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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 think that it is important to be aware and respectful to student's religious beliefs in the classroom so that all students feel respected and a part of the learning community. However, I do believe that by allowing Aisha to never work with male students in the classroom is a disservice to her. As Aisha embarks on the real world and obtains a job,she will have to work with men in the future and it's important for her to understand this being in the United States. I think that the teacher should sit down with Aisha's parents and discuss the small groups and their feelings towards her working with other male students. Hopefully, based on the discussion a compromise can be made that would allow Aisha to work with other male students in her class. If not, accommodations should be made so Aisha is able to participant. This could be seen as another form of differentiation in the classroom.

If Aisha's parents do agree for her to work with male students in the classroom, I believe it would be beneficial to ease her into the transition by creating a group consisting of mostly girls and one or two male students. I think by placing her in a group mostly of men to start with will be overwhelming and uncomfortable to Aisha.
 
     
     
  Rating
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 that not allowing Aisha to not work with males is doing a disservice to her. Most workplaces have male employees. I like your idea of easing her into the groups with males if her parents agree to it. That creates a safe environment for her and will in turn help create a more meaningful learning experience!
Rated On: May 23, 2014 2:49 am
Rated By: Haley Moore
 
     
     
  Rating
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 the best answer and solution for this case.
Rated On: October 17, 2014 8:10 pm
Rated By: zemyRy
 
     
     
  Rating
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 think this is a good solution.
Rated On: October 18, 2015 11:47 pm
Rated By: Jessica Sorensen
 
     
     
  Rating
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 a great soluton! This respects Aisha and her religion, while also maybe clearing blurred lines she may have about the level of strictness her religion has.
Rated On: October 17, 2016 12:34 am
Rated By: Raven B
 
     
     
  Rating
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 largely agreed with this post, as a child who cannot work with classmates of both sexes will have difficulties in the future/other classes/workplace. However, the teacher should start by speaking with her parents to see if a compromise could first be reached. If not, then some accommodations could be made.
Rated On: March 1, 2017 8:06 pm
Rated By: jyHyHy