Practising Teacher Criteria


The Practising Teacher Criteria describe the criteria for quality teaching that are to be met by all fully certificated teachers in Aotearoa New Zealand.

The Practising Teacher Criteria recognise that teaching is a highly complex activity, drawing on repertoires of knowledge, practices, professional attributes and values to facilitate academic, social and cultural learning for diverse education settings. The criteria and indicators should be viewed as interdependent and overlapping. (This and the material below is taken from the Education Council site.)

Overarching statements

Teachers play a critical role in enabling the educational achievement of all ākonga/ learners 1.
The Treaty of Waitangi extends equal status and rights to Māori and Pākehā. This places a particular responsibility on all teachers in Aotearoa New Zealand to promote equitable learning outcomes.
In an increasingly multi-cultural Aotearoa New Zealand, teachers need to be aware of and respect the languages, heritages and cultures of all ākonga.
In Aotearoa New Zealand, the Code of Ethics / Ngā Tikanga Matatika commits certificated teachers to the highest standards of professional service in promoting the learning of those they teach.

Criteria and key indicators


Fully certificated teachers engage in appropriate professional relationships and demonstrate commitment to professional values.
Fully certificated teachers:
CriteriaKey Indicators
1. establish and maintain effective professional relationships focused on the learning and well-being of ākonga
i. engage in ethical, respectful, positive and collaborative professional relationships with:
  • ākonga
  • teaching colleagues, support staff and other professionals
  • whānau and other carers of ākonga
  • agencies, groups and individuals in the community
2. demonstrate commitment to promoting the well-being of all ākonga
i. take all reasonable steps to provide and maintain a teaching and learning environment that is physically, socially, culturally and emotionally safe
ii. acknowledge and respect the languages, heritages and cultures of all ākonga
iii. comply with relevant regulatory and statutory requirements
3. demonstrate commitment to bicultural partnership in Aotearoa New Zealand 
i. demonstrate respect for the heritages, languages and cultures of both partners to the Treaty of Waitangi
4. demonstrate commitment to ongoing professional learning and development of personal professional practice
i. identify professional learning goals in consultation with colleagues
ii. participate responsively in professional learning opportunities within the learning community
iii. initiate learning opportunities to advance personal professional knowledge and skills
5. show leadership that contributes to effective teaching and learning
i. actively contribute to the professional learning community
ii. undertake areas of responsibility effectively



Fully certificated teachers make use of their professional knowledge and understanding to build a stimulating, challenging and supportive learning environment that promotes learning and success for all ākonga.
Fully certificated teachers:
CriteriaKey Indicators
6. conceptualise, plan and implement an appropriate learning programme
i. articulate clearly the aims of their teaching, give sound professional reasons for adopting these aims, and implement them in their practice
ii. through their planning and teaching, demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of relevant content, disciplines and curriculum documents
7. promote a collaborative, inclusive and supportive learning environment
i. demonstrate effective management of the learning setting which incorporates successful strategies to engage and motivate ākonga
ii. foster trust, respect and cooperation with and among ākonga
8. demonstrate in practice their knowledge and understanding of how ākonga learn
i. enable ākonga to make connections between their prior experiences and learning and their current learning activities
ii. provide opportunities and support for ākonga to engage with, practise and apply new learning to different contexts
iii. encourage ākonga to take responsibility for their own learning and behaviour
iv. assist ākonga to think critically about information and ideas and to reflect on their learning
9. respond effectively to the diverse language and cultural experiences, and the varied strengths, interests and needs of individuals and groups of ākonga
i. demonstrate knowledge and understanding of social and cultural influences on learning, by working effectively in the bicultural and multicultural contexts of learning in Aotearoa New Zealand
ii. select teaching approaches, resources, technologies and learning and assessment activities that are inclusive and effective for diverse ākonga
iii. modify teaching approaches to address the needs of individuals and groups of
10. work effectively within the bicultural context of Aotearoa New Zealand
i. practise and develop the relevant use of te reo Māori me ngā tikanga-a-iwi in context
ii. specifically and effectively address the educational aspirations of ākonga Māori, displaying high expectations for their learning
11. analyse and appropriately use assessment information, which has been gathered formally and informally
i. analyse assessment information to identify progress and ongoing learning needs of ākonga
ii. use assessment information to give regular and ongoing feedback to guide and support further learning
iii. analyse assessment information to reflect on and evaluate the effectiveness of the teaching
iv. communicate assessment and achievement information to relevant members of the learning community
v. foster involvement of whānau in the collection and use of information about the learning of ākonga
12. use critical inquiry and problem-solving effectively in their professional practice
i. systematically and critically engage with evidence and professional literature to reflect on and refine practice
ii. respond professionally to feedback from members of their learning community

iii. critically examine their own beliefs, including cultural beliefs, and how they impact on their professional practice and the achievement of ākonga
In this document, the term akonga has been chosen to be inclusive of all learners in the full range of settings, from early childhood to secondary and beyond, where the Practising Teacher Criteria apply.

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