04 SES 13 E, Measuring Social Participation with Different Methods
Despite the reported social and academic benefits of inclusive education (Boer, et al., 2010; Frederickson, et al., 2004; Hanushek, et al., 2002; Lindsay, 2007), all too often these students remain marginalized and are at substantial risk of social isolation, exclusion and bullying (Bossaert, et al., 2013; Mamas, 2013; Pijl, et al., 2008; Rotheram-Fuller, et al., 2010). These adverse outcomes may substantially inhibit students’ sense of belonging, learning, well-being and may contribute further towards expanding the achievement gap and educational inequality. Therefore, as a matter of social justice and equity, it is key to identify those students and intervene early. However, practitioners do not necessarily have appropriate tools and professional training to do so. This paper aims to elaborate on how to use a social network analysis toolkit to measure social participation and identify students who may be at risk of social isolation, exclusion and bullying. Social network data that were collected from two classrooms will be presented to showcase the use of the toolkit. The social network analysis toolkit has proved to be efficient in measuring social participation and identifying those students who have less than average friends and who are located primarily on the periphery of their classroom’s social networks. Using multiple network relationships/indicators was found to provide compelling evidence as to the quantity and quality of classroom social relationships. The analysis of network data was accomplished through the toolkit. In particular, network maps of all networks for each classroom were developed that provided a visual representation of the students’ relationships with each other. Additionally, social network metrics, such as centrality and reciprocity, were calculated which provided an additional layer of evidence to identify students who are at risk. This original work has many practical applications, implications and potential for transforming educational practice, teaching and instruction. By creating and maintaining more socially responsive and inclusive classrooms, educators may use the toolkit to examine social participation in their classrooms and identify early those students who may be at risk of falling through the net. By strengthening the social and emotional aspects of learning, it is anticipated to have a knock-on effect on students’ academic performance, well-being and sense of belonging.
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