Sociograms in the Classroom

Published on 27/07/2023

One of the earliest applications of sociograms in a school setting was between 1932 and 1938.

The pioneers of the sociograms method – Moreno and Jennings – conducted a sociometric study at the New York State Training School for Girls. Their goal was to study social acceptance within the school.

Findings from the study have informed the application of the technique in various fields today.

Most teaching professionals now use sociograms in the classroom to measure and monitor students' social interactions.

What is a Sociogram?

In a classroom setting, a sociogram is an essential sociometric tool that presents the social dynamics of a class as a map.

Teachers can use sociograms to chart students' social relationships and measure several aspects of their social interactions. The social attributes measured may be positive or negative and establish the sociometric status of individuals.

sociometry in classroom

Some positive social elements to analyze using a sociogram include social acceptance, friendships, cooperation, popularity, etc.

Conversely, a few negative social aspects to analyze may be social rejection, victimization, aggression, and bullying.

Overall, data from sociograms can guide you to provide the best learning experience for your students

Importance of Sociometry in the Classroom

Students’ social environment in a classroom affects their ability to learn. For children to feel comfortable learning new skills or trying new things, they must feel safe and supported first.

As a teacher,sociometry helps you identify and address students’ social and emotional needs. This is essential for creating a healthy classroom environment that fosters learning.

One of the most effective ways to understand your student's social and emotional needs is by using sociometric techniques like sociograms.

how to conduct sociometric test in classroom

Social charts provide insight you can use to customize your teaching methods. In turn, you can ensure all students feel safe and can learn efficiently.

Specifically, Sociograms help you to:

Create a Positive and Inclusive Classroom Culture

Understanding the social dynamics in your classroom can help you find ways to promote social cohesion within the class. You will identify student cliques and ensure no classmates are excluded.

An effective way to promote inclusive social interactions is to create new seating arrangements.

Set Up a Learning Environment That is Supportive of all Students

Knowing who the isolates in the class are will help you focus on making them feel connected to the rest of their classmates.

Enhance Social Skills

Sociograms reveal students’ social behavior. You will notice that the most popular students behave differently from the isolates.

You may want to create fun activities that provide social skills training to enhance all member’s social skills. This will ensure the students learn from each other as well.

Also, knowing who the isolates are can help you find ways of teaching them how to make friends.

Nurture Talent

Observing the students in this way can help reveal their individual talents.

For instance, you might realize that a particular student has specific leadership skills. You could create opportunities for them to lead and grow their skills.

importance of sociometry in classroom

Reduce Negative Behavior

Sociograms can help you increase the social acceptance of students, which might improve any negative behaviors.

Promote Teamwork and Collaboration

In some cases, you can allow students to carry out team activities to promote collaboration.

Monitor Social and Emotional Development

The data you get from sociograms can help create essential guides for monitoring how the students’ social interactions change with time. Doing this is crucial for promoting the social and emotional development of students.

Good online sociogram creator tools, like Sometics, allow you to save your data for comparisons later. Sometics also lets you record the progress of each student.

sociograms in the classroom

How to Conduct a Sociometric Test in the Classroom

Before you carry out a sociometric test in a classroom, you need to identify the aspect of social interaction you want to measure. That’s because different questions measure different social elements.

For instance, if you’re looking to measure popularity, acceptance, or rejection, you may use questions such as:

  • Who are the three most popular kids in this class? Or who are the three most unpopular kids in class? - Popularity
  • Which three people would you most like camping with for a few days? – Acceptance
  • Which three people would you least like camping with for a few days? – Rejection

On the other hand, if trying to measure aggression, you may ask:

  • Which two or three people would you say get into fights often?

You must ask the right questions using a sociometric questionnaire to get the necessary data. The questions you ask are the foundation of the entire sociogram method.

conduct sociometric test in classroom

With that in mind, here’s how to conduct a sociometric test in the classroom:

Step One

Give all students a blank piece of paper and instruct them to write their names at the top of the sheet.

Step Two

Ask the students to note down the numbers 1 to 3, or more, depending on the number of answers you expect from each student.

Step Three

Pose your test question and give the students enough time to answer.

You can ask two or more different questions to measure several social aspects. But don’t overwhelm the students with too many questions at once.

Also, ensure you make it clear that participants can only choose their classmates. You don’t want cases of participants selecting individuals who aren’t part of the target group.

Step Four

Collect the pieces of paper to analyze the data.

That is it. You are done conducting a sociometric test in four easy steps.

Next, analyze the responses received to draw a sociogram. Using the sociogram template from Sometics, as well as looking at Sociograms Examples will help you create an insightful sociogram.