I have decided to be in this particular chapter because of the need of more inclusive practices in all levels of education in Saudi Arabia. I needed to know more about concerns, sentiments, attitudes and perspective of educators towards inclusive education.  In developing countries, we need to be more specific about the challenges by regular districts and institutions in preparing teachers for inclusive classroom. When I first saw the chapter topic, I was wondering how can we model and guide an inclusive practice.
 
I was preparing for my meeting with Gretchen on Nov 17 by reading the chapter more than once, and reading our blog comments, to see what are the new ideas and thoughts. I was impressed to see some great experiences and actions from my cohort. I was trying to take notes for everything to emphasize what is important and what are their expectations in the blog. A week after I have met Grethcen at the USF library, and we discussed how the comments were divided into four core thoughts regarding this chapter. First, some perspectives were regarding Inclusion through the lens of “difference”, and other perspectives were focusing on Inclusion as well; however, through the lens of self-directed learning and assessment and UDL. Second, some of opportunities in making learning engaging and interactive by allowing great flexibility in the curriculum. Third, challenges to including self-directed/differentiated learning and assessment as Ashman reports that his students found the departure from predetermined course assessments “challenging” and some experiences were mentioned in this particular area. Fourth, some recommendable actions we could consider as educators to allow students to take part in selecting their assignments, engage with students to improve personal contact and the importance of individual work environments. The main focus was on the teacher educators and how some of them standing in front of a PowerPoint lecturing facts to our students. We need students to be fully engaged in the teaching process.
 
Due to our time the meeting took 2 hours and we had to run to our classes; however, we shared a Google Slides in order to mak our presentation online and adding ideas at anytime as needed.
In the presentation time I started by mentioning some quotes regarding the four elements that I mentioned previously. During the power point, people were looking at their phones, not generally paying attention as I read from the slides until the activity started.
 
 
We divided them to four groups and we asked each to choose the challenge that most interest them and go to the number in the room that matches their choice to discuss with the group after that, each group has to chose one person to share out the shared points of the discussion. The activity started with the slide of challenges to including self-directed/differentiated learning and assessment, there were four viewpoints represented in 1) Yanelys question, why introduce the concept of inclusion to teachers? 2)  Gretchen though was based on Ashman reports that his students found the departure from predetermined course assessments challenging. know what to think or what to do when confronted with the opportunity to design an assessment that was individualized and meaningful to them. They didn’t, in effect, know what to think or what to do when confronted with the opportunity to design an assessment that was individualized and meaningful to them, 3) by Khalid, Significantly, students’ skills, ability, and backgrounds should be known precisely before allowing students to select their activities and tasks, 4) Iffy commented that,  from his personal experience as he went through unstructured class, he said based on his experience “unstructured is good, but can leave the student feeling lost. In the end, the learning is greater than if the course was lock step. Yanlys and Kahlid chose their own topics for the discussion time and no person chose topic #3. After five mints the shared points where as follows:
 
 
In group #1 the discussion was about changing of the policy level and that need to occur before we will see change in schools. Dani in group 4 commented on her own experience in (self-directed learning) and how she had a problem with this because nobody does it , so then when we try to do it, students freak out and they are afraid they may be wrong so they do not think outside of the box and you also get push back because it is not the typical way of doing things. Group 3 was focusing more on teaching them how to design their own learning and assess it. Ashman reports that his students found the departure from predetermined course assessments “challenging.” They didn’t, in effect, know what to think or what to do when confronted with the opportunity to design an assessment that was individualized and meaningful to them. Group 2 felt an affinity to topic 3 and they stated, you do need to know students to make them feel more comfortable. you can then scaffold appropriately if they are having trouble with less structure. You can use their strengths and partner and connect. Malika said you have to have some structure. More specifically, Dani mentioned there is a difference between a structured classroom and structured activities. More specifically, Dani mentioned there is a difference between a structured classroom and structured activities. I think based on the educational level, some time we need to have some structured learning process to help teacher to address the social, emotional, and academic needs of the students (MacAulay.1990).
 
We returned to our seat, and during Gretchen talk on the scaffolded empowerment model Dr. Jones remarked, it is important to consider that there may be students at multiple phases, and this is really important. I shared that in PhD level we have more flexibility on assignments it gets me lost sometimes even in the writing the flexibility makes I much harder, I have the same feeling that iffy had in his experience.  Dr. Lynn mentioned, you move through PhD program will become much more individual and the shock kind of wears off, and we purposefully do not introduce rubrics to encourage this sort of learning, this is why experienced faculty at the doctoral level. Iffy also, commented that structure limits thinking, I have a stronger feeling now with the end of this semester if I was guided by rubrics or structured assignments, I will not read as much as I did and this is the right way to make a strong researcher with comprehensive knowledge.
 
The discussion at the end was about the question, do you think we can teach pre-service teachers to run an inclusive class in the manner Ashman describes?
Some responded were regarding in policy and how could it make everything, why introduce inclusion if is not going to put into practice, and there is non-inclusion in the US, do not introduce inclusion without implementing it.
 
Seemingly, all these comments touch directly our experience back home, the public education system had too many changes in the schools governance. Who makes the decisions are leaders appointed, some of them have no background in teaching profession and they have authority over issues in education. No decision was based on scientific fact or theory, are they going towards inclusion? I doubted it.
 
Iffy gave the analogy of feeding in Africa, one step backwards can be a step forwards, he has benefited from an inclusive classroom where there is a community culture. you have to fight to have it.
 
