief that IB does nothing and students’
civic engagement is entirely self-driven to IB definitely promotes students’ citizenship.
Though not every student provided an explicit comment on the extent to which the DP
promotes citizenship, the perspectives of those that did fall into three categories. On one
- 38 -
side of the continuum, four students believe that the DP does not develop students’
citizenship. Comments included, “IB doesn’t explicitly develop any of the necessary
skills, knowledge and attitudes, its all about what the individual student brings.”
In the middle are two students who felt that students’ model citizenship development
results from an interaction between the individual student’s level of motivation and the
IB DP, such that “Civic ideals in IB are holistic and high-level, however, they sink in, in
part due to students’ personalities.”
Finally ten students feel that the IB DP promotes citizenship. Representative
comments include,
“IB helps students to be more civic human beings because it asks what we think
rather than just open the book and take notes.”
“IB is about being globally aware and encouraging civic engagement.”
Cross-model attitudes necessary for civic engagement
Analysis of the attitudes students believe are necessary to advocate on behalf of
political and social issues shows objectivity (n=8) at the top of the list, followed by
motivation (n=7), optimism (n=6), openmindedness (n=5), persistence (n=5), sense of
efficacy (n=3), empathy (n=2), confidence (n=2), and ability to compromise (n=2). One
student each mentioned the importance of humility and tolerance. These attitudes do not
seem to relate more strongly to one citizen orientation above another. However, they
suggest a closer look at the DP structural features that might develop students’ most
frequently mentioned “necessary” civic attitudes.
The ingrained cross-DP emphasis on seeking and understanding multiple perspectives
may affect students’ valuing of objectivity, openmindedness and ability to compromise.
Descriptive student comments include, “Exposure to issues where you have to analyze
and take a perspective helps to be openminded,”
IB DP structural features that develop students’ motivation include the choice to study
and engage in areas and projects of personal interest to them through EE, the TOK
project and CAS. As a student explained,
“The choice to address a topic you really care about builds motivation, as does
coping with stress and completing an enormous project. I have always been a
motivated person but IB develops it further.”
Other students explain that learning through non-textbook sources motivates students
because, for example,
“In IB you pull from previously discussed ideas, knowledge is not static, this is
very motivating.”
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For another student, motivation stems from feeling attention from her teachers,
“IB teachers pay attention to students, this builds motivation.”
Many students explained that the volume and rigor of the DP requirements as well as
the opportunities they provide help to develop their persistence, sense of efficacy and
confidence. Illustrative comments included,
“IB helps you feel that you can accomplish things, for example, past IB students
say IB helped them prepare for college, instilling confidence.”
“It was rewarding to see how we could effect change through CAS, at the same
time building optimism and trust among our team members.”
Though it is valuable to understand the attitudes students believe are necessary for
civic engagement and ways in which the IB DP develops those attitudes, in response to
the survey question that asks how they gained most of the attitudes addressed in the
survey, only six students responded “through the IB DP including DP-related
extracurricular activities.” Of the other 18 students, five reported “through non-IB DP
courses or extracurricular activities,” 11 through “non-school sources” and five “don’t
know.”
A possible interpretation of the survey results is that students did not equate the
questions intended to measure citizenship orientation with “attitudes.” Another possibility
for the disconnect between students’ interview and survey responses is that the interview
question prompts students to give examples of ways in which the IB DP may develop the
attitudes students need for civic engagement, which is different from providing an overall
rating about the source of attitudes. Regardless, the incongruity between the interview
and survey responses leads to the conclusion that the data are inconclusive as to whether
and the extent to which the IB DP promotes model citizenship.
RQ #5: IB compared to non-IB alternatives
Based on their experiences as students in non-IB high-school level courses, the
majority of students feel that IB curriculum, pedagogy and climate develop students’
academic civic mindedness and model citizenship to a greater extent than do the
alternative tracks, which are California College Prep (CP) and Advanced Placement (AP)
in the sample schools. An example student explains,
“In non-IB, you learn the material, take a test and that’s where it ends. In IB it’s more of a
circle, where you want to create well-rounded individuals, IB focuses on building up the
person. IB makes students more concerned about the community.”
- 40 -
Teachers responded similarly, for example, this quote encapsulates the common
sentiment that,
“Creating critical, thoughtful and reflective people is most important to developing
citizens. That doesn’t happen in non-IB classes.”
In response to the interview question that asked students and teachers to compare IB
versus non-IB on development of civic knowledge, skills and attitudes, 31 of 39
respondents’ comments indicated that IB places a stronger emphasis on civic
development than do the AP and CP alternatives.
Note that at one sample school, all IB courses—with the exception of TOK—are
offered as an IB/AP combination course. At that school, two out of five interviewed
students reported no difference between IB and AP. Of the other three students at this
school, two responded that TOK is the main difference between IB and non-IB
alternatives and one responded that teachers are more committed to IB students than to
non-IB students. Also from the combined IB/AP school, two of three teachers reported
that TOK is the main difference between IB and other options.
