Contextualizing Social and Emotional Learning in Lebanon​

TWCF0511

Director: Garene Kaloustian

Institution: World Learning Lebanon

Living at the intersection of sectarian and social tension, Lebanese and Syrian refugee children urgently need social support systems that are grounded in their lived experiences. Social emotional learning programs can fill this need, but first, they must be grounded in young people’s lived experiences.

Research in Western industrialized democracies has shown that social emotional learning programs in schools improve students’ holistic development—that is, academic, cognitive, and character cultivation. But when implemented in other contexts, they yield mixed results. One explanation may be a failure to understand and adapt to social and emotional competencies (SEC) valued in non-Western contexts.

Using a qualitative approach, this project aims to address this gap. It will identify which socio-emotional competencies are most valued by diverse stakeholders in Lebanon. Research will include focus group discussions and in-depth interviews with students, parents, teachers, principals, and policy-makers. Focus groups will target grades 2, 3, and 6 at both public and private schools.

Findings will provide critical context to better understand the value and meaning placed on different SEC across diverse populations in Lebanon. The research will also inform the development of (1) social emotional learning assessments that will be used across all Lebanese public schools, and (2) a nationwide social emotional learning curriculum that will be introduced within five years.

World Learning Lebanon and NYU’s Global TIES for Children will lead the project in close collaboration with the Ministry of Education and Higher Education.

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