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EDUC340 Theoretical Principles for Teaching and Learning

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Engages with and challenges theories and beliefs pertaining to teaching and learning. It considers ideas about how people learn, human development, motivation, ability, agency, and assessment.

Welcome to EDUC 340. In this paper we will explore some ideas from the fields of educational psychology, human development and sociology of education, striving to make sense of these for what it means to teach in contemporary Aotearoa and within early childhood education.

Paper title Theoretical Principles for Teaching and Learning
Paper code EDUC340
Subject Education
EFTS 0.1500
Points 18 points
Teaching period Not offered in 2020
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $863.25
International Tuition Fees (NZD) $3,954.75

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Limited to
(i) Compulsory for GradDipTchg Early Childhood Education students. (ii) Subject to approval, this paper will be offered during a non-standard period comprising April -November rather than as a full-year paper.

Teaching staff

To be confirmed if offered.

Paper Structure
Theories of learning and development
  • Behaviourism, Constructivism (cognitive constructivism and social constructivism), Te Ao Māori perspectives on learning - exploration and critique of key ideas and application
  • Human Development Theorists of Influence in NZ: Piaget, Vygotsky, Bronfenbrenner, Rogoff, Pere, Durie
  • Issues of self-efficacy, intrinsic/extrinsic motivation, locus of control, learned helplessness, goal setting and self-regulation
  • Culturally responsive teaching in Aotearoa/New Zealand
  • Cultural competencies for teachers in Aotearoa
Place-based education
  • Theoretical and practical insights into learning, intelligence and ability
  • Inclusive practice - teacher beliefs and attitudes
  • How the brain learns - contemporary scientific insights
  • 'Mindset', dispositions for learning, learning competencies
  • Assessment, teaching and learning
Required and Recommended Reading
  • Anning, A., Cullen J., & Fleer, M. (2009). Early childhood education: Society and culture. London: Sage.
  • Education Council (n.d.). Code of Ethics for Registered Teachers. Wellington: Author.
  • Education Council (n.d). Graduating Teacher Standards. Wellington: Author.
  • Education Council (n.d.). Tātaiako - Cultural Competencies for Teachers of Māori Learners: A resource for use with the Graduating Teachers Standards and Practising Teacher Criteria. Wellington: Author.
  • Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations, 2008: New Zealand Legislation
  • Grey, A. & Clark, B. (2013). Ngā hurihanga ako kōhungahunga - Transformative teaching practices in early childhood education. Auckland: Pearson.
Graduate Attributes Emphasised
Global perspective, Interdisciplinary perspective, Lifelong learning, Communication, Critical thinking, Cultural understanding, Ethics, Information literacy, Research, Self-motivation.
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
Learning Outcomes
By the end of this paper, students will be able to
  1. Understand teaching and learning as situated within kaupapa Māori in contrast with Western European worldviews
  2. Demonstrate a critical understanding of a range of theoretical approaches to teaching and learning
  3. Critically analyse research and theory into the nature of learning, intelligence and ability
  4. Demonstrate an understanding of human development from early childhood through adolescence and its implications for teaching and learning
  5. Apply theories of motivation and agency to teaching and learning
  6. Understand the place and function of assessment in teaching and learning

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Not offered in 2020

Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system