United Arab Emirates Report of Educator Effectiveness

Increased Focus on Teacher Quality

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is in the process of implementing a new teacher licensure system and new national teacher standards. The government understands that by focusing on improving teacher quality, the UAE can raise the quality of its education system and address documented challenges such as the world’s highest teaching shortages.

What does it mean to be an effective teacher in the UAE? Pearson asked students, parents, teachers, principals, policymakers and education researchers in the Emirates what they thought.

Top 10 most important qualities of teachers in the UAE:

  1. Ability to Develop Trusting, Productive Relationships
  2. Subject Matter Knowledge
  3. Patient, Caring, Kind Personality
  4. Teaching Skills/Pedagogical Practices
  5. Professionalism
  6. Engaging Students in Learning
  7. Ability to Make Ideas and Content Clear
  8. Knowledge of Learners
  9. Dedication to Teaching
  10. Emphasis on Developing Students’ Non-Cognitive Skills

Stakeholders Agree that Character Matters for Teachers

There was general agreement across all respondents that effective teachers build trusting relationships, and are patient, caring and kind individuals. These responses are consistent with research. Good relationships with students are necessary to create a safe, positive and productive teaching and learning environment.

However, there were gaps between survey responses from education professionals and the teaching standards and what the research says makes an effective teacher. For example, only about one percent stated that lesson planning was important, and less than one percent that teachers need to be able to assess and adjust instruction.

Creating a Shared Definition of Teacher Effectiveness

The results from this survey can serve as a starting point for developing a shared definition teacher effectiveness, and how it is implemented in policies.

The importance of the dispositions of care in UAE may reflect an underlying belief that without them, a teacher’s subject matter knowledge and pedagogical skills will do little to help students learn and succeed.

Given the documented problems with attracting qualified, passionate individuals to teach, it may be that teacher preparation and training initiatives should add a focus on the development of these critical dispositions of care and character.