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Graphic: An Encyclopaedia of New Zealand 1966.


This information was published in 1966 in An Encyclopaedia of New Zealand, edited by A. H. McLintock. It has not been corrected and will not be updated.

Up-to-date information can be found elsewhere in Te Ara.




In 1965 there were nine teachers' training colleges in New Zealand. Two of them (Dunedin and Christ-church) had been established just prior to the passing of the Education Act of 1877. By 1881 colleges had also been opened at Wellington and Auckland. Each of the four colleges had an attached normal school. For many years trainees had to pay their own expenses, and the main avenue of entrance to teaching was through the pupil-teacher system (in effect a form of apprenticeship).

The rapidly increasing school population and the consequent need for more teachers after the Second World War led to the opening of five more teachers' colleges: Ardmore (fully residential – 1948), Palmerston North (1956), Hamilton (1960), and North Shore (Auckland) (1963); and (in 1964) the post-primary department of the Auckland Teachers' College became an independent institution — the Auckland Post-primary Teachers' College. The rolls at all colleges have increased, and were in 1964:

Men Women Total
Auckland 194 380 574
Auckland post-primary 150 323 473
North Shore 72 241 313
Ardmore 161 376 537
Hamilton 116 306 422
Palmerston North 106 337 443
Wellington 126 395 521
Christchurch 262 572 834
Dunedin 140 434 574
Totals 1,327 3,364 4,691

These figures include 3,970 primary teacher-trainees and 721 post-primary teacher-trainees. In addition, there were some 1,739 trainees attached to the teachers' colleges but attending university fulltime to complete degrees and diplomas preparatory to undertaking the one-year course for post-primary teaching conducted at Auckland and Christchurch teachers' colleges. Thus, in 1964 there were 6,430 students holding teaching bursaries or studentships, or in receipt of allowances, who were at one stage or another of their training as teachers. (The comparable figure was about 1,400 in 1948.)

A variety of schemes of training is available for students who wish to prepare themselves for entry to the teaching service. Primary teachers are trained in a two-year course at a teachers' training college, followed by a year in a school as a probationary assistant. The two-year course for primary teachers is to be extended to three years in two colleges a year, starting with the intakes of the Hamilton and Dunedin Teachers' Colleges in 1966. Teachers enter the post-primary service in one of three ways: first, three, four, or five years' full-time academic study at a university and (usually) one year at a teachers' college for professional training; secondly, one or two years at a teachers' college studying to become a teacher of such subjects as homecraft, commerce, mathematics and science, woodwork, or metalwork followed (except for the courses in the last two subjects) by a probationary year in a school; and, thirdly, by transfer from the primary service or from some other occupation, the qualifications for which are relevant to post-primary teaching.


Bryan Morgan Pinder, M.A., DIP.ED., Officer for Teacher Training, Department of Education, Wellington.