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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 really difficut situation to be put in as a teacher. I completely understand your viewpoint that Aisha is a student in the United States, and that she will have to come in contact with boys at some point in her education. As teachers, we have to help our students learn to go outside of their comfort zone, and learn to work with many different types of students. On the other hand, it was probably very difficult for Aisha to come foward and tell you about her religous beliefs and discomfort with working with boys. If Aisha were my studnet, I would try to talk to her and her parents to involve them in the situation. I would make sure they understood that you were not trying to go against any of their religous beliefs by making Aisha work with boys, but that you are trying to prepare her to be succesful in her schooling in the United States where she will have to work with boys at some point or another. I would also ask Aisha if there were any particular boy in the class that she felt comfortable working with. If not, I would start slowly having her work with boys. I would put her in a group with 3 girls and one boy (I would definitly choose a boy that you feel would not make Aisha feel uncomfortable in any way. I think that taking these small steps will help Aisha slowly learn to work with boys in situations she feels uncomfortable in.
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: This is very appropriate response.
Rated On: October 21, 2014 4:33 am
Rated By: Thomas Anderson