Across schools, three teachers indicated that curricular pacing is a primary reason for
why they feel it is possible to develop students’ citizenship through IB. A representative
comment is,
“IB offers more opportunity to build citizenship than AP because you have more
time, two years, with the kids—time to build trusting relationships, affect how they
behave, build a safe place for talking about things. In AP you are racing against the
clock the whole year. You could address citizenship for three weeks after the May
exams.”
Teacher comments specific to particular aspects of the IB curriculum that promote
citizenship more than other programs include,
“By virtue of EE alone, IB engages students more—because many non-IB students
graduate from high school without being able to write.”
“[The difference is like] night and day—nothing else on campus has CAS,
attempting to involve every kid on a community project.”
Student observations about the difference between IB and non-IB curriculum address
course purpose, instruction, community and teachers. Regarding differences between the
purpose of IB versus non-IB courses, students believe that IB courses have a greater
social focus than non-IB courses. Purpose-related comments include,
- 41 -
“Non-IB English focuses on technique and literature, not on society. Other non-IB
classes focus on standards, not social ideas.”
Instruction-related comments include,
“In AP and CP, students are expected to learn the curriculum, in IB you learn to
apply what you learn.”
In specific comparison to AP—a common alternative for IB students given its rigor—
11 (nine students and two teachers) respondents indicated that IB curriculum and
instruction develop thinking, transfer of skills and knowledge and love of learning for its
own sake, compared to the AP emphasis on test preparation and “regurgitation,” through
the lecture, book and test instructional model. Four respondents—two from the school
that combines IB and AP and two from another school—explicitly disagreed, stating
instead that IB and AP are for the most part comparable.
Most student comments about the difference between IB and AP curriculum and
instruction capture the sentiment that the purpose of IB is to learn whereas the purpose of
AP is to pass a test. Student comments indicate unanimous preference for the IB
curriculum over AP. For example,
“AP classes are just preparation to take that one test at the end of the year. IB
classes are more about learning than about the test.”
“AP is just about reading out of the book. In AP Art History and AP European
History there is no exposure to social ideas, rather there is something to learn and
you have to learn it. In AP if you don’t understand something you just move on. In
IB you pull from previously discussed ideas.”
“In AP it is about transferring information from textbooks to students, if it’s not in
the textbook it doesn’t matter because the test is about the textbook. IB is less
book-heavy.”
RQ #6: Barriers to emphasis on civic mindedness and model citizenship
In response to the teacher interview question about barriers to addressing academic
civic mindedness and model citizenship through IB DP curriculum, pedagogy and
culture, teachers’ mentioned a variety of obstacles. None of these obstacles were cited by
a majority of teachers. The top three responses included: 1) teachers’ lack of clarity on
how to make the content and skills they teach relevant to civic purposes, particularly for
mathematics and science teachers (n=7); 2) student limitations (n=4) and 3) Diploma
examination questions’ lack of focus on either construct (n=3). Other barriers mentioned
by one or two teachers each included: lack of collaboration between IB teachers and
administrators (n=2) and among IB teachers (n=1); logistical red tape (n=2); challenges
- 42 -
inherent to attempting to teaching AP and IB curriculum within the same course (only
one sample school adopts that strategy), n=2); challenging school climate (n=1);
challenging to teach writing (n=1); need for more CAS structure (n=1); and the need for
teachers to philosophically support IB’s civic focus (n=1).
The most widely held concern, expressed by seven teachers across two schools, is that
they do not know how to frame the skills, knowledge and attitudes they teach as relevant
to development of academic civic mindedness and model citizenship—or even, for one
teacher—as more broadly relevant to development of the IB Learner Profile qualities.
Comments include,
“ Beyond CAS there is no organized way to address social issues and citizenship,”
“We don’t receive much support from IB, just the CAS guide.”
“IB needs to tighten connection between oral/written communication and
citizenship—it would be helpful to have more guidance from IB on that.”
One teacher noted that, “it would be clearer to me to know what to do to promote
citizenship if there was a specific civic mindedness goal.” This teacher did not think that
striving to develop the Learner Profile qualities is concrete enough of a goal.
Comments from teachers at one school indicate that connections between the
curriculum and citizenship are particularly unclear for mathematics and science teachers.
According to a Coordinator, “When you peel back the IB hexagon, the Learner Profile
connections are not so clear for math and the hard sciences. I would like more guidance
from IB, but they always tell me to read the guide, which I already have read 3-4 times.”
Another teacher explained, “I don’t get guidance from the IB science materials the way I
do from the California College Prep ‘Chemistry in the Community’ curriculum on how to
integrate civic ideas into my IB curriculum and pedagogy.”
Four teachers mentioned the second barrier, that IB students are too limited in their
basic skills to attempt to also develop their academic civic mindedness and model
citizenship. Representative comments include,
“There is too much grind to master the content, which limits the open-ended
thinking that takes place.”
