Advice on how kids can avoid cliques in the classroom

Percy L. Abram, PhD offers suggestions on how schools can help kids avoid cliques
Family and Parenting Advice | How kids can avoid cliques in the classroom
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Advice on how kids can avoid cliques in the classroom

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One of the activities we do at my school to help avoid cliques from forming is to do a game where we place students on either side of the classroom and we ask them a series of questions. So who among us likes pizza? Who among us likes rock music? Who among us likes Miley Cyrus? Who among us likes a new app on the iPhone? And although many of the 6th-7th-8th graders as we begin the activity feel it's silly, they realize as they participate that they're standing next to somebody that they believed before they had nothing in common with. So the student that they had been in school with for the last two years and enjoyed the same literary genre that they did but since they had never had a conversation they would never know about it, gives them the impression that, hey, I now understand that there's more that makes us similar than that makes us different. Our similarities are far greater than the differences. And then that translates to the work that we do in the classroom. So we will have students, once they have participated in this activity, go into the classroom, work with one another, and they have a foundation from which to begin a relationship that before now would not have existed.

Percy L. Abram, PhD offers suggestions on how schools can help kids avoid cliques

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Percy L. Abram, PhD

Head of School

Percy Abram is the Head of Gateway School.  Gateway School is a Kindergarten – 8th grade independent school in Santa Cruz, CA.  Prior to joining Gateway School, Dr. Abram was the Upper Division Director at Brentwood School in Los Angeles.  An LA native, Dr. Abram received his B.A. (Economics) and M.A. (Education) degrees from UCLA, and his M.A. (Sociology) and Ph.D. (Education) from Stanford University.  Dr. Abram and his wife are the parents of a 10-year old daughter and 7-year old son, and despite running a school and being responsible for 260 students each day, he still finds parenting his most challenging job.

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