Adela Rahmati & Dr. Tamrika Khvtisiashvili,
Alfaisal University, Saudi Arabia
Higher Education in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia remains significantly gender-segregated. The integration of genders is a complex undertaking that is still in its emergent phases. The authors argue that modernization of education, which is necessary for ultimate higher quality of instruction, requires an eventual integration of the sexes, even when the initial stages are less than perfect. The question examined in this study is the perception of current students in a mixed learning environment who receive lectures in two story, balcony-style classrooms, with male students and a male instructor on the ground floor, and females on the floor above, separated by a sheet of mirrored, frosted glass. 280 male and female studentsof a STEM University in Saudi Arabia were asked a series of questions on a Likert Scale (1-6) to determine their attitudes regarding learning, instruction, comfort, practicality, and motivation. The results of the survey indicated that while this classroom setup remains limited and imperfect, students prefer this structure as a step towards modernization and advancement of education in the KSA, and that the benefits gained from studying within a mixed environment outweigh the current, less-than-perfect set-up.
The above abstract is part of the article which was accepted at The First International Conference on Current Issues of Languages, Dialects and Linguistics (WWW.LLLD.IR) & The Third National Conference on English Studies and Linguistics (WWW.ELTL.IR) , 2-3 February 2017 , Iran-Ahwaz.