SocioGrams

I had been teaching a few years and was fairly comfortable with parent teachers conferences when I had a parent ask, "How does my son get along with the other students?" I responded that I thought he got along with the other students well. The father informed me that he was very bossy at home and wondered if he was at school. I said that he was very opinionated in class and when he worked in a group but so were other students and I believed they respected each other’s views. I thought these interactions were very healthy for all involved.

I was very pleased with the question, however I was really taken aback, because I had no data to support my statements about how his son interacted with other students, other than observations which I hurriedly recollected. I really did not know how other students felt about working with this particular student. If I had constructed a sociogram I would have had the data to better address this parents concerns. This parent had three other children and he came to every conference and asked the same question every time. He felt that how people worked with other people was the most important thing that anyone needed to learn and that was the major reason he sent his children to school.

Sociogram Example

The sociogram is a graphical representation of the choice patterns of the group. The following information will help you create a sociogram.

Decide on a task for students to complete to give you the information you desire. Below are several examples. You may have the students do one of these or create one of your own. You could include an item on the interest finder to collect the information. Your results will depend very much on the statement you select. Select one which will give you the information you most desire.

  1. Name two students you trust to help you.
  2. Write the names of two of your classmates with whom you would like to work.
  3. Write the names of two of your classmates with whom you would like to play at recess.

When you have your data you are ready for the next steps. Use a piece of graph paper and make a chart.

Label one side choosers and the other side chosen.

Put the names of all students both vertically and horizontally.

Put a check in each cell for the data collected.

Choosers
Chosen

Jim Schoo

Frank Furter

Candy Caine

Carrie DeLode

Willy Doit

Jim Schoo

 

X

   

X

Frank Furter

X

 

X

X

X

Candy Caine

         

Carrie DeLode

X

X

X

   

Willy Doit

     

X

 

Use scratch paper or mentally look for groups of students who chose each other and students who were not chosen. If there are a number of groups plan to have a cluster for each group. The students who were not chosen or chosen a few times can be placed around the clusters.

Draw a circle to represent each student, or draw circles for girls and squares for boys.

Draw a line from the student who chose a student to the student they chose and put an arrow pointing to the chosen student.

The number of times a student was chosen could indicate the student’s popularity or the ability of the student to work cooperatively with other students.

Identify cliques, stars, cleavage, mutual choices, and isolates.

Cliques are groups that chose each other and have very few choices outside of the group.

Stars are the pupils that are chosen the most.

Cleavage is when groups are not linked, at all, with other groups.

Mutual choices is when individuals choose each other.

Isolates are individuals which are not selected.

Dr. Robert Sweetland's Notes ©