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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 as a teacher I can not pass personal judgment about a person’s religious beliefs. Respecting different cultures is a significant tool that is used in today’s society. In order to network and progress in the real world an individual has to have an open mind in order to retrieve and obtain new knowledge. Majority of federal funding schools in United Sates consist of diverse cultures and religions. If I was Aisha’s teacher I would immediately contact the parents of Aisha and address the situation. I would listen to the parents and respect their religious beliefs, I will also address that Aisha is a teenager about to graduate. I will explain how accepting diversity is essential in today’s society. If the parents understand the concepts, I will gradually group Aisha into a group with male students. If the parents disagree with grouping Aisha will male students, I will place Aisha into a group with female students. Reading this article I could only think about a young fellow that was in my class in Elementary. He was a Jehovah Witness and their religious beliefs do not allow them to recite the pledge of the allegiance and celebrate holidays. I remember that my teacher would call our Christmas party the "Winter Party" and the Thanksgiving party the "Fall party'. Changing the names of the party and not having symbolic items that represent Christmas or Thanksgiving allowed the young fellow to participant in the parties. She would allowed the young fellow to step out the class when we recited the pledge of the allegiance.
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 like your idea of contacting the parent and getting their take on it. That was an important component I did not consider. Having them explain everything and see whether or not they would be willing for her to work with males would be an excellent solution.
Rated On: September 7, 2013 11:36 am
Rated By: Stormye Brantley