Using Social Network Analysis to Evaluate Academic Assistance Networks in a Holistic Education Secondary School

  • R. Renee Setari National Geographic Society, University of Kentucky
  • Anthony Philip Setari University of Kentucky
Keywords: Social Network Analysis, Montessori, Erdkinder, Evaluation, Holistic Education

Abstract

One goal of Erdkinder schools is for students and teachers to provide academic assistance to their peers, particularly to less-knowledgeable ones. However, traditional educational evaluations do not provide a means to investigate the exchange of academic help. This study piloted the use of social network analysis to describe academic assistance relationships within a Montessori secondary school. Using a network survey, social network data concerning the exchange of academic help were collected from 23 students and 8 teachers. The results show that while students provide help to both fellow students and teachers, teachers are the main source of assistance for students. In some subjects, a few students and teachers neither provided nor received assistance, indicating another area for improvement. The results of a multiple regression quadratic assignment procedure (multiple regression-QAP) show that for most subjects, their willingness to help others was not significantly influenced by their own personal level of knowledge. Thus, more-knowledgeable individuals do not provide more assistance to less-knowledgeable peers. To adhere to Erdkinder principles, this school should encourage more-knowledgeable students to recognize their responsibility to help others and to actually help those who need support. This pilot yielded valuable information, and social network analysis warrants further study within holistic education.

References

Akers, K. S. (2011). Connections, paths, and explanations: A social network approach to investigating experiences of experiences of early childhood special education with the ECLS-K (Doctoral dissertation). University of Kentucky, Lexington. Available from https://uknowledge.uky.edu/gradschool_diss/165/

Barker, D. (2011). A historical look at Montessori’s Erdkinder. Communications: Journal of the Association Montessori Internationale, 1-2, 96–112.

Bernard, H. R., Killworth, P., & Sailer, L. (1982). Informant accuracy in social network data V: An experimental attempt to predict actual communication from recall data. Social Science Research, 11, 30–66. https://doi.org/10.1016/0049-089X(82)90006-0

Bond, L., Butler, H., Thomas, L., Carlin, J., Glover, S., Bowes, G., & Patton, G. (2007). Social and school connectedness in early secondary school as predictors of late teenage substance use, mental health, and academic outcomes. Journal of Adolescent Health, 40, 357.e9–357.e18. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jadohealth.2006.10.013

Borgatti, S. P., Everett, M. G., & Freeman, L. C. (2002). UCINET 6 for Windows: Software for social network analysis (Version 6.96) [Computer software]. Lexington, KY: Analytic Technologies.

Borgatti, S. P., Everett, M. G., & Johnson, J. C. (2013). Analyzing social networks. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE.

Borgers, N., Hox, J., & Sikkel, D. (2003). Response quality in survey research with children and adolescents: the effect of labeled response options and vague quantifiers. International Journal of Public Opinion Research, 15(1), 83–94. https://doi.org/10.1093/ijpor/15.1.83

Casquejo Johnston, L. M. (2016). Examining Montessori middle school through a self-determination theory lens: A mixed methods study of the lived experiences of adolescents. Journal of Montessori Research, 2(1), 27–42. Retrieved from https://journals.ku.edu/jmr/article/view/4994

Coburn, C. E., & Russell, J. L. (2008). District policy and teachers’ social networks. Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, 30(3), 203–235. https://doi.org/10.3102/0162373708321829

Daly, A. J. (2010). Social network theory and educational change. Cambridge, MA: Harvard Education Press.

de Laat, M., Lally, V., Lipponen, L., & Simons, R.-J. (2007). Investigating patterns of interaction in networked learning and computer-supported collaborative learning: A role for social network analysis. International Journal of Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning, 2, 87–103. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11412-007-9006-4

Donahoe, M. (2010). Liberty and hope for the adolescent: Valorization of the personality. Retrieved from the Cincinnati Montessori Secondary Teacher Education Program website: http://cmstep.com/wp-content/uploads/Valorization_of_the_Personality1.pdf

Forbes, S. H., & Martin, R. A. (2004, April). What holistic education claims about itself: An analysis of holistic schools’ literature. Paper presented at the annual conference of the American Educational Research Association, San Diego, CA. Retrieved from http://www.holistic-education.net/articles/research04.pdf

Grazzini, C. (2004). The four planes of development. The NAMTA Journal, 29, 27–61. Retrieved from http://www.montessori-namta.org/PDF/4planesofdevelopment.pdf

Gutek, G. L. (2004). Introduction: A biography of Montessori and an analysis of the Montessori Method. In G. K. Gutek (Ed.), The Montessori method: The origins of an educational innovation, including an abridged and annotated edition of Maria Montessori’s The Montessori method (pp. 1–66). Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield.

