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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 peculiar and interesting case. I would suggest accommodating Aisha, but I would also inform her that the real world will not be so lenient. Throughout time, I would suggest helping Aisha feel more comfortable. I would maybe put one male in a group of females that would include Aisha if she was okay with it. I would probably have a meeting with her parents to see if a better solution could be made. Overall, I would not want Aisha to feel forced to do something she did not want to do or felt strongly about. Mostly, I would accommodate her because there are laws that protect a person's religious beliefs.
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 with your solution. Aisha needs to realize that these sort of accommodations won't always be offered to her in the real world. But we also can't force her to do something she is uncomfortable with in the classroom.
Rated On: October 13, 2014 5:34 pm
Rated By: Megan Lee