Social Dynamics of the Class

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Social Dynamics

Group Behaviour

Being a member of a group, such as a class or cohort, influences and shapes the behaviour of its members. Each group has its own unique sub-culture of values and expectations of its members. The formation of social rules within the group is complex and involves a multitude of external influences such as the school culture, local community and wider societal values. Equally, the group's sub-culture reflects the personalities and behaviours of its members and in particular the more dominant 'role-models'.

In terms of classroom management these differences between classes, forms and cohorts can be significant. Many experienced teachers report classes that are more challenging or wearing than others. Sometimes this is because of high numbers of students with additional needs and sometimes it is due to a lack of social cohesion or maturity. Assessing the needs of the class or form as a single entity may be as important as the assessment of the individual needs of its members.

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Assessing the group

Social Dynamics Assessment Profile Example

The Group Dynamics Assessment Profile provides a structured approach to making assessments about the class. It helps to identify specific areas of strengths and weaknesses which affect the overall management of behaviour and learning. Once a profile has been created it can inform decisions on how to best to target support and strategies.

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Circle Time can be used to explore classroom social rules and expectations and what defines a positive learning class culture.
Curriculum time can be allocated to developing metacognition and independent study skills.
Use of a Class Compliance Chart to help identify which members of the class can be be most influenced in supporting positive change within the classroom. It also helps to isolate poor role models within the class.
Use school and class based rewards to encourage specific class culture changes. Individual targets can be synchronised to support overall class goal.

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You may also be interested in the following pages:

Classroom Behaviour

Assessment Resources


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