Social Studies 10FPSF

Course Objectives

The study of social studies will enable students to view children and day-care centres in a larger social context. Various approaches and concepts within the field of social studies will provide students with tools to enable them to understand social relations and processes typical for their future profession.

The concepts, theories and approaches of social sciences

Students will:

  • Gain knowledge to be able to apply the most important concepts, approaches and theories in the field of social sciences that may be useful in day-care centres
  • Develop the ability to be able to carry out own surveys that may be used in the professional development of day-care centres
  • Be able to evaluate and make use of results from current research.

Childhood and family

Students will:

  • Gain knowledge of the fundamental aspects of children’s living conditions throughout history
  • Be able to describe and explain typical changes in cohabitation patterns and the function of the family
  • Learn to understand the relationship between economic and cultural development, and variations in the family as a social phenomenon
  • Be able to explain the development of the modern day-care centre.
  • Be able to analyse current factors with a major impact on children and families in modern society, highlighting the role of the mass media in particular.

Multi-cultural Norway

Students will:

  • Gain knowledge of the Sámi people as an indigenous minority population in Norway
  • Be able to describe in the day-care centre certain aspects of the Sámi people’s culture and traditions
  • Be aware of the fundamental attitudes and strategies that ethnic minorities may meet in Norway.
  • Understand particular problems that may arise when people with various cultural backgrounds communicate and interact with one another
  • Develop an ability to discuss ethnocentrism and racism, and to present arguments against them
  • Gain insight into the various forms of cross-cultural pressure children of ethnic minorities may experience
  • Be able to show respect and tolerance for other traditions, cultures and religions – provided they are in accordance with human rights, Norwegian law and the principles of equality
  • Become aware of their cultural background and the ways in which it affects the way they interact with others who do not share this background

The pre-school teacher’s professional role

Students will:

  • Develop leadership-skills, based on the awareness of their own role and the specific challenges in the local area, with regards to co-operation and adaptation in day-care centres
  • Acquire knowledge of management, administrative practices and relevant political processes
  • Be able to analyse their role from both practical and ethical viewpoints
  • Learn to use the right forms of communication when in contact with parents, colleagues, the local community and the media.

Course Description

Social Studies in the pre-school teacher education are based on a selection of concepts, perspectives, knowledge and theories from academic subjects such as history, sociology, social-anthropology and political science. Consequently, the main aim of the subject is to develop a greater and deeper understanding of history, social and cultural relations that characterize the peoples’ interactions and their relations with the social institutions that affect their everyday lives.

The course will focus on children’s living conditions throughout history, changes in the structure and function of families, as well as the cultural gap between children and their parents. The study of social studies will enable students to reflect over their own roles in children’s socialisation, co-operation with colleagues and parents, and their relationships with other professions and institutions involved in providing a quality childhood.

Today’s society is characterised by rapid change, the exchange of large amounts of information via the mass media, high mobility and globalisation. This has also resulted in a much greater diversity in ethnic minority groups, their languages and traditions, values and norms, and their social needs and requirements in a multicultural society.

Equality between gender and between various minority groups are important principles of modern democracies, and pre-school teachers should be prepared for the pedagogical challenges, communicative problems, conflicts and ethical dilemmas that they will be confronted with in day-care centres.

Students will gain knowledge of variation in society and develop the necessary social competence in order to be able to create the most inclusive environment possible in the day-care centre, for example through critical self-reflection, an understanding of different cultures and the will to think differently. Social studies play an extremely important role in this learning process.

Learning Methods

Details regarding the organisation of the course will be provided in the semester plan. Teaching and learning methods will be adapted and varied according to content of the course. It is important that the main goals of pre-school teacher education, such as promoting students’ ability to work together, to accept other people’s values and to be critical of their own views and opinions, are reflected in the methods that are used.

Important teaching and learning methods are lectures, discussions and group-work.

Many of the topics studied in Social Studies will also be analysed in other subjects. Some areas of study are consequently suited to an interdisciplinary approach; such as Social Studies and pedagogical theory complement each other particularly well.

Students will complete a mandatory group project (3 to 5 students) on a project topic approved by the subject teacher. The project will be included in the final assessment.

Assessment Methods

The final assessment will be based on an individual written assignment (4 hours). Students will carry out assignments based on problems and syllabus from the whole course unit. Insight and knowledge of the subject and methodical reflection in relation to specific, concrete tasks within the area of pre-school teachers’ work will be emphasised in the assessment of the students’ work.

Final grades are based on the following:

  • Group project (40%)
  • Individual written assignment (4 hours) (60%)

Grades A-F will be awarded, where A is the highest and E the lowest passing grade. Students are required to achieve a passing grade in all course components in order to achieve a final passing grade for the course. Please refer to Telemark University College’s Examination Regulation for further information.

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

Publisert av / forfatter Hedvig Skonhoft Johannesen <>, last modified Ian Hector Harkness - 01/04/2011