Social Studies 2 – Focusing on Norway and Europe 30SF2

Course Objectives

Subject skills

Students will:

  • Gain knowledge of the distinctive qualities and concepts of history, geography and civics and associated interdisciplinary challenges within social studies.
  • Be able to gather, process, appraise and present information from written sources (including ICT), oral sources, images, statistics, models and maps – cf. The Knowledge Promotion Reform (LK06): basic skills in social studies.
  • Gain insight into the important events and developments in Norwegian history 1905-1990.
  • Gain knowledge of European history in the twentieth century – with a special emphasis on the interwar years, World War II, and European integration.
  • Have knowledge of EU’s institutions and decision-making processes.
  • Be familiar with the main characteristics of Europe’s resource base and be able to discuss the relation between nature and society – cf. The Knowledge Promotion Reform (LK06): competence aims – year 10.
  • Gain knowledge of the theme “weather and climate” (general), as well as the main characteristics of European weather.
  • Gain knowledge of, and be able to evaluate, global environmental and development questions, cf. The Knowledge Promotion Reform (LK06): competence aims – year 10.
  • Have knowledge of various cultural concepts and be able to “explain why culture is not innate, and be able to give an account of, and analyse, cultural variations”, cf. The Knowledge Promotion Reform (LK06): competence aims – year 10.
  • Gain knowledge of migration, ethnic minorities and indigenous populations in Norway and Europe.
  • Gain understanding of the questions related to globalisation of culture, politics and economy, as well as understand the possible consequences globalisation may have for different societies and individuals, locally and globally, cf. The Knowledge Promotion Reform (LK06): competence aims – year 10.
  • Be able to give an account of the political system, democracy as a form of government, political institutions and the separation of powers in Norway, cf. The Knowledge Promotion Reform (LK06): competence aims – year 10.

Subject didactics’ competence

The students will:

  • Have knowledge of the subject’s content at lower secondary level and its validation/aims and plans.
  • Gain insight into, and be capable of, planning, executing and assessing teaching in social studies in an independent and thoroughly professional way – for pupils with different backgrounds.
  • Participate in didactic reflection and development of the teacher’s role which promotes the pupils’ interest in the subject, and their appreciation for cultural diversity and potential for active citizenship.
  • Be able to plan and organise teaching which includes local aspects, for instance by using the local community and the local area’s landscape as a basis for examples and assignments.
  • Have knowledge and skills in the use of digital tools/ICT in schools as an important means of finding information for the presentation of material about society, practice critical attitudes towards sources, and be familiar with problems related to privacy protection and copyright regulations.
  • Be able to plan and organise explorative and problem-oriented teaching and learning methods that will develop the pupils’ ability to think critically and understand causal relationships and see possible solutions.
  • Have an understanding of how events in the past and present may be described differently by different sources, and how this may be used in schools in order to develop awareness of the historical context in which people live, cf. The Knowledge Promotion Reform (LK06): basic skills and competence aims, year 7 - year 10.
  • Have knowledge and skills in being able to “read” and “calculate” in social studies, and be able to plan and organise teaching so that the pupils can use information related to social studies from images, film, graphs, tables and maps.
  • Be familiar with, and be able to reflect upon, how “case studies” (general principle) may be used in geography teaching.
  • Be able reflect upon aspects of subject didactics and carry out assessments related to subject topics which are examined in the course.

Social competence

Students will:

  • Gain an understanding of, and skills in, working in a multicultural school.
  • Acquire skills which will enable them to work in a teaching team.
  • Acquire skills in leading group processes.

Change and development competence

Students will:

  • Gain knowledge of change in society and schools.
  • Acquire skills in meeting continual changes in the teacher’s role.

Professional-ethical competence

Students will:

  • Acquire knowledge and understanding of basic values related to practising the teaching profession.
  • Gain an understanding of the relation pupil-teacher, as well as cooperation with parents in a multicultural society.

