Developing a Culturally Relevant Assessment of Social and Emotional Learning for Tanzania

Social and emotional competencies are increasingly seen as important for children’s academic success and social adjustment. However, social and emotional learning has not been studied extensively in Tanzania or the rest of Africa. The US Agency for International Development (USAID) Tusome Pamoja Program, in collaboration with the School of Education at the University of Dar es Salaam, conducted research that aimed to identify and assess non-academic domains, such as social and emotional learning, executive function, and social responsibility, that are at important for the development and academic success of young students in Tanzania. We focused our investigation on Mtwara Region of Tanzania. Our research proceeded through two studies discussed in this report, which looked to address two overarching issues: 1.What is the best approach to developing measures of social and emotional learning in the context of predominantly rural area of Tanzania? 2. How do concepts of social and emotional learning differ in rural Tanzania from those underlying existing frameworks? To what extent are these different concepts consistent with those in other subsistence-agricultural communities, and how do they match up with those in urban contexts where there are higher levels of formal education?