“It’s a huge undertaking for kids to prepare for the Diploma, citizenship takes the
back seat.”
One teacher from each of three schools explained that the Diploma exam questions do
not address academic civic mindedness or model citizenship and this can affect the extent
to which they prioritize teaching civic themes. Teachers pointed out that,
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“IB English assessments are not designed to demonstrate mastery of social justice,
rather of certain literary skills.”
“Everything is about the test, we do what we are evaluated on. If IB wanted to add
a Diploma Exam ‘Topic 6: the Americas and Civics’ we’d all be teaching that.”
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Findings and Recommendations
Despite several national initiatives intended to increase U.S. public schools’ emphasis
on development of students’ academic civic mindedness and model citizenship, including
work sponsored by the Association of American Colleges and Universities, the American
Political Science Association, Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, the U.S. Department of
Education, and a number of high-profile foundations, most U.S. schools do not prioritize
either objective (i.e.: Campbell, Hess & Levinson, 2012; Battistoni, 2013). IB
programmes are a widely implemented intervention—currently operating in 1,500 U.S.
schools, over 90% of which are public—with a strong stated commitment to developing
students’ citizenship. Greater understanding of both the extent which the IB DP promotes
students’ citizenship and the means through which it does so could contribute to
strengthening the effort to improve the current state of U.S. civic education. It can also
provide the IB Organization with recommendations for how to improve its civic focus.
This study takes a first step in that direction. However, given the small sample size and
other data limitations, the results and recommendations are suggestive rather than
definitive. Further research is needed to fully address how the IB DP can develop civic
mindedness and the implications for civic education.
Summary of results
•
•
According to teachers, students who enroll in the IB DP in the four sample
schools have, on average, similar socio-economic backgrounds compared to their
non-IB peers within the same school. IB DP students’ academic backgrounds are
stronger, which is not surprising because only motivated, brighter students are
likely to seek to enroll in the DP or be recommended by teachers to do so.
According to all student and teacher interviews (100%), the DP’s heavy
pedagogical reliance on discussions, debates, oral presentations, written
assignments and teamwork, enables students to develop many of the skills
necessary for civic engagement. For example, the DP emphasis on seeking,
considering, weighing and synthesizing different perspectives, particularly
through the Theory of Knowledge (TOK) course, seems to develop students’
critical thinking, objectivity, openmindedness and ability to compromise, which
are skills students and teachers believe are necessary to advocate on behalf of
social issues. IB could be more intentional to teachers, and teachers in turn to
students, about the civic applications of these skills.
- 45 -
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
The list of skills that students and teachers believe are necessary for civic
engagement overlaps to a significant extent with most lists of skills that students
need for success in college and careers.
The IB DP places a strong emphasis on students’ knowledge of issues related to
public policy, particularly through discussions of current events in TOK, English,
History and additional language courses.
Student and teacher interviews indicated that the IB DP does not seem to strongly
prioritize students’ knowledge of U.S. government structure and functioning. The
student survey results, however, show that compared to nationally representative
samples of similarly aged 12th-grade students, the sample students scored higher
on nine of ten items that tested their knowledge of U.S. government structure,
functioning and history.
Though the data suggests that individual teachers and students relate to several
citizenship orientations simultaneously, teachers may most frequently identify
with participatory, followed by social justice and then personally responsible
citizenship. Students most strongly relate to the social justice orientation,
followed by personal responsibility and then participatory citizenship, though in
the absolute, students identify quite strongly with all three orientations.
The IB DP develops students’ model citizenship through promoting their
awareness of political and social issues and required active engagement with a
community issue. Several structural features of the IB DP may also develop the
attitudes students deem necessary for civic engagement, including student choice,
non-textbook learning, motivated teachers and rigorous requirements.
In the schools included in the study, alternatives to courses offered through the IB
DP primarily include Advanced Placement (AP) and California Prep (CP)
courses. Like the IB DP, AP courses also have a rigorous college preparation
reputation while the CP courses are not honors level and are intended for students
with average or below average academic backgrounds. Most IB students and
teachers feel that IB DP develops students’ academic civic mindedness and model
citizenship to a considerably greater extent.
Teachers feel that the strongest barrier to prioritizing students’ citizenship
development is lack of clarity on how to frame the civic implications of the
knowledge, skills and attitudes they seek to develop. A few teachers also feel that
students’ academic deficiencies and lack of Diploma examination questions’
emphasis on citizenship also challenge their civic focus.
- 46 -
Implications for all educators concerned with the civic purposes of education
These results have four tentative implications for the greater community of civic
education researchers, practitioners, policy makers and advocates. First, the skills that
educators, parents and employers believe are necessary for success in college and career
are the same skills that students and teachers believe are necessary for civic engagement.
This finding implies that preparing students with the skills they need for college and
career and for civic engagement is not a zero sum game. One need not come at the
expense of the other. As part of efforts to increase the schools’ civic focus, the civic
education community might emphasize this message to teachers, including the need to be
explicit with their students about the overlap.