 
 
 
 
I have decided to be in this particular chapter because of the need of more inclusive practices in all levels of education in Saudi Arabia. I needed to know more about concerns, sentiments, attitudes and perspective of educators towards inclusive education.  In developing countries, we need to be more specific about the challenges by regular districts and institutions in preparing teachers for inclusive classroom. When I first saw the chapter topic, I was wondering how can we model and guide an inclusive practice.
 
I was preparing for my meeting with Gretchen on Nov 17 by reading the chapter more than once, and reading our blog comments, to see what are the new ideas and thoughts. I was impressed to see some great experiences and actions from my cohort. I was trying to take notes for everything to emphasize what is important and what are their expectations in the blog. A week after I have met Grethcen at the USF library, and we discussed how the comments were divided into four core thoughts regarding this chapter. First, some perspectives were regarding Inclusion through the lens of “difference”, and other perspectives were focusing on Inclusion as well; however, through the lens of self-directed learning and assessment and UDL. Second, some of opportunities in making learning engaging and interactive by allowing great flexibility in the curriculum. Third, challenges to including self-directed/differentiated learning and assessment as Ashman reports that his students found the departure from predetermined course assessments “challenging” and some experiences were mentioned in this particular area. Fourth, some recommendable actions we could consider as educators to allow students to take part in selecting their assignments, engage with students to improve personal contact and the importance of individual work environments. The main focus was on the teacher educators and how some of them standing in front of a PowerPoint lecturing facts to our students. We need students to be fully engaged in the teaching process.
 
Due to our time the meeting took 2 hours and we had to run to our classes; however, we shared a Google Slides in order to mak our presentation online and adding ideas at anytime as needed.
In the presentation time I started by mentioning some quotes regarding the four elements that I mentioned previously. During the power point, people were looking at their phones, not generally paying attention as I read from the slides until the activity started.
 
 
We divided them to four groups and we asked each to choose the challenge that most interest them and go to the number in the room that matches their choice to discuss with the group after that, each group has to chose one person to share out the shared points of the discussion. The activity started with the slide of challenges to including self-directed/differentiated learning and assessment, there were four viewpoints represented in 1) Yanelys question, why introduce the concept of inclusion to teachers? 2)  Gretchen though was based on Ashman reports that his students found the departure from predetermined course assessments challenging. know what to think or what to do when confronted with the opportunity to design an assessment that was individualized and meaningful to them. They didn’t, in effect, know what to think or what to do when confronted with the opportunity to design an assessment that was individualized and meaningful to them, 3) by Khalid, Significantly, students’ skills, ability, and backgrounds should be known precisely before allowing students to select their activities and tasks, 4) Iffy commented that,  from his personal experience as he went through unstructured class, he said based on his experience “unstructured is good, but can leave the student feeling lost. In the end, the learning is greater than if the course was lock step. Yanlys and Kahlid chose their own topics for the discussion time and no person chose topic #3. After five mints the shared points where as follows:
 
 
In group #1 the discussion was about changing of the policy level and that need to occur before we will see change in schools. Dani in group 4 commented on her own experience in (self-directed learning) and how she had a problem with this because nobody does it , so then when we try to do it, students freak out and they are afraid they may be wrong so they do not think outside of the box and you also get push back because it is not the typical way of doing things. Group 3 was focusing more on teaching them how to design their own learning and assess it. Ashman reports that his students found the departure from predetermined course assessments “challenging.” They didn’t, in effect, know what to think or what to do when confronted with the opportunity to design an assessment that was individualized and meaningful to them. Group 2 felt an affinity to topic 3 and they stated, you do need to know students to make them feel more comfortable. you can then scaffold appropriately if they are having trouble with less structure. You can use their strengths and partner and connect. Malika said you have to have some structure. More specifically, Dani mentioned there is a difference between a structured classroom and structured activities. More specifically, Dani mentioned there is a difference between a structured classroom and structured activities. I think based on the educational level, some time we need to have some structured learning process to help teacher to address the social, emotional, and academic needs of the students (MacAulay.1990).
 
We returned to our seat, and during Gretchen talk on the scaffolded empowerment model Dr. Jones remarked, it is important to consider that there may be students at multiple phases, and this is really important. I shared that in PhD level we have more flexibility on assignments it gets me lost sometimes even in the writing the flexibility makes I much harder, I have the same feeling that iffy had in his experience.  Dr. Lynn mentioned, you move through PhD program will become much more individual and the shock kind of wears off, and we purposefully do not introduce rubrics to encourage this sort of learning, this is why experienced faculty at the doctoral level. Iffy also, commented that structure limits thinking, I have a stronger feeling now with the end of this semester if I was guided by rubrics or structured assignments, I will not read as much as I did and this is the right way to make a strong researcher with comprehensive knowledge.
 
The discussion at the end was about the question, do you think we can teach pre-service teachers to run an inclusive class in the manner Ashman describes?
Some responded were regarding in policy and how could it make everything, why introduce inclusion if is not going to put into practice, and there is non-inclusion in the US, do not introduce inclusion without implementing it.
 
Seemingly, all these comments touch directly our experience back home, the public education system had too many changes in the schools governance. Who makes the decisions are leaders appointed, some of them have no background in teaching profession and they have authority over issues in education. No decision was based on scientific fact or theory, are they going towards inclusion? I doubted it.
 
Iffy gave the analogy of feeding in Africa, one step backwards can be a step forwards, he has benefited from an inclusive classroom where there is a community culture. you have to fight to have it.
 
 
 
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