Gender Differences in Sense of Justice about Grades: A Comparative Study of High School Students in Israel and Germany
by Nura Resh & Claudia Dalbert — 2007
Assessing students’ aptitude and educational performance and grading them on a hierarchical scale is a universal feature of the schooling process. In light of grades’ instrumental, motivational, and symbolic saliency in students’ school experience, it is not surprising they are highly ”valued goods,” and the process of their fair or unfair distribution is of great concern, echoed in students’ and teachers’ discourses. In this investigation, we focus on gender differentials in sense of justice about grades, comparing high school students in two educational settings: Israel and Germany. Although the strong norm of equitable distribution of grades would predict no gender differentials in grade allocation, the pattern of results suggest that gender plays a role in both the distribution of this reward and the judgment of fair distribution, therefore affecting students’ sense of (in)justice. Similarities as well as certain differences in the comparison of sense of justice of Israeli and German boys and girls are discussed in light of system-specific features.
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