Second, with the rollout of the new Common Core State Standards, most educators are
struggling to figure out how to teach students to think critically. The DP emphasis on
seeking, considering, weighing and synthesizing different perspectives, particularly
through the TOK course, develops not only critical thinking, but also students’ valuing of
objectivity, openmindedness and compromise. These attitudes are valuable in citizens and
workers.
Third, the “best-case” CAS model of structured, reflective, required community
engagement could be a valuable one for other schools to follow.
Finally, the survey developed to measure sample IB DP students’ academic civic
mindedness and model citizenship could be used to measure those constructs in other
students.
Recommendations for the IB Organization
The study results also have six implications for the IB Organization (IBO). First,
variation in teachers’ and students’ awareness that the IB DP program can develop
academic civic mindedness and model citizenship suggests that IB could be more
intentional in illuminating the civic connections for teachers in their curricular and
pedagogical materials and through professional development (PD). Greater IBO
intentionality could increase emphasis on developing students’ academic civic
mindedness and model citizenship across IB World schools and reduce cross-school
variation.
For example, all teachers should understand that students’ development of
sophisticated reading, writing and oral communication skills are critical to civic
engagement and should know how to effectively share that message to students. This
recommendation is particularly salient for mathematics and sciences teachers. Likewise,
all students should understand that the ability to see different sides of an argument is
critical for effective deliberation. The IBO could also be more explicit about the benefits
of student-driven acquisition of knowledge of the U.S. government and legal structure for
- 47 -
successful EE, CAS and TOK projects. This first implication echoes the Delli Carpini &
Keeter finding that, “Citizens do need to be more engaged in politics, but the reasons for
paying attention need to be clearer to them, the benefits of stronger citizenship must be
more evident and the opportunities to learn about politics more frequent, timely, and
equitable” (1997, 21).
Second, IB could be more explicit to teachers that there is a great deal of overlap
between the knowledge, skills and attitudes (KSAs) necessary for civic engagement and
for college and career preparation so that teachers internalize and again, share that
message with students. Once teachers understand the civic relevance of the KSAs
students build through IB DP participation and that development of civic capacities is not
in conflict with preparation for college and career, they should understand that
development of civic-relevant KSAs is not time-consuming. On the contrary, the IB DP
model seems motivating and to simultaneously prepare students for “college, career and
citizenship” (Levinson, 2012a, 250).
Third, according to three sample teachers, if the IBO wants to increase teachers’ and
students’ focus on development of academic civic mindedness and model citizenship they
should consider strengthening teachers’ accountability to this purpose through greater
Diploma examination focus on this objective.
Fourth, there is considerable variation in CAS implementation across the four sample
schools. Only one of the four schools offers the program in a way that seems to truly
maximize students’ knowledge, skills and attitude development. The IBO could help to
improve the CAS program by providing schools with more detailed guidance on the best
ways to structure it.
Fifth, though just one teacher raised the issue, teachers’ own citizenship orientation
and the strength of their belief in the civic purpose of education contributes to the extent
to which they are inclined to develop their students’ civic mindedness and citizenship
(Barton, 2012). In addition to making citizenship connections more explicit through
subject-specific materials and PD, the IBO could consider offering PD sessions that focus
on guiding teachers to understand their own civic orientations (Hess & Zola, 2012).
Finally, the survey developed to measure sample IB DP students’ academic civic
mindedness and model citizenship could be used to measure those constructs in other IB
DP students.
- 48 -
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Norman H. Nie, Jane Junn, and Kenneth Stehlik-Barry (1996). Education and Democratic
Citizenship in America. Chicago: University of Chicago Press: 1-20.
Perkins, D. (forthcoming). Educating for the Unknown. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
Putnam, R. D. (2000). Bowling alone: The collapse and revival of American community.
New York: Simon and Schuster.
Ravitch, D. & Viteritti, J.P. eds. (2001). Making Good Citizens: Education and Civil
Society. New Haven: Yale University Press.
Reuben, J. (2005) “Patriotic Purposes: Public Schools and the Education of Citizens.” In
Susan Fuhrman and Marvin Lazerson, eds., The Public Schools. Oxford: Oxford
University Press.
Saavedra, A.R. (2014). The Academic Impact of Enrollment in International
Baccalaureate Diploma Programs: A Case Study of Chicago Public Schools.
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Saavedra, A.R, & Opfer, V.D. (2012). Teaching and Learning 21st Century Skills:
Lessons from the Learning Sciences. New York, NY: The Asia Society.
Siskin, L. S., & Weinstein, M. (2008). Supplemental survey to: Creating support
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Chile, Denmark, England and the United States: A psychological perspective. In M.
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Sherraden & A. McBride (Eds.). Civic service worldwide: Impacts and inquiries.
