TEACH312-22A (HAM)

Social Sciences and Sustainability Education

15 Points

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Division of Education
Te Kura Toi Tangata School of Education


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: janene.harris@waikato.ac.nz
: christine.stewart@waikato.ac.nz

Placement/WIL Coordinator(s)


Student Representative(s)

Lab Technician(s)


: alistair.lamb@waikato.ac.nz
: melanie.chivers@waikato.ac.nz
: yilan.chen@waikato.ac.nz

You can contact staff by:

  • Calling +64 7 838 4466 select option 1, then enter the extension.
  • Extensions starting with 4, 5, 9 or 3 can also be direct dialled:
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Paper Description

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This paper has been designed to align social sciences and sustainability education as an innovative and active experience that supports your developing curriculum and professional learning.

The paper's pedagogy includes a range of experiences that invites critical reflection of the purpose of social sciences and sustainability education and ways The New Zealand Curriculum (Ministry of Education, 2007) and Te Marautanga o Aotearoa (Ministry of Education, 2008) organise and shape these in the Primary schooling curriculum. You will identify and develop conceptual and pedagogical understandings in relation to socio-cultural approaches to contexts including Te Tiriti o Waitangi, Aotearoa New Zealand histories, issues-based learning, sustainability, the natural environment and biodiversity. You will learn how to apply skills processes such as inquiring, values exploration, perspectives thinking, social action and decision-making. You will explore ways to support learners to think critically about what it means to be a citizen for a sustainable world.

The paper's sequence of contexts, activities and assignments is designed to build your teacher interest and confidence about how and why social sciences and sustainability inquiry can be meaningfully activated in classrooms and environmental settings.

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Paper Structure

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This paper is taught through 07 March - 10 June through a range of approaches including lectures; practical tutorials; field trips; experiential learning; seminars; online administration and resource support, readings review, and guidance for assignment work.

Due to current Covid-19 restrictions this paper will be delivered through blended learning. Lectures will be available in Moodle for students to view independently. Tutorials will be managed according to current Covid restrictions. Students will be advised of the organisation of the paper in a Moodle announcement.

Refer to the Outline's Schedule for lectures, tutorials, and field trip timetabling.

Professional requirements

On graduation from an Initial Teacher Education Programme the provider must attest to The Teaching Council of Aotearoa New Zealand | Matatū Aotearoa that the graduand:

  • is of good character;
  • is fit to be a teacher; and
  • has met the Standards for the teaching profession.

    A student who has not met these criteria based on evidence collected during their programme cannot graduate from their teacher education programme.

    Indicators that a person is of good character and fit to teach includes: regular and punctual attendance and positive contribution in class; the ability to relate to peers, children, teachers and university staff appropriately; and the ability to plan for a safe high quality teaching and learning environment. At the completion of each paper the lecturer is asked to attest to the Programme Leader or Academic Coordinator that individuals have displayed the attributes required of an effective teacher. These expectations are outlined in:

·The Graduating Teacher Standards, and

·Our Code Our Standards: Code of Professional Responsibility and Standards for the Teaching Profession.

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Learning Outcomes

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Students who successfully complete the paper should be able to:

  • Demonstrate knowledge of the nature of social sciences and sustainability;
    Linked to the following assessments:
  • Demonstrate conceptual understandings of the natural environment, society, culture, politics and economics, and interrelationships between them;
    Linked to the following assessments:
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the pedagogical approaches regarding experience, systems thinking and inquiry that can be used to explore historical, contemporary and future issues to develop citizenship for a more sustainable world;
    Linked to the following assessments:
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the role of diverse values and perspectives in informing decision-making and motivating people to take action;
    Linked to the following assessments:
  • Demonstrate engagement in a local issue through critical inquiry and experience leading to reflection on what this means for social sciences and sustainability education.
    Linked to the following assessments:
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Three assignments have been developed for participants to:

  • Demonstrate knowledge of the nature of, and concepts within, social sciences and sustainability education;
  • Demonstrate understanding of pedagogical strategies to help primary learners engage in critical and experiential inquiry in Aotearoa New Zealand schools;
  • Explore issues and contexts and demonstrate how these impact people's social decision-making and social action;
  • Demonstrate understanding of how teaching and learning in social sciences and sustainability can prepare learners to work towards a peaceful, just and healthy world.
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Assessment Components

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The internal assessment/exam ratio (as stated in the University Calendar) is 100:0. There is no final exam. The final exam makes up 0% of the overall mark.

The internal assessment/exam ratio (as stated in the University Calendar) is 100:0 or 0:0, whichever is more favourable for the student. The final exam makes up either 0% or 0% of the overall mark.

Component DescriptionDue Date TimePercentage of overall markSubmission MethodCompulsory
1. Social Sciences/ Sustainabilty Working Paper
8 Apr 2022
11:30 PM
  • Online: Submit through Moodle
2. Report: Inquiry into a Social Issue (local and/or regional)
22 May 2022
11:30 PM
  • Online: Submit through Moodle
3. Seminar: Teaching and learning about your sustainability issue
30 May 2022
No set time
  • In Class: In Tutorial
Assessment Total:     100    
Failing to complete a compulsory assessment component of a paper will result in an IC grade
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Required and Recommended Readings

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Required Readings

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Harcourt, M., Milligan, A., and B. Wood, (2016). Teaching social studies for critical active citizenship in Aotearoa New Zealand. NZCER Press.

Note: This text is available from NZCER, The University Bookshop, The University Library, and as an E-book: mebooks.co.nz and Kindle at amazon.com.

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Recommended Readings

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A list of key social sciences and sustainability literature, weekly readings, curriculum and policy documentation, web sites, resources for teaching and learning, media and public domain links will be available on the Moodle support site.
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Online Support

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Across the paper there is a series of online tasks, designed to support you with your learning. All tasks will be accessed via Moodle, however, you will need to also use the library website (and actual physical library), and a range of webpages to help you complete this paper.

PLEASE NOTE: Moodle is used for class notices (Announcements). It is your responsibility to check the site regularly and read the Moodle email notifications. Instructions provided in this way on Moodle and in lectures are whole class notices.

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This is a 15 point paper. University regulations stipulate an expected total student workload for the paper of 150 hours. The paper involves some hours of face to face classes across the semester, and online learning. The remaining hours, accumulated at different times across the whole semester, are to be used for completing readings, preparing for class/online tasks and assignments.

This paper is timetabled alongside TEACH311 Technology Education. Your tutorial time for this paper will be in the two hours following your technology education tutorial.

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Linkages to Other Papers

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Restricted papers: TEACH332

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