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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!)
Aisha has been told her whole life that because of her religious beliefs she is not able to work with male students. Although Aisha is doing herself a disservice by excluding herself from many activities and group projects, she is also hindering her learning experience. If I were the teacher, the first thing I would do is contact the parents. They may not mind if she works with male students, and they may tell you they just do not want her working on one one with a male student. It is always good to get all sides of the situation first before moving forward. After speaking with the parents, I would then talk with Aisha discussing why it is important that we work with all types of people in a public school environment, and that it is necessary to work with all types of students. If this is part of her familiesí culture and beliefs, it may be necessary for you to make an exception for Aisha. Aisha needs to understand that in college and in the real world she will have to work with a variety of people to make money, etc. She may see it from a different perspective and then understand why her grade for the project is important and why she must bend her religious views a bit to be successful in life.
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, contacting the parents would be the first step.
Rated On: October 17, 2014 3:02 pm
Rated By: Angela Avery