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EDUC478 Evidence-based Inquiry (Secondary)

2021 information for papers will be published in early September. 

Designing data-driven learning interventions and teaching strategies in specified curriculum areas that demonstrate decision-making skills, reflexive practice, effective use of ICT, personal teaching growth and development.

Paper title Evidence-based Inquiry (Secondary)
Paper code EDUC478
Subject Education
EFTS 0.2500
Points 30 points
Teaching period 1st Non standard period (27 January 2020 - 19 June 2020)
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $2,047.25
International Tuition Fees (NZD) $6,991.50

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Limited to
Secondary Education only.

Dr Margie Campbell-Price (

Teaching staff

Paper Co-ordinator: Dr Margie Campbell-Price
Other staff: Jenny Vermunt

Paper Structure

This course intends to assist students to develop an understanding of the contemporary secondary school context in which they will be situated for professional experience. Given that they will become teachers of young people, not simply teachers of subjects, they will explore the social construction of adolescence and the factors that can influence young peoples’ learning. Along with this students will gain a working knowledge of the professional and ethical role of a teacher. A substantial component of the course focuses on the teaching and learning relationship, which includes strategies that engage and support student learning, establish and maintain positive learning environments, and build relationships.

Through course work and professional experience students will have opportunities to apply strategies so that you can develop your confidence, competence and identity as a teacher. As the course title indicates, an important component of the course is that students use evidence to inform and justify their teaching (pedagogical) decisions. Through their professional experience they will be expected to use evidence to inquire into and reflect on the impact of their teaching actions (or inactions), and develop adaptive expertise.


  • The contemporary secondary school context
  • The teaching-learning relationship
  • Knowing the learners/students and their communities
  • Understanding adolescents
  • Student wellbeing
  • Gender, learning and school
  • Leading learning
  • Didactic, guided inquiry, student centred, interactive learning approaches.
  • Deliberate acts of teaching to support learning
  • Fostering learning dispositions
  • Engaging learners – establishing and maintaining relationships, active learning strategies, taxonomies of thinking/skill/processes, momentum, catering for diversity
  • Managing the learning environment – managing behaviour to enhance learning (teacher strategies and school-wide practices), organising and managing the teaching space and resources, being the leader of learning.
  • Professional and ethical role of the teacher
  • Developing a professional teaching identity and teaching philosophy
  • Unpacking Our Code Our Standards: Code of Professional Responsibility and Standards for the Teaching Profession.
  • Professional dilemmas
  • Being part of a collaborative learning community
  • Engaging with te reo Māori me ngā tikanga Māori in the educational setting (aligned to all other papers)
  • Integrating literacy strategies to support learning in the secondary curriculum
  • Effective pedagogy
  • What is pedagogy and what do we mean by pedagogical decision-making?
  • Learning progressions
  • Aspects of effective pedagogy (e.g., creating a supportive learning environment, encouraging reflective thought and action, enhancing the relevance of new learning, facilitating shared learning, making connections to prior learning and experiences, providing sufficient opportunities to learn, teaching as inquiry, enhancing learning through digital technology).
  • Planning and enacting inquiry driven teaching
  • Developing reflexive, adaptive practice
  • Using evidence/data to inform pedagogical (teaching) decisions
  • What is evidence/data?
  • What constitutes evidence/data?
  • Strategies to gather and interpret evidence/data
  • What is assessment?
  • Types of assessment (diagnostic, formative, summative) and their purpose, practices, strategies and principles
  • Using evidence/data to inform pedagogical decision-making and differentiate teaching
  • Strategies to track student progress and learning
Teaching Arrangements

This paper informs students’ professional practice. It has four hours of weekly scheduled classes, comprising lectures and workshop/seminars. The teaching and learning schedule has sufficient flexibility to be modified as appropriate. Professional experience is embedded in and assessed through this paper and comprises one week in schools at the beginning of the school year and six weeks in school term two.This paper leads into EDUC 578b Extended Evidence Based Inquiry.


Required and Recommended Reading:

  • Fraser, D. & Hill, M. (Eds.) (2016). The professional practice of teaching in New Zealand (5th ed). South Melbourne, Victoria: Cengage Learning Australia.
  • Ministry of Education (2007). The New Zealand Curriculum for English-medium teaching and learning in years 1-13. Wellington, New Zealand: Learning Media.
Graduate Attributes Emphasised
Lifelong learning, Communication, Critical thinking, Cultural understanding, Ethics, Self-motivation, Teamwork.
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
Learning Outcomes

By the end of this paper, student teachers will be able to:

  1. Design evidence-based learning experiences for teaching students in years 7-13;
  2. Demonstrate professionalism in all aspects of their practice including engagement with te reo Māori me ngā tikanga Māori;
  3. Apply and justify effective pedagogies (teaching practices) in professional experience;
  4. Gather, analyse and interpret a range of data to inform pedagogical decisions for students in years 7-13; and,
  5. Discuss an emerging personal and professional philosophy of teaching and learning.

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1st Non standard period (27 January 2020 - 19 June 2020)

Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system


Stream Days Times Weeks
A1 Tuesday 10:00-11:50 5-6, 8-12, 24-25


Stream Days Times Weeks
Attend one stream from
A1 Thursday 09:00-10:50 5, 8-12, 24-25
A2 Thursday 11:00-12:50 5, 8-12, 24-25