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U.S. Department of Education. (2011). A blueprint for reform: The Reauthorization of the
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(January 17) from http://www2.ed.gov/policy/elsec/leg/blueprint/blueprint.pdf
U.S. Census, 2011. 2010 Census shows U.S. diversity. Retrieved from
http://www.census.gov/newsroom/releases/archives/2010_census/cb11-cn125.html
Wagner, T. (2008). The global achievement gap: Why even our best schools don’t teach
the new survival skills our children need—and what we can do about it. New York,
NY: Basic Books.
Westheimer, J. & Kahne, J. (2004). What Kind of Citizen? The Politics of Educating for
Democracy American Educational Research Journal. Vol 41(2), Sum 2004, pp. 237269.
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Appendix A: Student interview protocol
[Informed consent language]
I am interested in learning about your experiences as a student in the IB Diploma
Program (DP) at [SCHOOL NAME]. Specifically, I would like to ask you about your
perceptions of the extent to which the IB DP promotes’ students civic knowledge, skills
and attitudes and through what means.
The idea of citizenship is one that means different things to different people. For
example, some people equate citizenship with voting, others with recycling, others with
following laws and rules, others with fighting for individual rights and others with issues
of legal documentation. To avoid a situation in which I need to define citizenship for you:
1. Think about a social problem that is important to you. Briefly,
a. What is your perspective on the nature, causes and possible ways of
addressing the problem?
b. What knowledge, skills and attitudes are necessary to address the
problem?
2. What sorts of experiences (inside or outside of school) do students need to
develop such knowledge, skills and attitudes? [Prompt: For example, certain
courses, extracurricular activities, mentorship from role models, informal
discussions with peers]
3. Do you feel that your IB DP teachers attempt to help you to develop this
knowledge?
a. Through the curriculum? If so, please provide an example. [Prompt:
certain coursework, EE research]
b. Through the way they teach and manage their classrooms? If so, please
provide an example. [Prompt: For example, through lecture, through
discussion that requires knowledge, through research-related activities]
c. Which aspects of the IB DP do you feel contribute the most and least to
developing this knowledge? [Prompt: For example, CAS, EE, TOK,
elective subjects, informal discussions with IB DP peers]
4. Do you feel that your IB DP teachers attempt to help you to develop these skills?
a. Through curriculum? If so, please provide an example. [Prompt: certain
coursework, CAS activities, TOK activities]
b. Through the way they teach and how they manage their classrooms? If so,
please provide an example. [Prompt: For example, through group work,
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practicing skills like public speaking or writing to the newspaper]
c. Which aspects of the IB DP do you feel contribute the most and least to
developing these skills? [Prompt: For example, CAS, EE, TOK, elective
subjects, informal discussions with IB DP peers]
5. Do you feel that your IB DP teachers attempt to help you to develop these
attitudes?
a. Through curriculum? If so, please provide an example. [Prompt: certain
coursework, CAS activities, TOK activities, EE activities]
b. Through the way they teach and manage their classrooms? [Prompt: For
example, through their enthusiasm, through providing rationales for civic
engagement]
c. Which aspects of the IB DP do you feel contribute the most and least to
developing these attitudes? [Prompt: For example, CAS, EE, TOK,
elective subjects, informal discussions with IB DP peers]
6. How would you compare IB DP (including coursework, extracurricular activities
and interaction with IB DP peers) development of the types of knowledge, skills
and attitudes we have been discussing with non-IB DP (again including
coursework, extracurricular activities and interaction with IB DP peers)
development of the same knowledge, skills and attitudes?
7. Is there anything else you’d like to add that we have not already discussed about
IB DP development of citizenship and civic knowledge
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Appendix B: Teacher interview protocol
[Informed consent language]
I am interested in learning about your experiences working with the IB Diploma Program
(DP) at [SCHOOL NAME]. Specifically, I would like to ask you about your perceptions
of the extent to which the IB DP promotes’ students civic knowledge, skills and attitudes
and through what means.
1. What courses do you teach, including International Baccalaureate Diploma
Programme (IB DP) and non IB DP courses?
2. Please could you describe your level of experience with the IB DP—including as
a teacher or administrator—at your current school? At other schools?
3. How would you describe the socio-economic status of the majority of your IB DP
students? Non IB DP students?
4. How would you describe the academic background of the majority of your IB DP
students? Non IB DP students?
5. Some people argue that, in addition to preparing students for college and career,
public schools should develop students as citizens. Do you agree with this? If so,
why do you believe that development of citizenship is important?
The idea of citizenship is one that means different things to different people. For
example, some people equate citizenship with voting, others with recycling, others with
following laws and rules, others with fighting for individual rights and others with issues
of legal documentation. To avoid a situation in which I need to define citizenship for you:
6. Please think about a social problem your students are concerned about. Briefly,
a. What is your perspective on the nature, causes and possible ways of
addressing the problem?
b. What knowledge, skills and attitudes are necessary to address the
problem?
