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Student Perceptions of the “Just World” of the School: Impact on School Achievement, Future Civic Behaviour, and Future Occupation

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Dispositions and motivations toward future adult life are crystalized during adolescence, and one of the key agents in this process is student-teacher relationships in the school. Adolescent students can be very sensitive to the differential treatments of teachers toward them and their fellow students, particularly with respect to fairness and justice. In many respects, their perceptions of the way adult society works is influenced by the way their school and classroom work. Using the data from the Longitudinal Study of Australian Youth (LSAY), this paper analyses the school and classroom justice perceptions of the 1998 Year 9 cohort of a representative national sample of students (N= 9289) and the extent to which these perceptions uniquely affect future civic behavioural dispositions, which we call prosocial behaviour, and future entry into the job market by 2008. The justice scale includes seven items relating to fairness in grade allocation, attention giving, listening, and feelings of comfort and security. The importance and implications of perceptions of fairness and justice in school contexts is discussed with respect to future individual level attainments and behaviours, and their impact on future civil society.
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Keywords: Longitudinal Study of Australian Youth (LSAY); adolescents; civil society; justice perceptions; “Just World” hypothesis

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 21 August 2017

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  • Education and Society provides a forum, where teachers and scholars throughout the world, are able to evaluate current issues and problems in education and society from a balanced and comparative social, cultural and economic perspective.

    Education and Society, a fully refereed journal, is used by teachers, academics, research scholars, educational administrators and graduate students.
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