04 SES 13 B, Consulting Students with SEN; Challenges and Opportunities
This presentation will discuss the personal social support networks between students with individual education plans (IEPs) and their peers, as a function of their social capital. For this study, ego-net analysis was implemented and data were collected from students across three elementary and secondary South Californian schools through a participatory visual mapping technique. Ego-net analysis in education research presents an innovative set of tools to explore under-served students’ voice through examining the relational structure of their personal social support networks inside and outside of school. According to Scott (2013), social networks are a particular form of social capital that individuals/students can employ to enhance their advantages or opportunities. Social capital theory is based on the social relationships that provide access to resources that can be exchanged, borrowed and leveraged to facilitate achieving goals (Moolenaar et al., 2012). One important function of social relationships may be the provision of social capital in terms of social support. Social support is a multidimensional concept (Dumont & Provost, 1999), but this study focuses on socio-emotional support (e.g. friendships) and informational/academic support (e.g. advice and sharing of information). The mode of inquiry used was ego-net analysis, which is the network that is formed around an actor, in our case a student. As it is a network, it involves other actors or ‘alters’ with whom the student or ‘ego’ forms relational ties. A relational tie may reflect a ‘connection’ between individuals through which ‘resources’ may flow (Lin, 2002), such as social support. In collecting the ego-net data from 21 students, we employed a participatory visual mapping technique. This is an engaging method for youth, as it provides opportunities to draw their network and then talk about it during a follow-up interview (Crossley et al., 2015). Student participants were asked to create their ego-network by writing and/or drawing their alters within three concentric circles. This way they can provide insights into the quality of ties, by asking students to place contacts within the three different rings, with those closest to them at the centre. We have calculated three ego-net measures; tie central tendency, tie dispersion, and alter central tendency (Halgin & Borgatti, 2012; Crossley et al., 2015), and employed grounded theory to analyse the interviews. Our initial results show that students with IEPs are more likely to have a smaller network size which may inhibit access to socio-emotional and academic support.
Crossley, N., Bellotti, E., Edwards, G., Everett, M. G., Koskinen, J., & Tranmer, M. (2015). Social network analysis for ego-nets: Social network analysis for actor-centred networks. Sage. Dumont, M., & Provost, M. A. (1999). Resilience in adolescents: Protective role of social support, coping strategies, self-esteem, and social activities on experience of stress and depression. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 28(3), 343-363. Halgin, D. S., & Borgatti, S. P. (2012). An introduction to personal network analysis and tie churn statistics using E-NET. Connections, 32(1), 37-48. Lin, N. (2002). Social capital: A theory of social structure and action (Vol. 19). Cambridge University Press. Moolenaar, N. M., Sleegers, P. J., & Daly, A. J. (2012). Teaming up: Linking collaboration networks, collective efficacy, and student achievement. Teaching and Teacher Education, 28(2), 251-262. Scott, J. (2013). Social Network Analysis (3rd ed.). Los Angeles: SAGE.
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