7. Do you attempt to help you to develop this knowledge in IB DP students? If so,
how (please provide examples)?
a. Through the curriculum? [Prompt: certain coursework, EE research]
b. Through pedagogy and classroom management? [Prompt: For example,
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through lecture, through discussion that requires knowledge, through
research-related activities]
c. Which aspects of the IB DP do you feel contribute the most and least to
developing this knowledge? [Prompt: For example, CAS, EE, TOK,
elective subjects, informal discussions with IB DP peers]
8. Do you attempt to help you to develop these skills in IB DP students? If so, how
(please provide examples)?
a. Through curriculum? [Prompt: certain coursework, CAS, TOK]
b. Through pedagogy and classroom management? [Prompt: For example,
through group work, practicing skills like public speaking or writing to the
newspaper]
c. Which aspects of the IB DP do you feel contribute the most and least to
developing these skills? [Prompt: For example, CAS, EE, TOK, elective
subjects, informal discussions with IB DP peers]
9. Do you attempt to help you to develop these attitudes in IB DP students? If so,
how (please provide examples)?
a. Through curriculum? [Prompt: certain coursework, CAS activities, TOK
activities, EE activities]
b. Through pedagogy and classroom management? [Prompt: For example,
through their enthusiasm, through providing rationales for civic
engagement]
c. Which aspects of the IB DP do you feel contribute the most and least to
developing these attitudes? [Prompt: For example, CAS, EE, TOK,
elective subjects, informal discussions with IB DP peers]
10. How would you compare development of this knowledge, skills and attitudes with
IB compared to non-IB DP students? Please provide specific.
a. Through curriculum
b. Through pedagogy and classroom management
11. What are the main barriers to striving to develop your IB students’
citizenship/civic-related knowledge, skills and attitudes?
12. Is there anything else you’d like to add about development of citizenship and
civic knowledge, skills and attitudes through the IB DP?
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Appendix C: Student survey
Introduction
The purpose of the research is to increase knowledge of the relationship between IB DP
enrollment and students’ civic knowledge, skills and attitudes.
T he survey should
take no longer than 15 minutes to complete. Although the survey is voluntary, your input
is very important to the study. There are no obvious risks or benefits to participation in
this survey. You can choose not to answer specific questions. Your individual responses
will be kept strictly confidential; all information will be used for research purposes only.
Individual information will not be released to your school or IB. Your responses will be
combined with the responses of other students and reported in the aggregate. Aggregate
responses will be used to contribute to the ongoing improvement of the IB DP.
Items included in the survey have been adapted from the following sources:
CIRCLE (2013). All Together Now: Collaboration and Innovation for Youth
Engagement: The Report of the Commission on Youth Voting and Civic Knowledge.
Medford, MA: Center for Information & Research on Civic Learning and
Engagement.
Kahne, J., Middaugh, E., & Coddy, M. (2005). California Civic Index. New
York: Carnegie Corporation and Annenberg Foundation.
National Assessment of Educational Progress. (2010). 12th grade Civics Assessment,
publicly-available items.
Westheimer, J. & Kahne, J. (2004). What Kind of Citizen? The Politics of Educating for
Democracy American Educational Research Journal. Vol 41(2), Sum 2004, pp. 237269.
If you have any questions about this survey, you can contact Anna Saavedra, the
Principal Investigator at my email address [email protected] or phone 310-393-0411
Extension 6437.
If you have any
subject, please contact the Human Subjects Protection Committee at RAND, 1776 Main
Street, PO Box 2138, Santa Monica, CA 90407, 310-393-0411, ext. 6124, or by email at
Carolyn_Tsch[email protected]
Thank you for participating and for your support in researching the IB DP.
I have read and understand this information about the survey ( ) [must click to continue].
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If you found out about a problem in your community that you wanted to do something
about (for example, high levels of lead were discovered in the local drinking water), how
well do you think you would be able to do each of the following (I definitely can’t, I
probably can’t, I probably can or I definitely can)?
• Create a plan to address the problem
• Get other people to care about the problem
• Organize and run a meeting
• Express your views in front of a group of people
• Identify individuals or groups who could help you with the problem
• Call someone on the phone that you had never met before to get their help with
the problem.
• Contact an elected official about the problem.
• Organize a petition.
[Page break]
Does the federal government spent more on Social Security or on foreign aid?
• Social Security
• Foreign aid
• Same
Which U.S. political party is more conservative?
• Republican
• Democrat
How much of a majority is required for the U.S. Senate and House to override a
Presidential veto?
• 67%
• 50%
• 33%
• 25%
Which of the following best describes who is entitled to vote in federal elections?
• Residents
• Taxpayers
• Legal residents
• Citizens
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"A witness' refusal to answer whether or not he is a Communist on the ground that his
answer would tend to incriminate him is the most positive proof obtainable that the
witness is a Communist." —Senator Joseph McCarthy, 1953
In the speech above, Joseph McCarthy seems to ignore constitutional rights granted by
the
•
•
•
•
First Amendment
Second Amendment
Fourth Amendment
Fifth Amendment
What is one responsibility that modern Presidents have that is NOT described in the
Constitution?
