Outdoor Activities, post-graduate specialisation for pre-school teachers 30UTEFAG

Course Objectives

The students will:

  • Acquire theoretical knowledge of, and practical experience with, various types of environments and movement environments, and develop an understanding of and insight into the interactions between people and nature.
  • Acquire theoretical and practical skills that will allow them to stimulate children to play, wonder, enjoy and master skills in nature, on the children’s own terms.
  • Acquire the necessary knowledge to create a process-oriented learning environment, and to stimulate independence, responsibility and creativity.
  • Further develop subject-didactic competence, capacity for critical reflection and insight into pedagogical development work related to teaching children outdoors.
  • Acquire greater insight into the relationship between children and their natural environment, the motor development of children, and the interplay between their motor development and their movement in nature in different seasons.

Course Description

Study programme curriculum – content and structure

The study programme is built upon the following three course units:


Subject didactics is integrated in all three course units.


In the course unit people and nature, stress is placed on developing an ecological understanding of how the environment functions, and of different forms of life, life processes and the basis of life on earth. Humans are part of the global ecological system, and the relationship of humans to the environment is an important aspect of this target area. Experiences from outings in the natural surroundings, understanding of ecology and eco-philosophy and insight into Sami culture are basic elements of this course unit.

Course components
  • Ecology: the most common biotopes in Norway, living conditions in different natural environments
  • Fundamental forces and processes in the environment and processes in nature which contribute to shaping the landscape, environment and the basis for life, geology and the climate
  • Basic topics within ecological philosophy associated with the relationship humans – culture - environment, uses of the environment, the use and interpretation of nature in Sami culture and ecologically sound use of the environment
  • Outdoor activities in a cultural-historical perspective, laws and regulations for hiking and trips to the countryside

Field methodology and outdoor activity pedagogy, outdoor activities for children


Nature represents an environment with many challenges. Children can acquire basic experiences and skills by playing and learning in the natural environment. Nature represents a playground which can stimulate their senses and motor development, creative skills, curiosity and their need to explore. Intuitively, children use the countryside for physical challenges, playing and exploring. Active, participating and value-conscious adult-models are necessary to ensure the child’s progression and overall development and learning.

Course components
  • Play and learning in nature
  • Use of natural materials
  • Children’s culture and the question of gender roles in relation to free and organised play in the natural environment
  • Children’s motor development and the stimulation of motor skills through play in the natural environment
  • Practical professional development with children through the various seasons


The exploration and use of the environment provide the opportunity to seek challenges in the various elements of nature in relation the senses, discovering, experiencing and mastering skills. Children need all-round and varied physical stimulation for optimal physical, mental and social development. It is therefore important to be able to evaluate an outdoors area and have knowledge and skills concerning how it may be used.

Course components
  • Referance area
  • Natural playgrounds and the local environment of day-care centres
  • Safety and challenges
  • Outdoor life and trips in the local area
  • First aid and life saving skills

Learning Methods

Theory, practical work and project work will together form a basis for an overall and reflected understanding of the work in this specialisation course in outdoor activities. Emphasis is given to integrating the teaching with topics which include various aspects of the subjects natural sciences and physical development. Thematic problem-solving activities should be organised across subjects, so that the students will experience methodological organisation suited to day-care centres and schools (first to fourth grades).

The practical work requires working methods that involve sensing, experiencing, discovering and experimenting. Practical-pedagogical work will in the main be carried out in the natural environment, so that student will be given the opportunity to organise activities for and with children in nature. The practical teaching is obligatory.

Work in a reference area is focused on throughout the year, and should be reported in a journal. At the beginning of the study programme, students form groups and they select an area which they intend to focus on. The reference area is important for much of the teaching and work which is done throughout the year.

Excursions and trips are another important aspect of outdoor activities. Students will have to cover the costs of excursions and fieldwork. The teaching will include the following:

  • Excursions: 3 days and nights in the autumn mountains, winter mountains and the coast.
  • Field trips to the forest, and to lakes and waterways
  • Lectures
  • Supervisor-directed and student-directed group work
  • Individual work, practical and methodological
  • Student-training/training in skills
  • Project work
  • Practical-methodological work with children

The relationship between theory and practice

Five days teaching practice with children in a day-care centre/primary school (first to fourth grades). The teaching practice is included in other work with assignments, in which the teaching practice report is included. The teaching practice is assessed as approved/not approved.

Assessment Methods

The assessment throughout the course includes requirements which must be approved, assignments, exercises and an examination.


  • Approved attendance of obligatory teaching
  • Excursions and journals relating to these must be approved
  • Students must complete two camping trips on their own, according to specific guidelines
  • Approved journals from assignments, field work and teaching practice
  • Approved skills exercise in chosen topic

The above requirements must be met before students can take the examination.

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

Publisert av / forfatter Robert Larsen <Robert.LarsenSPAMFILTER@hit.no>, last modified Ian Hector Harkness - 01/04/2011