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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!)
This is a very difficult position to be placed in because religion is a very important part of who people are. Our job as the teacher is to make them feel comfortable and safe in the classroom, and if their religion conflicts with what is done in the classroom, then adjustments may need to be made. It is not our place to judge and make her do something she feels is wrong. However, she is in the United States, and she does need to learn to adjust and comply with how things are done. There may not always be a teacher who is considerate enough to make accommodations for her, and she may get stuck in a situation where she has the choice to work with the group she was placed with or fail what she is doing. I think it would good at first to adjust the groups, but then sit her down and explain that she needs to work with boys and will need to participate with them in order to be successful in the class. I think teaching her this skill may seem harsh, but it is helping her be a functional member of society.
The suggested solution is respectful of the individual (student) Yes
The suggested solution is relevant to the case Yes
The suggested solution is reasonable (easy) for the teacher to implement Yes
The suggested solution is likely to solve the problem/issue Yes
The suggested solution is original Yes
Comments: I agree, for religion, exceptions should be made.
Rated On: October 17, 2014 2:51 pm
Rated By: Angela Avery