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Student Cliques

Frequently I teach classes near the end of our program. Thus, by this point the students are quite familiar with each other and student cliques have formed. Occasionally I have a class where the cliques are obvious from Day One and there is some real hostility between class members-based on events that happened long before they came to my class.

I clearly address the expectations for class involvement and classroom respect; however I find these classes have significantly weaker participation and discussion. Thoughts? Techniques that others have tried?

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