Classroom Space and Student Positions in Peer Social Networks : An Exploratory Study

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Year of publication 2021
Type Article in Periodical
Magazine / Source Studia paedagogica
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Arts

Keywords likeability; dominance; centralities; classroom seating arrangement; social network analysis; sociometry
Description The aim of this explorative research study was to identify the relationship between the positions of individual students in their peer social networks and their classroom seating arrangement through sociometry and social network analysis. We examined the social networks of 17 classrooms comprising 363 students (183 boys, 180 girls) attending lower secondary schools (ISCED 2A). We found that positions in social networks could not be connected with single specific seating positions. Nonetheless, certain tendencies can be observed. Students who are perceived as more likeable sit in the middle column of the classroom and are seated close to each other. Locations inhabited by dominant students are positioned further from teachers and further apart from each other. The increase of the values of degree centrality, closeness centrality, and eigenvector centrality is noticeable in desks positioned further away from the teacher. By comparing these results with studies examining seating arrangements as a means of distributing learning opportunities through student participation, specific zones can be observed in the classroom that could benefit the children seated there in their roles as students and at the same time in their roles as classmates.
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