Currently, the classroom situation in Saudi Arabia is segregated between men and women. Women are the disadvantaged group, with less access to resources and more hardship endured while obtaining an education. But, what if the concept of an inclusive pedagogy were introduced in the Saudi education system?
Inclusive pedagogy, as I understand it, is a classroom where the students and teacher cater learning that reaches all students, despite background, style of learning, and ability so that the classroom is a social justice charged, supportive, open environment. The main objective is to create a classroom that allows students to feel like they belong and that they are all equally valued.
The first step towards introducing an inclusive classroom is through integration of the genders in the learning environment. Traditionally, women are not seen as equal in the eyes of society, as well as the law. But more recently has there been a push to bridge that gap and women have started to feel closer to equals with their male counterparts. However, there are still inequalities that women face, and one of those is education. By introducing integration in the classroom, women and men are able to interact, allowing for introduction of more idea exchange and enhanced discussions. The application of an inclusive pedagogy excels that discussion through more progressive ideology and the emphasis on equality for all students. Classroom integration, in theory, would prove vital in promoting social justice and furthering equality for women in Saudi Arabia.
Despite the beginning of bridging the gap between men and women in Saudi Arabia, there is still going to be traditionalist and conservative people who will be against the idea of inclusivity. The desegregation of the classroom would cause backlash from those against the idea, and possibly spark protesting, boycotting, and even extremes like intimidation and violence. This could prevent students from attending classes both because it goes against their beliefs or they are afraid to go to class.
The idea of an inclusive pedagogy in Saudi education could be beneficial and provoke further conversation towards social justice and equality. On the other end, there is still a lot of change that needs to occur in the traditional mindset and in the society, both in Saudi Arabia and the world as a whole to allow the ideas of social justice and inclusivity into not only the classroom, but into the culture.