•
•
•
•
Commanding the armed forces
Proposing an annual budget to Congress
Appointing Supreme Court justices
Granting pardons
People who claim that lobbying is a positive force in American politics often argue that
lobbyists play an important role by
•
•
•
•
Supplying members of Congress with information and helping to draft legislation
Giving Supreme Court justices information they need to make decisions in
difficult cases
Giving everybody equal power in the political process
Limiting access to public officials
This question is about the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution, an excerpt of
which is printed below.
All persons born or naturalized in the United States . . . are citizens of the United States
and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall
abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State
deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to
any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.
Under what historical circumstances was the Fourteenth Amendment passed?
•
•
It was passed soon after the American Revolution to limit the power of the federal
government.
It was passed soon after the Civil War to protect the rights of former slaves.
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•
•
It was passed soon after the First World War to protect the rights of immigrants.
It was passed during the Vietnam War to protect the freedom of antiwar
protesters.
Which of the following did critics of the Articles of Confederation consider the
document’s greatest flaw?
•
•
•
•
There were no provisions to amend the Articles.
The President had the exclusive right to declare war.
Each state, regardless of its population, had only one vote in electing the
President.
The national government was too weak for the effective implementation of
needed policies.
The federal system encourages the growth of organized interest groups by
• Allowing states to pay part of the operational costs of such groups
• Offering several levels of government where groups can attempt to influence
policy
• Giving interest groups free building space in Washington, D.C.
• Encouraging interest groups to take over many of the responsibilities of political
parties
[Page break]
Please indicate your agreement with the following statements (Strongly Disagree,
Disagree, Slightly Disagree, Slightly Agree, Agree, Strongly Agree).
[Do not label groupings. The IB DP survey randomized the order of the 17 statements.]
Justice-Oriented Citizen
• I think it’s important to challenge inequalities in society.
• I think it’s important to think critically about laws and government.
• I think it’s important to protest when something in society needs changing.
• When thinking about problems in society, it is important to focus on the underlying
causes.
• I think it’s important to buy products from socially responsible businesses.
I think it’s important to work for positive social change.
Participatory Citizen
• Being actively involved in state and local issues is my responsibility
• Being concerned with national, state and local issues is an important
responsibility for everybody.
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•
•
Everyone should be involved in working with community organizations and local
government on issues that affect the community
I think it is important to be involved in improving my community.
Personally Responsible Citizen/Person
• I think people should assist those in their lives who are most in need of help.
• I think it's important for people to follow the rules and laws.
• I try to help when I see people in need.
• I am willing to help others without being paid.
• I feel personally responsible for keeping the community clean and safe.
• I try to be kind to other people.
• I think it’s important to tell the truth.
[Page break]
Through the IB DP including DP-related extracurricular activities, non-IB DP courses,
non-IB DP extracurricular activities, informally with your IB DP peers, informally with
your non-IB DP peers, how often do you engage in (several times a week, weekly,
monthly, rarely, never):
• Discussion of current events
• Debates
• Write a letter to share an opinion or help solve a problem
• Simulation
[Page break]
Please check the one box per row that best describes how you gained most of the
knowledge, skills and attitudes addressed in this survey:
Through the
IB DP
including DPrelated
extracurricular
activities
Through
non-IB
DP
courses
Through nonIB DP
extracurricular
activities
Knowledge
Skills
Attitudes
[Page break]
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From
nonschool
sources
I
I don’t
don’t have the
know knowledge,
skills, or
attitudes
Demographic
• Age
• Male/female
• Ethnicity (white, black, Hispanic, Asian, other)
• Mother’s and Father’s educational attainment (no HS, HS, some college, 4-yr college
graduate, masters, PhD)
• Parents born outside of the U.S. (mother, father, both, neither)
Educational background
• Intention to enroll in college next year (none, 2-yr, 4-yr)
• Frequency of discussion of political issues with parents (daily, 1-3 times per week, 13 times per month, occasionally, never)
• GPA (ask students approximate GPA)
• IB DP preparation (Primary Years Programme only, Middle Years Programme only,
both PYP and MYP, a non-MYP 9th and 10th grade IB DP preparation program, no
formal IB DP preparation)
• Survey also includes for each student: student id, school id, date survey completed,
school API rank, % school free/reduced lunch
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Appendix D: Student survey details
Civic Skills: Familiarity with effective advocacy techniques
To measure students’ familiarity with “effective advocacy techniques,” a part of the
IBO’s definition of “academic civic mindedness,” I use a scale administered as part of the
California Survey of Civic Education (Kahne, Middaugh & Coddy, 2005). This measure
asks students how well they think they would be able to execute a series of eight civic
skills in response to a concrete problem in their community including:
• Create a plan to address the problem.
• Get other people to care about the problem.
• Organize and run a meeting.
• Express your views in front of a group of people.
• Identify individuals or groups who could help you with the problem.
• Call someone on the phone that you have never met before to get their help with
solving the problem.
