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Students Perceptions of Fairness in School Settings: A Gender Analysis


by Sharon L. Nichols & Thomas L. Good ó 1998

In this study, we explored gender differences in students?perceptions of fairness in two south- western schools. In particular, we surveyed 358 students in a junior high and 373 in a high school and examined how males and females differed with respect to how they perceived the fairness of their school and classes. Results suggest that gender differences in students' perceptions of fairness were pervasive. Specifically, in the high school, females more frequently than males reported they felt their school was fair in terms of personal experiences. In contrast, females in the junior high school more frequently than males reported their school was fair in terms of SES and ethnicity differences. Data suggest that some schools may create an environment in which peer norms support school achievement. We predict that students?perceptions of fairness mediate students outcomes within a classroom context; however, more research is needed to explicitly examine how fairness mediates students?sense of community and academic performance.


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Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record Volume 100 Number 2, 1998, p. 369-401
http://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 10315, Date Accessed: 8/22/2017 8:49:24 PM

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About the Author
  • Sharon Nichols
    University of Arizona, Tucson
    E-mail Author
    Sharon L. Nichols is a doctoral student in educational psychology, University of Arizona, Tucson. Her research interests include the literacy of children and the development of critical thinking through peer dialogue and reflection.
  • Thomas Good
    University of Arizona, Tucson
    Thomas L. Good is professor of educational psychology at the University of Arizona, Tucson. His research interests include the communication of expectations in classroom settings and the informal school curriculum.
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