Natural Sciences 1 30NAT1

Course Objectives

The course in natural sciences will enable students to acquire an understanding of the field in general and some insight into topics from some of its constituent subjects, including biology, chemistry, physics and physical geography. Students will acquire insight into the main concepts and working methods within the natural sciences. They will learn to use this knowledge to plan and carry out varied and suitable natural science instruction at various class levels in primary and lower-secondary schools.

Course Description

Outdoor Field Studies

Content: Outdoor field studies include biological and ecological investigations on land, in fresh water and in salt water. Biological diversity and ecology will be taught through field investigations. The main emphasis will be on acquiring a systematic understanding of plants and animals. The course unit will include anatomy, morphology, physiology and ecological adaptations in various species and groups of plants and animals. The students will be introduced to photosynthesis and cell respiration, in addition to the main features of morphology and reproductive biology in plants and lichens.

Biotopes, which will be studied in the course unit, include open sea, coastlines, mountains, forests, fresh water and bogs.

Objectives: Through field work, students will become qualified to carry out simple independent studies in field biology, and to teach students in primary and lower-secondary schools how to organise their own investigations. Students will learn about a variety of Norwegian plant families (to recognise family characteristics) and about selected species for each family within the group of seed-bearing plants. They will also learn to recognise a selection of seedless vascular plants, mosses and lichens, as well as becoming familiar with a selection of invertebrate and vertebrate animals. The fieldwork will provide experience in evaluating natural phenomena, field-study methods and the use of simple equipment in field biology. Students will become experienced in collecting, systematizing and organising data from ecological field investigations.


Content: Knowledge of ecology will provide a basis for understanding the importance of maintaining and managing extensive biological diversity. In ecology, the interactions between living organisms and non-organic components are crucial. Important ecological concepts include niches, food chains, nutritional networks and ecosystems. An understanding of different ecosystems will be combined with insights into plant and animal life, rock and soil types and climate. In addition to the general section on ecology, an introduction to ecosystems such as open sea, coastlines, mountains, forests, freshwater and bogs will be presented.

Objectives: The students should be able to provide examples of how plants and animals are adapted to the environments in which they live and to explain the primary relationships between organisms and non-biological environmental factors such as rock type, soil and climate. They should be able to describe the main characteristics of ecosystems such as forests, fresh water, and the sea and demonstrate their understanding of other branches of biology in an ecological context.

Practical Physics and Technology

Content: The course unit provides an introduction to force and motion and basic concepts within electrotechnology and magnetism. The basic characteristics of sound and light will be examined as well as elementary wave theory. The course unit also includes thermology and an introduction to technology and design. In this context, students will be encouraged to take an interdisciplinary approach.

Objectives: Students will learn to give a description of force and the relation between force and motion. They will become familiar with the main principles of electrotechnology, magnetism, sound, light and wave theory and be able to carry out experiments and do simple calculations. They will become familiar with the basic concepts of thermology.

In technology and design, emphasis will be placed on the students ability to design and make a piece of equipment and document the process from idea to finished product.


Content: An introduction to chemical concepts and processes will be given. Special emphasis will be given to atoms, molecules, the periodic table, simple chemical reactions and the chemical characteristics of some common everyday substances. In addition, safety in the laboratory will be focused on as well as the use of digital aids.

Objectives: Students will be able to give a description of the atom’s structure and properties, and explain the structure of the periodic table. They will become familiar with the chemical characteristics of some common substances and be able to discuss those aspects of the content of the media and advertising which are relevant to the subject of chemistry. Students will gain knowledge of basic chemical reactions and acquire knowledge of safety in the laboratory. They will learn how to use digital aids in the planning and execution of the teaching of chemistry in schools.


Content: The course unit provides a basic introduction to minerals and rock types and the basic processes of plate tectonics. An overview of Norway’s geology will be given with a focus on specific periods, as well as basic knowledge of geology in the local area. The course unit includes a basic introduction to weather and the registration of weather.

Objectives: The students will become familiar with the most important minerals and rock types. The will be able to give a description of the main processes in plate tectonics. The will become acquainted with the main characteristics of Norway’s geological history. They will have detailed knowledge of specific geological periods and the local area in a geological context. They will be familiar with online geology-related resources be able to use these resources in teaching situations. The students will be able to teach students about the weather and the recording of weather-related data.

Learning Methods

The subject is taught so that theory and practical work comprise a whole. Field studies in the natural environment and practical exercises provide students with experience and enjoyment of the natural surroundings, which comprises an important aspect of the subject. Part of the teaching will take place outdoors.

The teaching and learning alternates between lectures, supervision, practical assignments individually and in groups and written assignments. Attendance at the field studies and practical sessions is obligatory. Teaching which at which attendance is required will be specified in the semester plan at the start of each semester. During the period of practical training, students who are enrolled on the course as part of the General Teacher Education programme will gain experience in integrating natural sciences topics into the school’s daily activities. Students will gain experience in planning, arranging and implementing natural sciences activities in the school.

Assessment Methods

Continuous assessment:

Field reports from trips to: mountains, coast, forest lakes and rivers, and assignments in chemistry and physics must be approved. Obligatory assignments must be approved before the student will be permitted to sit the examination.

Written examination during the autumn semester will count for 40% of the final grade.

Final assessment:

Oral examination during the spring semester counts for 60% of the final grade.

Minor adjustments may occur during the academic year, subject to the decision of the Dean

Publisert av / forfatter Ian Harkness <>, last modified Ian Hector Harkness - 10/10/2009