Keywords: Citizenship Education; Education for Democratic Citizenship; Social and Civic Competences; Key Competences.
The role of schools in the development of key competences and in students' citizenship education are themes of growing interest in the public debate on education. The paper aims at contributing to this debate, through the presentations of data and results from relevant international and European studies. The results of the study of the Council of Europe on the policies for education for democratic citizenship are presented, as well as those of ICCS 2009, the third international comparative study on civic and citizenship education carried out by IEA (International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement). Furthermore, PISA outcomes related to three areas of basic competences (literacy in reading, mathematics, and science) are taken into consideration. The analysis shows the difficulties the Italian education system is facing in the development of students' key competences.