Short Reports: Positive Education in Dubai: A Pilot Study of Teacher Experiences


  • Mark Samways Dubai College
  • Sheridan Teasel Dubai College
  • Rachael J Waldrop Western Washington University
  • En-Ling Chiao Simpson University
  • Meg A Warren Western Washington University


positive education, qualitative, wellbeing, students, teachers, United Arab Emirates


Positive education programs have been at the center of many studies, yet few have assessed the occupational wellbeing of the teachers delivering them. Such programs may buffer against teachers’ occupational stress by increasing exposure to uplifting content. This pilot study qualitatively explores the experiences of seven teachers in the city of Dubai, United Arab Emirates after their first semester teaching a positive education curriculum. Results showed that teachers were enthusiastic about experiences with their students when engaging in positive education activities, strengthening their relationships with them, and observing the positive relationships that students formed with each other. Yet, they experienced stress and concern when students unwittingly over-disclosed stories of adversity and felt they lacked the training to handle such disclosures. Although limited in sample size, this study offers early insight into the experiences of an overlooked but critical group – teachers – in positive education.

Author Biographies

Mark Samways, Dubai College

Head of Positive Education Program

Sheridan Teasel, Dubai College

Head of Positive Education Program

Rachael J Waldrop, Western Washington University

Department of Psychology

En-Ling Chiao, Simpson University

Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology

Meg A Warren, Western Washington University

Assistant Professor, Department of Management


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How to Cite

Samways, M., Teasel, S., Waldrop, R. J., Chiao, E.-L., & Warren, M. A. (2019). Short Reports: Positive Education in Dubai: A Pilot Study of Teacher Experiences. Middle East Journal of Positive Psychology, 5(1), 97–104. Retrieved from