According to Montessori Training, the feelings of the children are taken into consideration in organising work, study groups and play groups among the children of the class. One simple sociometric method of estimating the child’s likes and dislikes and feelings about his classmates is illustrated here. Let us take a hypothetical cause of a class with only fifteen children in it.
She can similarly ask them to write the names of the least liked ones. She than collects the responses of the children, say for ‘sitting next to’ and counts the preferences in case of every child in the class. This is, of course, a simplistic map, taking only one item into consideration. But it will suffice for understanding the method. This kind of a diagram or a map is called a sociogram. In this diagram two stars of attraction, viz. Manohar and Ela are seen with a clear division of preferences on the basis of sex. Onkar and Kursh id are rejected isolates with whom no one seems to want to have anything to do.
How does the Sociogram Help a Teacher?
A sociogram with several factors considered in a real classroom will be much more complicated than this. However, according to some of the educators of early childhood care and education, the sociogram by itself is unable to reveal the reasons for these preferences. It does not tell us why Khurshid and Onkar are rejected isolates, whom no one shows a preference. Is it because they are too shy, or ignored or disliked by others and for what reasons? The sociogram does not reveal. The teacher has to look for these reasons in the behaviour and the background of her pupils. But the relationship revealed in the map gives her a clue to search in the right direction. And more important is the fact that the map directly helps her in the management of the class activities. If she has to coax the children to do a job, which they do not like, she must rally the support of the stars, manohar and Ela to her efforts and the rest of the children will follow.
Interaction in the classroom
The present day set up of the teaching-learning process, the teacher talks, instructs, demonstrates and then the students react in response to her. They listen when the teacher speaks, carry out the instructions given to them, observe things when demonstrated and even draw inferences and conclusions when they are told to infer and conclude and are shown how to do it. The teacher is the initiator of all activities. The students respond to her but generally do not initiate an activity, which can invite the teacher to react. This kind of atmosphere hampers the development of healthy groups, which, as has already been said, are an essential part of the development of the child. This one-sided orientation of action-reaction or stimulus-response set-up should give way to a healthy interaction, wherein the teacher and the pupils act on each other and the pupils among themselves.