International Study of City Youth (ISCY)

The International Study of City Youth (ISCY) follows 10th Grade students in cities around the world to understand how their school experiences and achievements influence their careers and life more broadly.

The project will compare how well different education systems prepare young people for life beyond school. It aims to measure the impacts of the distinctive institutional arrangements of each system, including programs and courses, curriculum and assessment practices, types and locations of schools, and the structure of education and training opportunities beyond school. By tracking student progress over time, the study will explore how students navigate these systems to achieve positive transitions to further learning, work and adult life.

ISCY will provide unprecedented insight on how educational paths and achievement impact young people’s education and career trajectories, civic engagement, and overall well-being. It offers a unique opportunity to measure the relationship between student academic performance, attitudes and aspirations, and future outcomes.

ISCY will also provide a wider view of the work of schools, expanding the frame of reference within which schools are judged beyond cognitive achievement measures, to include the impact of schools on student outlooks, school engagement, transition and social and civic values. Important here will be consideration of 21st Century skills including students’ learning strategies and mindsets, skills, motivation, perseverance, and academic behaviors as well as content knowledge and academic skills.

How good are schools in forming tomorrow’s citizens? How good are they in creating thinkers, highly aspiring, highly motivated young men or women, caring people, good learners with a breadth of views and an openness to the world? Who, amongst students, fits this bill? Is it only the top achievers or do schools reach everyone? For the breadth of objectives (the range of benefits) and the depth of impact (the range of students), are all schools as good as others with a comparable intake—and not only in their own city, but internationally?

The ISCY Project brings together research teams in Europe, Asia, North America, South America and Australia to help answer these questions.