Economics Marriage Project

Discussion in 'General Education' started by MrSSTeacher, Mar 5, 2014.

  1. MrSSTeacher

    MrSSTeacher New Member

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    Mar 5, 2014

    This is a mess.
    For the last few years that I've been teaching, with my high school economics class, I do a marriage project. Basically, two students are paired up and "married" for two weeks and learn the costs of things people face in everyday life. Every year it's worked out great and students enjoy it. This year, I'm running into an issue....

    I have a transgender student in one of my classes. A boy who dresses as a girl. He came up to me the other day when I announced the project and asked if he could be paired with a boy. I without thinking said "Sure, that's no problem"...

    Partners are matched by random, basically boys pick the girls name out of a hat.

    Well, here's the problem.... It would be awkward for the student who gets paired up with him. I'm not saying that it's bad that the student is a transgender, that's their business, not mine, but how do I pair them with without it being awkward for their partner? The student doesn't really have any friends in the class, and the project is too much for them to do alone.

    I'm pretty good friends with one of the school administrators, and he's a big fan of this project. I asked him what he thinks I should do, and he's clueless.

    What would you do? Am I missing an obvious solution? I don't want to make it awkward for anyone....
     
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  3. i8myhomework

    i8myhomework Comrade

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    Mar 5, 2014

    Is there any chance you could keep 5-7 boys after class and ask them if one of them would be okay partnering? One of them is bound to say yes or not care.

    If the above works out just ditch the hat idea and randomly pick the names yourself.

    Kudos to you for trying to find a solution that will meet your students needs :)
     
  4. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    I might reconsider the "marriage" aspect of the project... Couldn't the goal be accomplished without pretending students are married?
     
  5. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    Mar 5, 2014

    What if you make it roommates? This way you can even make one household have 3 roommates if you have odd number of students. OR in this case, you could have several 3 roommate household, with this one student in one, and it wouldn't be so awkward.
     
  6. HistoryVA

    HistoryVA Devotee

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    I have to agree with the others- why the focus on marriage? There are so many variations of partnership these days. It seems antiquated to insist that a "boy" and a "girl" be married. I'd switch to roommates.
     
  7. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    You could also just mix all the names in the hat, and everyone picks someone at random. It could be boy-girl, girl-girl, or boy-boy. But I agree with the others. You may want to rethink this "marriage" project. Many of your students may not be inclined to be with a partner at all and going solo is perfectly acceptable.
     
  8. otterpop

    otterpop Phenom

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    Mar 6, 2014

    You could randomly assign partners with no consideration of gender, and then let them pick fake roles for themselves.

    You could suggest married couples, siblings, roommates, etc. I bet the kids would love getting to make up their characters' connections.

    A traditional male-female marriage assignment could be uncomfortable for more kids than may be immediately obvious for a number of reasons.
     
  9. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    I agree with changing the project to roommates.
     
  10. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    I do a baby making genetics lab where nature dictates couples are male/female. I draw names in pairs. The first one called is the woman and the second is the man. No matter what the gender of the students.

    I don't like the idea of roommates myself. Not for economics.
     
  11. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Aficionado

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    I think doing random groups and letting them choose the relationships would be good. Then you get a variety. Also, different couples handle finances very differently. And, if you look at population trends, they will more likely live alone or with roommates before living as a married couple. It could be more useful to see all the many different examples.
     
  12. orangetea

    orangetea Connoisseur

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    I think the problem with making this a marriage project like you're suggesting is that you don't know for sure that all your students are straight. I think this project would be really difficult for LGBTQ students that you may have. If you do marriage, I wouldn't keep it as the first name picked is a man and the second is a woman, because not all marriages are a man and a woman. (And schools shouldn't reinforce the view that a marriage is only between a man and a woman.)

    I like the idea of letting students pick the relationship. :)
     
  13. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Even straight people don't always marry.

    I know you said it's a big project to do independently, but I think it would be nice to modify an option so a few students could learn economics solo.
     
  14. sue35

    sue35 Habitué

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    Why can't they all be single? Honestly, I think it is much more useful to them to learn how to live as a single person fresh out of college with no support.

    If you do roommates everyone will know why you switched and I would think that she is more likely to be teased.
     
  15. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    Also since it is rarely the case that you have equal numbers of boys and girls in a class, why not just do the same thing you do when you have a few boys or girls left over.
     
  16. mr_post22

    mr_post22 Companion

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    Mar 6, 2014

    As someone else posted, modify your project and make them room mates who are fresh out of college or something.
     
  17. orangetea

    orangetea Connoisseur

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    Good point. :)
     
  18. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Can you make it 'roommates economics' instead of marriage? Truthfully most young people have roommates and/or live together before marriage anyway....
     
  19. eternalsaudade

    eternalsaudade Companion

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    I agree with most of the responses here, you should modify the project to make it inclusive for all of your students. I like the idea of random pairings/groups and then having students choose their own roles. This would have the added benefit of having students explore all sorts of living arrangements that they might find themselves in throughout their lives.

    As a side note, please be careful in how you refer to people who are transgender. If the student identifies as female, she is not a "boy dressing as a girl." A more appropriate way to say this if you feel the need to specify might be to say that she was assigned male at birth, but identifies and lives as female. You should also make sure you know what pronouns the student prefers. If the student identifies as female, chances are that the student prefers female pronouns rather than male ones.
     
  20. orangetea

    orangetea Connoisseur

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    Mar 7, 2014

    Agreed :)
     
  21. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

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    Mar 8, 2014

    I think this is a cool idea. They will love the choice.

    Personally, I've never lived with a roommate outside the dorms so a singles project would've been better for me.
     
  22. DizneeTeachR

    DizneeTeachR Virtuoso

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    Mar 8, 2014

    We had to do something similar but as singles. WE had to research the job we hoped to have how much we would make, bills... It was a long project....
     
  23. EMonkey

    EMonkey Connoisseur

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    I would agree just draw names so that some pairs are two girls, some are two boys, some are a boy and a girl. Just call them all Significant Others and be done.
     

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