EDCURRIC 721 : Special Topic: Mental Health and Wellbeing in Schools

Education and Social Work

2024 Semester Two (1245) (30 POINTS)

Course Prescription

How do we ensure that schools are wellbeing and mana-enhancing for children and youth? This course is an advanced examination of the theory and practice of mental health education, wellbeing and hauora in education settings. Emphasis will be placed on developing a substantive and integrated knowledge base, which can be applied to schools and other educational settings in practice.

Course Overview

  • Designed for educational professionals working with or in schools to address issues of wellbeing, mental health and hauora.
  • Link relevant wellbeing education theory to practice and plan for whole-school approaches to mental health education in line with individual school and community needs.
  • Critically examine theories and practices of a whole school approach and curriculum models to consider how schools can best support students and create mana-enhancing environments.
  • Opportunities to collaborate with others as well as reflect on and use research to plan a whole-school approach to wellbeing that is relevant to your own professional context

Course Requirements

No pre-requisites or restrictions

Capabilities Developed in this Course

Capability 3: Knowledge and Practice
Capability 4: Critical Thinking
Capability 5: Solution Seeking
Capability 6: Communication
Graduate Profile: Master of Education

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course, students will be able to:
  1. Apply knowledge of wellbeing concepts and theories to education contexts (Capability 3.1 and 4.1)
  2. Demonstrate knowledge of concepts about mental health and wellbeing from western and non-western knowledge traditions, including mātauranga Māori and Pacific knowledge systems, and make links between these and culturally-sustaining practices. (Capability 3.1, 4.1 and 4.3)
  3. Demonstrate critical and reflective thinking about mental health and wellbeing education debates, disciplinary knowledge, research, and practices. (Capability 3.1, 4.1, 4.2 and 4.3)
  4. Evaluate current practices and plan to enhance educational outcomes for ākonga in relation to mental health and wellbeing (Capability 4.1, 5.1, 5.2 and 6.1)


Assessment Type Percentage Classification
Essay 40% Individual Coursework
Responses 20% Individual Coursework
Evaluation 40% Individual Coursework
Assessment Type Learning Outcome Addressed
1 2 3 4

To pass this course students must achieve at least 50% for the overall course

Workload Expectations

This course is a standard 30 point course and students are expected to spend 20 hours per week involved in each 30 point course that they are enrolled in.

For this course, you can expect 240 hours of reading, online engagement and tasks, thinking about the content, and working on assignments.

Delivery Mode


The course will include live online events including group discussions and these will be recorded.
Attendance on campus is not required for the presentation.
Where possible, study material will be available at course commencement and be released progressively throughout the course.
This course runs to the University semester timetable and all the associated completion dates and deadlines will apply.

Learning Resources

Course materials are made available in a learning and collaboration tool called Canvas which also includes reading lists and lecture recordings (where available).

Please remember that the recording of any class on a personal device requires the permission of the instructor.

It is helpful for you to have your own hard copy of the book:
Fitzpatrick, K., Wells, K., Tasker, G., Webber, M., & Riedel, R. (2018). Mental health education and hauora. NZCER, Wellington.
This can be ordered from NZCER. PDFs of this text will be made available to you as part of the course.

Student Feedback

At the end of every semester students will be invited to give feedback on the course and teaching through a tool called SET or Qualtrics. The lecturers and course co-ordinators will consider all feedback and respond with summaries and actions.

Your feedback helps teachers to improve the course and its delivery for future students.

Class Representatives in each class can take feedback to the department and faculty staff-student consultative committees.

Student feedback suggested that online materials were of  a high quality but they would like to get credit for online responses. A new assessment task has been added to reflect this.

Academic Integrity

The University of Auckland will not tolerate cheating, or assisting others to cheat, and views cheating in coursework as a serious academic offence. The work that a student submits for grading must be the student's own work, reflecting their learning. Where work from other sources is used, it must be properly acknowledged and referenced. This requirement also applies to sources on the internet. A student's assessed work may be reviewed for potential plagiarism or other forms of academic misconduct, using computerised detection mechanisms.

Class Representatives

Class representatives are students tasked with representing student issues to departments, faculties, and the wider university. If you have a complaint about this course, please contact your class rep who will know how to raise it in the right channels. See your departmental noticeboard for contact details for your class reps.

Inclusive Learning

All students are asked to discuss any impairment related requirements privately, face to face and/or in written form with the course coordinator, lecturer or tutor.

Student Disability Services also provides support for students with a wide range of impairments, both visible and invisible, to succeed and excel at the University. For more information and contact details, please visit the Student Disability Services’ website http://disability.auckland.ac.nz

Special Circumstances

If your ability to complete assessed coursework is affected by illness or other personal circumstances outside of your control, contact a member of teaching staff as soon as possible before the assessment is due.

If your personal circumstances significantly affect your performance, or preparation, for an exam or eligible written test, refer to the University’s aegrotat or compassionate consideration page https://www.auckland.ac.nz/en/students/academic-information/exams-and-final-results/during-exams/aegrotat-and-compassionate-consideration.html.

This should be done as soon as possible and no later than seven days after the affected test or exam date.

Learning Continuity

In the event of an unexpected disruption, we undertake to maintain the continuity and standard of teaching and learning in all your courses throughout the year. If there are unexpected disruptions the University has contingency plans to ensure that access to your course continues and course assessment continues to meet the principles of the University’s assessment policy. Some adjustments may need to be made in emergencies. You will be kept fully informed by your course co-ordinator/director, and if disruption occurs you should refer to the university website for information about how to proceed.

Student Charter and Responsibilities

The Student Charter assumes and acknowledges that students are active participants in the learning process and that they have responsibilities to the institution and the international community of scholars. The University expects that students will act at all times in a way that demonstrates respect for the rights of other students and staff so that the learning environment is both safe and productive. For further information visit Student Charter https://www.auckland.ac.nz/en/students/forms-policies-and-guidelines/student-policies-and-guidelines/student-charter.html.


Elements of this outline may be subject to change. The latest information about the course will be available for enrolled students in Canvas.

In this course students may be asked to submit coursework assessments digitally. The University reserves the right to conduct scheduled tests and examinations for this course online or through the use of computers or other electronic devices. Where tests or examinations are conducted online remote invigilation arrangements may be used. In exceptional circumstances changes to elements of this course may be necessary at short notice. Students enrolled in this course will be informed of any such changes and the reasons for them, as soon as possible, through Canvas.