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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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Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record Volume 109 Number 2, 2007, p. 322-342
https://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 12791, Date Accessed: 7/30/2021 6:14:10 AM

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About the Author
  • Nura Resh
    Hebrew University of Jerusalem
    E-mail Author
    NURA RESH is a sociologist, a senior lecturer in the School of Education at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Her research focuses on the stratifying effects of school and class organization and curricular pedagogy, especially in the context of the Israeli educational system and its educational policy. One venue of this interest is the investigation of distributive justice in rewards’ allocation in school and the sense of justice among students and teachers in this respect.
  • Claudia Dalbert
    Martin Luther University of Halle-Wittenberg, Germany
    E-mail Author
    CLAUDIA DALBERT, is Professor of Psychology at the Martin Luther University of Halle-Wittenberg, Germany. Her research focuses on the justice motive theory. Currently she is investigating the dissociation of an implicit and a self-attributed justice motive, how the justice motives develop, and the impact of justice experiences at school. She is author of The Justice Motive as a Personal resource: Dealing with Challenges and Critical Life Events and The Justice Motive in Adolescence and Young Adulthood: Origins and Consequences (edited together with Hedvig Sallay). She was president of the International Society of Justice Research (ISJR) (2004-2006), and since 2006 she is Editor of International Journal of Psychology.
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