Open Access Te Herenga Waka-Victoria University of Wellington
thesis_access.pdf (1.11 MB)

Journeys into Teaching: Pathways Created by Overseas-Trained Teachers into a Career Secondary School Teaching in New Zealand

Download (1.11 MB)
posted on 2021-11-13, 22:59 authored by Stanyon, Celia Elaine

New Zealand-trained teachers have good reasons to teach abroad, change careers or retire and there are sound reasons to hire overseas-trained teachers (OTTs) to fill vacancies. Securing work in a new country can be difficult and it makes social and economic sense to facilitate this process. This thesis reports on the journeys of six OTTs documenting the individual pathways navigated; from teaching in their country of origin to securing a permanent placement as a secondary school teacher in New Zealand.  This study explores the pathways OTTs navigated in order to teach in New Zealand. It investigates the challenges they faced, the supports they encountered and the suggestions they had to offer others in a similar situation. The participants were OTTs at secondary schools in the Wellington region of New Zealand and most had emigrated from the United Kingdom. Participants taught different subjects and had varying lengths of teaching experience. They had immigrated to and successfully found a post in New Zealand between January 2006 and January 2012.  The interpretive paradigm was used as the theoretical grounding for this research as this places importance on the subjective experiences of those interviewed. Qualitative data were collected using semi-structured interviews as part of a collective, case study design. A thematic approach to data analysis was used and the data were compared and contrasted under the themes of challenges, supports and suggestions.  Findings that concurred with previous research were that OTTs faced challenges from bureaucracy, culture shock and financial stress; and that networking, professional development, luck and maintaining a positive attitude were supportive. Participants suggested preparation, networking, interagency co-operation, a positive attitude and relief teaching could assist other OTTs. The findings were used to formulate a suggested pathway that might facilitate the journeys of future OTTs.


Copyright Date


Date of Award



Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Rights License

Author Retains Copyright

Degree Discipline


Degree Grantor

Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Degree Level


Degree Name

Master of Education

ANZSRC Type Of Activity code

930299 Teaching and Instruction not elsewhere classified

Victoria University of Wellington Item Type

Awarded Research Masters Thesis



Victoria University of Wellington School

School of Educational Psychology and Pedagogy


Yates, Anne