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Title From Singular to Mixed: A Comparative Study of the Perceptions of Male and Female Saudi Students at The University of Akron in Adapting to the Coeducation Experience.
Publication Date
Degree MAin Education
Discipline/Department Educational Foundations-Social/Philosophical Foundations of Education
Degree Level masters
University/Publisher University of Akron
Abstract In this study, I had investigated how Saudi students at The University of Akron perceive and experience coeducation as individuals who originate from a cultural environment and educational system that normalizes the separation of sexes, and explore any differences in such perceptions and experiences between male and female Saudi students. The objective of this study was to find answers to four questions; (a) How do Saudi students, as products of a single-sex education system and a gender-segregated culture, perceive the coeducation experience while attending academic programs in the U.S.? (b) Do Saudi women perceive the coeducational experience of the U.S. differently from Saudi men? (c) Is the gender of the student a factor in hindering or accelerating adjustment to this new norm? Or is it the time spent in a coeducation setting? Or is it both? (d) How may the perceived challenges of adapting to coeducation be mitigated or resolved?To address the research problem and questions, I had applied a phenomenological methodology, as to study the perceptions of four randomly selected Saudi students attending the University of Akron, differing in gender, level of education and time spent in the U.S., and to assess the role of gender and time in their adjustment to coeducation.Guided by the focus of this study, I presented a theoretical framework that consisted of several gender identity, social identity and acculturation theories and models, and used this framework in interpreting the responses of the study’s subjects. Additionally, I had discussed the predominant social and gender identities in Saudi Arabia and reviewed previous studies that have researched the experiences of Saudi students attending higher education in western countries in relation to matters of gender and coeducation, as to present a contextual setting for the analysis of the responses.In relation to the research questions, this study suggests that there are indeed differences between the perceptions and experiences of Saudi female and male students attending a coeducation program at The University of Akron. Female participants had found that their initial expectations of experiencing a coeducation program had little impact on their first interaction with non-Saudi students of the opposite sex. Additionally, they had commented that during the first month, their interactions with male teachers were influenced by the norms of their home culture, that they were more concerned with the view of others, that they had preferred to join groups of female only students, and that their perceptions and experiences would be the same had they been men. However, the participants, male and female, had also reported to have similar perceptions and experiences in adjusting to coeducation. They had mentioned that before arriving in the U.S., they had developed a broad premonition about education and coeducation in the U.S., had not identified any specific challenges they wished to avoid whilst in a coeducation program, and believed that any challenges they would meet should…
Subjects/Keywords Academic Guidance Counseling; Comparative; Education; Education Philosophy; Educational Psychology; Educational Sociology; Higher Education; Personal Relationships; Social Psychology; Social Research; Communication; Saudi Arabia; coeducation; gender; culture; adaptation; acculturation; international students;
Contributors MacDonald, Suzanne (Advisor)
Language en
Rights unrestricted ; This thesis or dissertation is protected by copyright: some rights reserved. It is licensed for use under a Creative Commons license. Specific terms and permissions are available from this document's record in the OhioLINK ETD Center. [Always confirm rights and permissions with the source record.]
Country of Publication us
Format application/pdf
Record ID oai:etd.ohiolink.edu:akron1430237809
Repository ohiolink
Date Indexed 2016-12-22
Grantor University of Akron

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