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    An introduction to professional, ethical, theoretical and pedagogical understandings, skills and dispositions important for early childhood teaching practice.

    In this paper you will learn about being a professional and ethical kaiako in early childhood education.  You will learn about the importance of effective communication to establish and maintain professional relationships. You will learn about being a reflective teacher and develop your bicultural perspectives on early childhood curriculum and practice.  You will learn about children’s learning dispositions and working theories, the role of assessment and pedagogical practices relevant to an early childhood context.  You will be introduced to education policies and documents as well as beginning to work towards the achievement of the key teaching tasks (KTT’s), assessed at the end of your initial teacher education programme. 

    About this paper

    Paper title The Practice of Early Childhood Teaching 1
    Subject Education
    EFTS 0.15
    Points 18 points
    Teaching period(s) 1st Non standard period (15 January 2024 - 13 December 2024) (On campus)
    1st Non standard period (15 January 2024 - 13 December 2024) (On campus)
    Domestic Tuition Fees ( NZD ) $937.50
    International Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for international students are elsewhere on this website.
    Limited to
    Early Childhood Education students only.

    Paper Coordinator (Invercargill):  Meredith Kelly
    Paper Coordinator (Dunedin): Professor Alex Gunn

    Teaching staff

    Course Co-ordinator (Invercargill): Meredith Kelly
    Course Co-ordinator (Dunedin): Professor Alex Gunn

    Paper Structure

    An introduction to being a professional in an early childhood education (ECE) context:

    • Our Code Our Standards
    • Effective relationships and communication skills
    • Personal safety
    • Acting professionally

    Introduction to reflective practice:

    • Models of reflection
    • Theories underpinning reflection

    Pedagogy in ECE to facilitate learning:

    • A range of theoretical and pedagogical approaches
    • Practices to encourage effective learning

    Bicultural practices:

    • Using te reo Māori
    • Tikanga Māori

    Introduction to assessment practices in ECE:

    • Assessment approaches
    • What is learning in young children?
    • Using assessment to plan for children's learning
    Teaching Arrangements

    This paper includes a professional experience component:

    • Introductory professional experience in February
    • Two weeks in May
    • 6 weekly visits in semester two
    • Three weeks in October/November

    Required Texts:

    • New Zealand Ministry of Education. (2017). Te whāriki: He whāriki matauranga mo ngā mokopuna o Aotearoa: Early childhood curriculum. Wellington, New Zealand: Author.
    • Smith, A. (2013) Understanding children and childhood (5th ed.). Wellington: Bridget Williams Books
    • Clark, B. & Grey, A. (2010). Ata kitea Te Pae: Scanning the Horizon. North Shore, New Zealand: Pearson Education
    • MacNaughton, G. & Williams, G. (2008). Techniques for teaching young children: Choices in theory and practice (3rd ed). New South Wales, Australia: Pearson Education.
    Graduate Attributes Emphasised
    Communication, Critical thinking, Cultural understanding, Ethics, Environmental literacy, Information literacy, Self-motivation, Teamwork.
    View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
    Learning Outcomes

    Students who successfully complete the paper will be able to:

    • Demonstrate an understanding of what it means to act professionally and ethically in an early childhood context
    • Use assessment and pedagogical practices in an early childhood context to facilitate children's learning
    • Incorporate te reo me ngā tikanga Māori in practice
    • Demonstrate effective relationships and communication skills
    • Reflect on teaching and learning experiences taking cognisance of appropriate theories


    1st Non standard period (15 January 2024 - 13 December 2024)

    Teaching method
    This paper is taught On Campus
    Learning management system


    Stream Days Times Weeks
    A1 Thursday 13:00-13:50 9-11, 15-16, 18-22, 30, 40
    B1 Thursday 13:00-13:50 29-35, 37-42

    1st Non standard period (15 January 2024 - 13 December 2024)

    Teaching method
    This paper is taught On Campus
    Learning management system


    Stream Days Times Weeks
    A1 Wednesday 11:00-11:50 9-11, 15-22
    Thursday 12:00-12:50 29-35, 37-42
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