Guthrie, J. T., & Davis, M. H. (2003). Motivating struggling readers in middle school through an engagement model of classroom practice. Reading & Writing Quarterly, 19(1), 59–85. https://doi.org/10.1080/10573560308203

Kahn, D. (2011). Eight pictures at an exhibition: A Montessori retrospective on the discovery of the adolescent. Communications, 1-2, 15–41.

Kahn, D., & Pendleton, D. R. (2007). The whole-school Montessori handbook. Burton, OH: North American Montessori Teachers’ Association.

Langille, D. B., Asbridge, M., Cragg, A., & Rasic, D. (2015). Associations of school connectedness with adolescent suicidality: Gender differences and the role of risk of depression. Canadian Journal of Psychiatry, 60, 258–267. doi:10.1177/070674371506000604

Lent, R. W., Brown, S. D., & Larkin, K. C. (1984). Relation of self-efficacy expectations to academic achievement and persistence. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 31, 356–361. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/0022-0167.31.3.356

Martinez, J. A., Sher, K. J., Krull, J. L., & Wood, P. K. (2009). Blue-collar scholars?: Mediators and moderators of university attrition in first-generation college students. Journal of College Student Development, 50, 87–107. doi:10.1353/csd.0.0053

Miller, J. P. (2010). Whole child education. Toronto, Canada: University of Toronto Press.

Miller, R. (1990). What are schools for? Holistic education in American culture. Brandon, VT: Holistic Education Press.

Montessori, M. (1973). From childhood to adolescence: Including Erdkinder and the function of the university. New York, NY: Schocken.

Montessori, M. (2011a). Principles and practice in education. Communications: Journal of the Association Montessori Internationale, 11-12, 50–60. (Reprinted from First Lecture, Institute of Medical Psychology, London, November 10, 1936.)

Montessori, M. (2011b). The physical and psychological development of the adolescent. Communications: Journal of the Association Montessori Internationale, 1-2, 67–72. (Reprinted from the 34th Lecture given at the 23rd International Course, Amsterdam, 1938.)

Montessori, M. (2011c). The adolescent: A social newborn. Communications: Journal of the Association Montessori Internationale, 1-2, 73–78. (Reprinted from the 37th Lecture given at the 23rd International Course, Amsterdam, 1938.)

North American Montessori Teachers’ Association (2015). Curriculum downloads. Retrieved from http://www.montessori-namta.org/Curriculum-Downloads

O’Brennan, L. M., & Furlong, M. J. (2010). Relations between students’ perceptions of school connectedness and victimization. Journal of School Violence, 9, 375–391. https://doi.org/10.1080/15388220.2010.509009

Pajares, F., & Schunk, D. H. (2001). Self-beliefs and school success: Self-efficacy, self-concept, and school achievement. Perception, 11, 239–266.

Pottish-Lewis, P. (2013). Standardized tests: Help or hindrance. AMI/USA Journal, Winter, 3–8.

Raby, R., & Pomerantz, S. (2015). Playing it down/playing it up: girls’ strategic negotiations of academic success. British Journal of Sociology of Education, 36, 507–525. https://doi.org/10.1080/01425692.2013.836056

Rathunde, K., & Csikszentmihalyi, M. (2005). Middle school students’ motivation and quality of experience: A comparison of Montessori and traditional school environments. American Journal of Education, 111, 341–371. http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1086/428885

Scott, J. (2000). Social network analysis. Los Angeles, CA: SAGE.

Standing, E. M., & Havis, L. (1998). Maria Montessori: Her life and work. New York, NY: Plume.

Thomas, S. L. (2000). Ties that bind: A social network approach to understanding student integration and persistence. Journal of Higher Education, 71, 591–615. http://www.jstor.org/stable/2649261

Tornar, C. (2011). The secret of adolescence. Communications: Journal of the Association Montessori Internationale, 1-2, 113–120.

Wentzel, K. R. (1998). Social relationships and motivation in middle school: The role of parents, teachers, and peers. Journal of Educational Psychology, 90, 202–209. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/0022-0663.90.2.202

Published
2018-05-15