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EDUC478 Professional Experience (Secondary)

Design evidence-informed learning experiences and use responsive, adaptive teaching strategies that foster a learning-focused culture and professional relationships in the secondary school context.

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 they can develop their 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.

Paper title Professional Experience (Secondary)
Paper code EDUC478
Subject Education
EFTS 0.25
Points 30 points
Teaching period 1st Non standard period (17 January 2023 - 15 December 2023) (On campus)
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $2,162.75
International Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for international students are elsewhere on this website.

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Limited to
Secondary Education students only.

Iain McGilchrist

Teaching staff

Paper Co-ordinator: Iain McGilchrist

Paper Structure


  • The contemporary secondary school context
  • Understanding adolescents
  • Student wellbeing
  • The teaching-learning relationship
  • Effective pedagogy
  • Leading learning
  • Fostering learning dispositions
  • Engaging learners
  • Managing the learning environment
  • 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.
  • Developing reflexive, adaptive practice
  • 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
  • Planning and enacting inquiry driven teaching
  • Using evidence/data to inform pedagogical (teaching) decisions and differentiate teaching
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 two weeks in schools at the beginning of the school year and two seven-week blocks in school terms two and three.


Required and Recommended Reading:

  • Hill, M. & Thrupp, M. (Eds.) (2019). The professional practice of teaching in New Zealand (6th 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. Independently design, implement and evaluate evidence-informed learning experiences for teaching
  2. Sustain professionalism in all aspects of their practice
  3. Integrate te ao Māori in planning and practice
  4. Apply and justify effective pedagogies (teaching practices) in professional experience
  5. Gather, analyse and interpret a range of data to inform pedagogical decisions for students in Years 7-13
  6. Articulate and justify the refinement of their personal and professional philosophy of teaching and theories of learning

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1st Non standard period (17 January 2023 - 15 December 2023)

Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system


Stream Days Times Weeks
A1 Tuesday 10:00-11:50 5-6, 9-14, 24, 27-31, 41-44


Stream Days Times Weeks
Attend one stream from
A1 Friday 09:00-10:50 5-6, 9-14, 24, 27-31, 41-44
A2 Thursday 09:00-10:50 5-6, 9-14, 24, 27-31, 41-44
A3 Thursday 13:00-14:50 5-6, 9-14, 24, 28-31, 41-44