Title: “Using Self-Regulated Learning Theory to Investigate the Effectiveness of Inclusion for Students with Visual Impairments in a Secondary School in Saudi Arabia”
Friday, August 16, 2019 at 12:00 to 2:00 pm
Neville Scarfe Building, 2125 Main Mall, Room 2415
Prof. Kim Zebehazy (Advisor)
Prof. Nancy Perry (Committee Member)
Prof. Deborah Butler (External Reader)
Self-regulated learning (SRL) is a practice being used in general education classrooms to help students, including struggling students to acquire the skills to become life-long learners and to take control of their learning situations. SRL has three decades of research supporting its efficacy (Perry, VandeKamp, Mercer, & Nordby, 2002), and a direct connection with self-determination (Grolnick & Raftery-Helmer, 2015), an important area of the expanded core curriculum for students with visual impairments. However, it has never been directly researched with students with visual impairments or employed as a framework to include them in general education, despite its relevance to their needs. To address this gap, this study’s goal was to investigate the extent to which general classroom teachers were implementing practices to promote the inclusion of students with visual impairments in line with SRL theory. The context of a secondary school in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) that includes learners with visual impairments was used to achieve the study goal.
Four general classroom teachers and four students with visual impairments (n = 8) participated in this study. Data was collected using observations as a direct measure of inclusion and SRL strategies used and the use of teacher and student self-report questionnaires as an indirect measure to obtain triangulation of data and fully understand the research problem. The researcher coded the observations based on SRL promoting practices. Descriptive statistics were performed to analyze the data generated from the self-report questionnaires. The results of the study highlighted both opportunities and missing pieces in classroom interactions that affected the inclusion and the learning experience of the students with visual impairments who participated in this study. Overall, the teachers provided limited opportunities with practices that are believed to promote inclusion in SRL research or that support the students’ development of SRL. They were found to offered choices in classroom activities and projects but did not provide a context for the students to receive support or to engage in a process that required strategic actions. Lack of self-assessment practices was both observed in the general classrooms and reported by the students with visual impairments for all four teachers.