• Contact an elected official about the problem.
• Organize a petition.
In their study of the psychometric properties of 17 different scales that measure students’
civic outcomes, Flanagan, Syvertson and Stout (2007) define this scale as a measure of
students’ “competence for civic action” (5). With a sample of 1,924 students, they find an
internal consistency of approximately 0.90. The internal consistency for the student
sample in this study is 0.79.
Civic Knowledge
The knowledge items included in the survey are from two sources, the Center for
Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement (CIRCLE)’s 2012 youth
voting survey and the National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP) 2010 twelfth
grade civics assessment.
CIRCLE included their knowledge items as part of 15-20 minute telephone surveys
administered to a nationally representative sample of 4,483 18 to 24 year olds. The study
survey uses the following four multiple-choice items from the CIRCLE survey to assess
students’ civic knowledge:
• Does the U.S. federal government spend more on Social Security or foreign aid?
• Which U.S. political party is more conservative?
• How much of a majority is required for the U.S. Senate and House to override a
Presidential veto?
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• Which of the following best describes who is entitled to vote in federal elections?
Access to the CIRCLE data permits comparison of study students’ responses to the
nationally representative sample.
Students’ knowledge of US government and public policy is measured using six
publicly-released, multiple-choice NAEP items from the 2010 12th grade civics
assessment. The U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences, and
National Center for Education Statistics collaborated to produce the NAEP Civics
Assessment in 2010 for twelfth graders across all national public schools.
The items require students to draw from their civic knowledge to:
• Identify a violation of the Fifth Amendment
• Know that the Constitution does not describe Presidential budget responsibilities
• Understand the circumstances of the Fourteenth Amendment
• Understand the argument for the positive role that lobbyists can play in U.S.
politics
• Identify an argument used by critics of the Articles of Confederation
• Identify how the federal system encourages the growth of interest groups
I selected these six NAEP items because unlike the majority of released 12th grade NAEP
Civics items, they are not obvious tests of reading comprehension—many NAEP items
can be answered without prior knowledge through careful reading. I also chose to include
in the survey only items rated as Hard (2) or Medium (4) difficulty to maximize the
potential to find a noticeable differential between IB students’ responses and those of the
national population.
The benefits of the NAEP items are that they are valid, reliable, created by experts
through a rigorous design process, align considerably to the National Standards for Civics
and Government (Center for Civic Education, Calabasas CA 1994) which strongly
emphasize constitutional issues and the formal political system (Levine, 2012) and permit
comparisons to the national population of twelfth graders.
One of the drawbacks to the NAEP items is that due to the three-year item
development process, less than ten percent refer to current events (Niemi, 2012, p. 31).
Most civic education experts agree that awareness and discussion of current events is key
to promoting civic engagement (e.g., Campbell, Levinson & Hess, 2012; Hess, 2009) so
this limitation is meaningful. Use of the NAEP and CIRCLE items also means that this
study does not collect a quantitative measure of students’ knowledge of public policy and
must rely exclusively on the interviews to assess students’ knowledge of U.S. public
policy. Another drawback is that NAEP examinations are low-stakes for students, so the
national comparison sample may not have strived to answer every item to the best of their
ability. However, my student survey was also low-stakes so this concern applies across
both surveys.
- 66 -
The knowledge items were not designed to jointly measure a specific knowledge
domain and as expected, the Cronbach’s reliability alphas of the CIRCLE (alpha=0.56),
NAEP (alpha=0.40) and all knowledge items (alpha=0.50) indicate that they should not
be combined into composites.
Citizenship orientation: participatory, personally responsible and social justice
To measure students’ “model citizenship” the survey uses three scales that Kahne and
co-authors have used to measure students’ civic orientations in previous studies
(Westheimer & Kahne, 2004; Kahne, Middaugh & Coddy, 2005; Kahne & Sporte, 2008).
For their 2004 study Westheimer and Kahne developed sets of items to measure
constructs of students’ participatory, personally responsible and social justice civic
orientation with a likert agreement scale (strongly disagree through strongly agree).
Kahne, Middaugh and Coddy (2005) subsequently measured these three constructs with
similar items in the 2005 California Survey of Civic Education, which they administered
to 2,366 twelfth grade Californian public school students who had completed a U.S.
Government course. Kahne & Sporte (2008) also administered the “participation” items
to 4,057 Chicago Public Schools eleventh grade students. The online version of the
survey used in the present study randomizes the order of the 17 items for each student in
an attempt to rule out the possibility that students could guess how the items “should” fit
together and answer correspondingly in a socially desirable way.
Using their sample of 1,924 students, Flangan et al (2007) find that the participatory,
personally responsible, and justice-orientation scales have Cronbach’s alpha reliability of
0.82, .089 and .081, respectively. For the present study, the alphas are .90, .83 and .79,
respectively. These results indicate comparability of this study to prior larger-sample
studies and strong internal consistency among individual IB students’ responses.
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