The potential determinants of young people's sense of justice: an international study

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This paper uses reports from 13,000 grade 9 pupils in five countries to examine issues such as whether they were treated fairly at school, trust their teachers and adults in wider society, are willing to sacrifice teacher attention to help others, and support the cultural integration of recent immigrants. Using such reports as ‘outcomes’ in a multi-stage regression model, it is clear that they are largely unrelated to school-level pupil mix variables. To some extent, these outcomes are stratified by pupil and family background in the same way for all countries. However, the largest association is with pupil reported experience of interactions with their teachers. Teachers appear to be a -major influence on young peoples’ sense of justice, and the principles they apply in deciding whether something is fair. The paper concludes by suggesting ways in which schools and teachers could take advantage of this finding.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)35-52
Number of pages18
JournalBritish Journal of Sociology of Education
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2011


  • European Union, logistic regression, pupil voice, equity in education, school effect