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EDU 5046: CLASSROOM INTERACTION


Lecture 7: Group Structure
Learning Outcomes:
At the end of this lesson, students are able to:
1.
2.
3.
4.

explain the meaning of group structure,


explain the concept of sosiometry,
create and interpret sociograms, and
discuss the importance of sosiometry in classroom interaction.

GROUP STRUCTURE
Sociometry in the Classroom
Meaning: The basic network of friendship patterns and sub-group organization.
A groups main feature is it contains social stratification. Every member of the group has certain
status and involved in various pattern of interaction.
Individual status (high/low) in a group determines the extend of the groups influence.
A big group most probably has several sub-groups.
FORMATION OF CLIQUES & CLEAVAGES

CLEAVAGE SELECTION CRITERIA


Gender
Age
Personality
Body size
Physical appearance
Material capabilities
Competence in sports
Social class
Ethnicity
Names
SOCIOMETRY IN THE CLASSROOM:
The term sociometry was derived from: Cocius (social) and Metrum (measure).
Sociometry: A quantitative method for measuring the degree of relatedness among people
(focus: interpersonal choices).
Also known as Sociography: A methodology for tracking the energy vectors of interpersonal
relationships in a group. It shows the patterns of how individuals associate with each other when
acting as a group toward a specified end of goal.
Sociometry was developed by Jacob L. Moreno (1889-1974) in the 1930s to study interpersonal
choices.
Morenos rationale is based on the belief that people make choices in interpersonal
relationships.
Moreno defined sociometry as the mathematical study of psychological properties of
populations, the experimental technique of and the results obtained by application of
quantitative methods
The sociometry test is an observation to determine the direction of the relationships in a group.
Sociometric representation refers to various graphical data presentation of relationships.

SOCIOGRAM

SOCIOGRAM
Sociogram is a chart that represents the interaction of members of a group or a map of
relationship generated from a sociometry test.
Purpose: To explore the group structure (the basic network of friendship pattern and the
organization of sub-groups)
Sociogram provides information regarding the interactions between an individual and his/her
group as a whole.
Value of Sociogram to Teachers:

To gain insight to groups behaviours

To plan constructive changes onto individuals and groups through the knowledge of
interpersonal relationships
To act wisely on group management (e.g. to create effect groups)
To identify psychological characteristics/skills (e.g.: leadership) and behavioural problems, etc.
(Read:
how people read sociograms: A questionnaire study
Sociometry in the classroom
understanding sociograms
(http://www.durlandconsulting.com/images/pdfs/Understanding_maps_11_03a.pdf
Exploring sociometric models and sociograms
(http://www.curriculumsupport.education.nsw.gov.au/secondary/pdhpe/assets/pdf/tlsupp_
004.pdf ))
FORMATION OF SOCIOGRAM
Data to measure individuals social status can be obtained from the members using two
methods: nomination or rating
Nomination
Example:
1. Positive nomination question: Who are the 3 closest friends of yours?
2. Negative nomination question: Who are the 3 friends of yours that you dislike
most?
(Negative nomination questions are used to detect interpersonal resistance)

Rating
Use of symbols to represent the attitude rating towards peers
Example : + high trust
0 moderate trust
- distrust / conflict

Ann rates : Bob


Claire
Don
Edna
Fred

+
0
+
0

SOCIOMATRIX FORMATION FROM RATING

Interpretation of the Sociomatrix

More + : leader (Bob & Edna: informal leader)


- : rejected
0 : less self-exposure & less assertive
Mutuals:

Positive mutuals there are bonds in the group (Don & Bob)
Negative mutuals theres conflict, intervention is
Recommended (Ann & Claire)

INTERPRETATION & TERMINOLOGY OF SOCIOGRAM


2 categories : Individual Phenomena & Group Phenomena
1. Individual Phenomena
Star
Positively chosen by many, hub of attraction
There are positive star and negative star

Isolates
Individuals that do not get any positive nomination but may have got negative
nomination
Isolated kids in the classroom context

Ghost
Receive no nomination at all.
Either receive no recognition or considered non existence

2. Group Phenomena

SUMMARY
Teachers often ignore relationship issues in the classroom because they believe that these issues
will dissolve on their own, but unfortunately, the reality is otherwise.
Discussing the relationship issues directly may not lead to solutions, but it can bring about
positive effects towards the classroom climate; making it healthier, and help increase students
satisfaction (through participation in the classroom), motivation, academic achievement, selfconcept, and reduce discipline problems as well.