Insights Into Contextual Factors Related to Social Emotional Learning (SEL) in UAE Public Schools


In the UAE, there is a recognized need to boost Social Emotional Learning (SEL) skills in students, yet there remains a gap between that desire and the knowledge held by decision- makers. Although the Ministry of Education is dedicated to uncovering current SEL competencies, there have been few studies conducted in SEL that relate to the UAE context. The goal of this research is enabling factors related to SEL skills in the UAE to gain an insight to understand contextual factors in relation to student learning behavior and academic performance. Adapted from the OECD Survey on Social and Emotional Skills Contextual Questionnaire, UAE public school students from grades 5 to 12 completed a survey to gather a preliminary understanding on student academic achievement, active citizenship and civic participation, social connectedness, health, quality of life, and behavior/conduct. The data was taken from the students’ responses to the survey and analyzed along with their academic performance on an education technology platform. The m findings from the study highlight an inverse correlation between general student wellbeing, school-related stressors, and academic performance, most notably test anxiety. These findings showcase how improved stress-resistance and other SEL skills in students can help mitigate the profound impact school-related stress has on students outside the classroom. Understanding key contextual factors for UAE students will be useful to design, develop, and implement school interventions in SEL competencies to boost UAE students’ abilities in these skills.

Author Information
Samantha Monroe, Alef Education, United Arab Emirates
Ali Nadaf, Alef Education, United Arab Emirates
Xin Miao, Alef Education, United Arab Emirates

Paper Information
Conference: ACE2022
Stream: Educational Research

This paper is part of the ACE2022 Conference Proceedings (View)
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To cite this article:
Monroe S., Nadaf A., & Miao X. (2023) Insights Into Contextual Factors Related to Social Emotional Learning (SEL) in UAE Public Schools ISSN: 2186-5892 The Asian Conference on Education 2022: Official Conference Proceedings
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Posted by James Alexander Gordon