SOCIOMETRY IN THE CLASSROOM:

HOW TO DO IT


SOCIOGRAMS ARE?



What is A Sociogram?


A sociogram is a charting of the inter-relationships within a group. Its purpose is to discover group structure: i.e., the basic "network" of friendship patterns and sub-group organization. The relations of any one child to the group as a whole are another type of information which can be derived from a sociogram. A sociogram's value to a teacher is in its potential for developing greater understanding of group behavior so that he/she may operate more wisely in group management and curriculum development.

Sociograms may be constructed in a variety of ways. The methods described here re ones which teachers have used and found not too difficult or time consuming.

The Data Base.


The basic material from which a sociogram is constructed is collected from group members who answer questions such as these:


These questions are examples of the "positive nomination" techniques: positive in the sense that you "like" or would "like to do..." something with these children. When children's choices are restricted to only so many nominations - in our examples above we restricted the choices to three - the technique is described as a "fixed positive nomination" technique."

Some researchers recommend the use of negative questions in order to discover interpersonal resistance. An example would be "Which three people do you like the least? This would be described as a "Fixed Negative nomination" technique. If the children were also asked to rank the individuals from "most" to "least" disliked, we would call it a "Fixed rank, Negative Nomination" technique. The study of resistance or rejection is sometimes accompanied by unfavorable emotional reaction by children. Nevertheless, negative nomination information can be quite informative to the teacher. Similar information my be obtained using Social Distance ratings which will be discussed later.


FIGURE 1 (THE DATA BASE)

NOMINATOR'S
CODE #
NOMINATOR'S
NAME
1ST
CHOICE
2ND
CHOICE
3RD
CHOICE
1. ANN DEAL (5) NELDA (20) JUDY(12)
2. BUD JUSTIN (15) NORRIS (19) JOHN (9)
3. DIANE DONNA (6) LAURA (16) JUDY (12)
4. DORIS JUDY (12) LAURA (16) JUNE (13)
5. DEAL JERRI (14) ANN (1) JUNE (13)
6. DICK SOL (23) JIM (11) BUD (2)
8. GARY JUNE (13) DORIS (4) NORRIS (19)
9. HARRY JIM (11) DICK (7) BUD (2)
10. JOHN JUSTIN (15) BUD (2) NORRIS (19)
11. JIM MIKE (17) JUSTIN (15) BUD (2)
12. JUDY NELDA (20) LAURA (16) ANN (1)
13. JUNE DORIS (4) LAURA (16) JUDY (12)
14. JERRI DEAL (5) NELDA (20) DICK (7)
15. JUSTIN SOL (23) DICK (7) NORRIS (19)
16. LAURA JUDY (12) NELDA (20) DORIS (4)
17. MIKE JIM (11) SOL (23) NORRIS (19)
18. MILLARD SAM (22) VICTOR (24) JIM (11)
19. NORRIS JUSTIN (15) NELDA (20) JIM (11)
20. NELDA JUDY (12) NORRIS (19) LAURA (16)
21. PRUDENCE NELDA (20) DORIS (4) JUDY (12)
22. SAM VICTOR (24) MIKE (17) JIM (11)
23. SOL NORRIS (19) DICK (7) JIM (11)
24. VICTOR SAM (22) MIKE (17) JIM (11)


How to Chart a Sociogram.



STEP 1


Using a survey sheet similar to that shown in Appendix A, responses of individual children within a group to questions such as those described above may be cut into individual strips. Note that the child who is responding to the question writes his/her name in the left most block, followed by his/her three nominations in the adjacent three blocks. Thus, the block second from the left indicates the first nomination, the second nomination is the third block from the left, and the right most block is the third nomination. For purposes of later explanation a compilation of children's FIXED RANKED POSITIVE NOMINATIONS is displayed in FIGURE 1, The Data Base. The ensuing examples all draw upon this data base.


GO TO STEP 2


RETURN TO INTRODUCTION



This WWW site has been constructed by Lawrence W. Sherman. I wish to acknowledge the support of the Center for Human Development, Learning and Teaching AND the Department of Educational Psychology. Please send any comments and suggestions about this home page to Lawrence W. Sherman.


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