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A colleague and I are working on a paper that addresses the accuracy with
which teachers perceive the student friendship patterns in their classrooms
(degree of accuracy and sources of variation). An education example of
Krackhardt's (1987) work on "cognitive social structures," in the sense that
teachers are important classroom actors who engage in a wide variety of
consequential decisions and actions that are likely influenced by their
perceptions of who is friends with whom in the classroom (e.g. seating and
workgroup assignments, spillover in negative/positive sentiment).
We have a nice set of data to do some exploratory work on teacher accuracy
at the network, clique, student pair, and individual student levels.
My question is this: has anyone come across studies of the accuracy or
consequences of teacher perceptions of classroom friendship patterns? We
are familiar with a series of studies conducted in the 1940's and 50's on
teacher accuracy perceiving student sociometric status (e.g. Bonney, 1943,
1947; Gage, Leavitt & Stone, 1955; Gronlund, 1951, 1955, 1956). Moreno
(1934) considered the issue in his first use of a sociometric instrument (I
think). We also are familiar with studies by Cairns, Gest and their
colleagues on social cognitive maps which address student perceptions of
classroom friendship patterns. But we can't seem to find any work on the
teacher side of things since the late 1950s. We suspect studies exist and
we're just missing them.
Any suggestions would be appreciated!
Thanks in advance...
Teachers College, Columbia University
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