Universal Journal of Educational Research Vol. 2(6), pp. 480 - 486
DOI: 10.13189/ ujer.2014.020605
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How Schoolchildren Choose Their Friends, How Teachers Think about These Relationships and What Influence They Have


Ursula Dopplinger *
Institute of Development and Research, Christian University College of Vienna/Krems, Dr. Gschmeidlerstr. 28, 3500 Krems

ABSTRACT

This study explores the personal student attributes which influence a student being accepted by their peers and teachers, within a primary school context. The literature surrounding this construct outlines the important roles of peer groups in socialization. Being part of the relations to classmates, pupils classify each other automatically or even unknowingly into categories as a reaction of emotions and acceptance within the strict frame of reference existing in primary schools. Although human beings adopt their behavior to their perceptions, children in primary school classes have different kinds of references in school. However there is a gap in literature which leaves the implicit influence of teachers expectations unexplored. So this study aims to bridge this gap by exploring on the one hand adopted actions to the classmates’ expectations and on the other hand the influence of the teachers’ perceptions and observations on the students’ behavior. To do this, the social network analysis (SNA) was used, as it is a valid method for exploring the social mechanism which takes place in a social system like it can be found in school classes. Therefore the study was conducted in a primary school in Austria. The results demonstrated that teachers influence unknowingly their pupils´ opinion about their classmates´ social network, which highlights the process of social learning.

KEYWORDS
Social Network Analyses, Peer Groups, Attributes, Teachers´ Perception, Primary School

Cite this paper
Ursula Dopplinger . "How Schoolchildren Choose Their Friends, How Teachers Think about These Relationships and What Influence They Have." Universal Journal of Educational Research 2.6 (2014) 480 - 486. doi: 10.13189/ ujer.2014.020605.