Course Description

Subject content


The study programme is built on the following themes:

  • Europe’s geography
  • Weather and climate
  • Globalisation and, environmental and development questions

The geography section of the programme takes Europe as its point of departure, one which is also central in history and civics. Geographical concepts and theories will be used in examining specific areas of Europe’s natural and social geography. The earth’s inner and external forces are important an important factor to be considered when studying the natural landscape. Historical, economic and political factors will also be considered when studying the cultural landscape and changes within it. How Europe’s geography is to be taught in schools will be emphasised, and this will provide an important point of departure for the student assignments.

Weather and climate are dealt with separately.

The geography section will also focus on global environmental problems, including problems regarding weather, water, pollution, the forests and soil/food. In cooperation with civics, global questions concerning trade, economics and development will also be tackled. The emphasis will be on social studies approaches, from both local and global perspectives.


The programme is based on the following topics:

  • Norwegian history 1905-1990
  • European history from 1914
  • European integration after 1945

Within these topics the focus will be on principal historical concepts such as historical turning points, continuity and change, and causes and effects considered in a time-frame that connects past, present and future. An important focus will be on European co-operation and the development of the European Union. Studies of sources and evaluation of material in a didactic and methodological context will be emphasised.


The study programme is built around the following themes:

  • Democracy and politics. The Norwegian political system
  • Globalisation and the national state
  • Migration and cultural understanding in Norway and Europe

The first topic will focus on the political system in Norway, political processes, ideologies and parties, channels of power and political institutions and development of the welfare state; the relationship between the individual and society will also be emphasised.

In the second topic, in cooperation with geography, we investigate how internalisation and globalisation affect Norwegian society in various fields such as politics, economics, culture and environment. Globalisation as a political choice will also be considered, as will Norway’s relationship to Europe and the EU. One aspect of globalisation, both as cause and consequence, is migration (movement processes), increased contact between different cultures and an increase in the number of ethnic minorities in national states. Definitions of ‘immigrant’ will be considered both in a governmental context, and also more general definitions; students will gain insight into various immigration policies.


The study programme is organised so that subject didactic aspects, use of sources, assessment of material and presentation/methods to a great extent will be considered in connection with the work on the subject themes.

Students will be able to use various parts of social studies subject in combination with other subjects in interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary thematic and project work.

Learning Methods

The programme is designed to facilitate the use of varied and active teaching and learning methods, such as class discussions, lectures, seminars, work with sources (individually and in groups), use of information and communications technology (ICT), development of projects and participation in study trips and fieldwork.

Work with sources

Sources of various types are important in social studies. They may take the form of written sources, statistics, images, maps, diagrams and oral sources. The use of ICT is important in work on project and seminar assignments and in the illumination of subject topics.


Social Studies 2 students must submit a group project assignment with a theme/question related to “European integration”.


Every semester students will work in groups with assignments/ questions which will be presented to the rest of the class. The assignments will focus on the subject and subject didactics. A grade will be allotted on the basis of the presentation and submitted written work. Attendance at seminars where student work is presented is obligatory.

Study trips

In Social Studies 2 a study trip will be arranged relating to the topic “European integration”. The study trip has an interdisciplinary basis and parts of the subject material are presented in a more specific manner. The study trip is obligatory.

Practical training

Third year general teacher education students will have a period of practical training at the beginning of the spring semester.

Obligatory attendance

Attendance of the seminars in which the students’ work is presented is obligatory. Information concerning which classes are obligatory will be made clear in the semester plan at the start of the programme.

Assessment Methods

The final grade will be based upon:

  • Individual written exam (6 hours), which counts for 60% of the final grade/ 18 ECTS.
  • Portfolio assessment, which counts for 40%/12 ECTS

The project assignment (20%) and the seminar reports (20%) will be included in the portfolio.

A grade will be awarded, A-F, where A is the highest and E the lowest passing grade. Each course unit must achieve a passing grade in order to achieve a final passing grade. For more detailed information, please refer to Telemark University College’s Examination Regulations.

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