Assessment of Social Interaction Within Enrichment Programs Through Observational Methodology Paper Presentation
Author(s): María Cadenas, (University of La Laguna, Spain), Lianne Hoogeveen, (Radboud University, Center for the Study of Giftedness, Nijmegen, The Netherlands), Africa Borges, (University of La Laguna, Spain)
The study of social interaction inside the classroom, it is a difficult but important task because of the influence of early social relations in the social and personal life in the adult stage of a person. Some approaches suggest that the social adaptation in primary school of a child is a predictor of his or her adjustment and academic performance. While there is no evidence that children with high intellectual abilities will develop social problems, some of them can have difficulties in the relations with their peers at school. Therefore, it is necessary to develop appropiate tools which allows to evaluate the social interaction of this students in an educative context, in order to detect and prevent social difficulties that can affect their academic achievement. In this work we present an observational instrument designed to analyze the social interaction in enrichment programs, Observational Protocol for Social Interaction within the the classroom (OPINTEC, v. 4). This protocol is based in the three functional mechanisms which regulates the social interaction: social efectiveness, social correspondance and social reciprocity. The instrument have been applied in two enrichment programs, one in Spain and one in The Netherlands, in order to compare the influence of cultural and educational differences in the social behavior of the students. The participants are 10 children between 7 and 12 years old, five from each country, who have been observed in three sessions of their respectives programs. The objective is to analyze the social interaction of each group and compare them to asses if there are differences in their behavior. The results from the group in Spain shows higher frequencies in the interaction with the instructor. The more common behavioral patterns are those which implies interaction with the teacher about the activity carried out. Data from The Netherlands is in process of analyzing. For the assessment of the behavioral patterns it is used the Lag Sequential Analysis with the program SDIS-GSEQ.
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