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  Case: Cannot Cooperate
Aisha is known as a responsible and smart student. I have known her for the last two years, but this year is the first time she is taking one of my classes. She is in my 10th grade US History class. Recently, I started using small group projects in my class. I simply want my students to learn to cooperate, exchange ideas, and produce the project together. Although Aisha is willing to take part in these small group projects, she does not want to be in groups with male students because of her religious beliefs. When she told me about this, I told her that she was in the United States and that she had to work with whoever she is in a group with. In the first group project, Aisha was in a group with three males and one female students. She simply did not participate in any of the group activities. I wonder if should reconsider my original position on this issue and accommodate Aisha by having her work only with girls. Would I be doing her a disservice? What should I do?
Solution: (Rates are posted for this solution!)
It is important that you be sensitive to her beliefs. Telling her she in the US and must follow the was do things is not a way to gain her trust. I would definitely explain to her that in life, she is going to come into many situations where she will have to work with people she may not want to, but if it is part of her job in her career or now as a student, it's important that she learn to work with others. I would start off slowly, maybe by asking one of your male students if he would be ok being the only one in group with females, just to get her more confortable with the situation. It could be possible that the school counselor would be helpful in this situation as well.