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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!)
As with any other religious belief, Aisha's request to not work with male students does need to be considered. However, I am not sure how not interacting with males in a small group is any different than interacting with males within the classroom or school. Does her beliefs allow for her to be in the same classroom setting with males in general? I feel it is necessary to accommodate her in the short term until her beliefs can be verified by her parents. I agree that a conference with Aisha, her parents, and administration/counselors is definitely in order. The scenario does not indicate how long Aisha has attended a co-ed school, nor does it indicate whether documentation for accommodations exist. The discussion does need to incorporate the fact that in America it is necessary for men and women to work and communicate together. If Aisha's family has chosen to live in a culture where girls and boys, men and women, Catholics and Methodists are to work together within a community, then Aisha and her family may need to be more accommodating in adhering to American culture. Hopefully, through open communication the family and school can reach a compromise in Aisha's future group work with males.
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: Thank you.
Rated On: October 17, 2014 5:58 pm
Rated By: TuBuJy