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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!)
I believe you made the right decision with the first group and not changing the rules. Apparently this is not the first day of school. If it was such a huge deal to Aisha, wouldn't her father or mother told you on the first day of classes? Or wouldn't she have mentioned to you? I agree that she needs to work with all different types of people because that's how it is in the real world. Maybe next group you can adjust the group that she is in...with just one male, then the next time with two males, etc. Before any of this, however, you might want to call her parents to see what is really going on.
The suggested solution is respectful of the individual (student) No
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: Maybe her parents didn't mention this to her teachers because they didn't want to bring extra attention to their daughter, and they wanted the teacher to form his/her own opinion of her. We do live in the US, but to me, that does not mean that you have to work with everyone. As a parent, if there was a student in the same school with one of my two kids, and he/she was bullying them, I would not want them to have work together or complete projects together.
Rated On: May 20, 2015 10:44 pm
Rated By: Monica Rainwater