Nursery Pedagogy – specialisation for pre-school teachers 30SMÅB

Course Objectives

It is a common belief that the first years of a child’s life are the most important regarding the development of character. Consequently, it is an important social task and responsibility to provide the necessary optimal conditions for the growth and development of the child.


The student will acquire knowledge and further develop skills regarding:

  • Each child’s needs and distinctive character.
  • The interaction between child and adult.
  • The different ways of thinking about children and adults.
  • How the disciplinary areas specified in the curriculum are important in the context of the nursery.
  • How children develop language, communication and interpersonal skills.
  • Knowledge concerning the roles of educator, care person and disseminator of culture.
  • Cooperation between personnel and parents.
  • Supervision of adults.

Social policies concerning young children and families with young children

Course Description

The specialisation programme consists of the following five modules:

1. Social interaction, development and learning – 12 ECTS

2. Play, culture and everyday activities – 9 ECTS

3. The roles of adults – 3 ECTS

4. Young children – 3 ECTS

5. Various types of nurseries – 3 ECTS

Pedagogy counts for 24 ECTS, and covers modules 1, 3, 4 and 5. In addition, the practical-aesthetic study counts for a total of 6 ECTS in module 2.

The module Social interaction, development and learning forms the theoretical foundation for working with the youngest children in nurseries. The didactic perspective is emphasised in all areas.

Social interaction, development and learning

Much recent research has focussed on the importance of social interaction for children’s development and learning. Consequently, emphasis is placed on raising the students’ level of awareness regarding their own attitudes and actions. This includes developing their capacity to show empathy and recognition, and developing knowledge and skills in relation to the analysis of interactions between children and adults, between adults and between children.

The importance of social interaction for the development of language, communication and interactive skills is emphasised. Children’s attachment and separation processes are also an important topic. The varying needs of children from different backgrounds will also be emphasised.

Play, culture and everyday activities

This module focuses on young children’s play. This is illuminated through theoretical studies and practical experience in the form of practical-aesthetic studies and pedagogy. The active and exploring child forms the module’s point of departure, in relation to experiences, materials and play environment.

The roles of adults

Adult roles in relation to young children is a comprehensive issue, and awareness of it is essential for pre-school teachers. Emphasis is placed on raising students’ awareness regarding their professional and personal roles. This module builds on knowledge students will already have acquired in relation to supervision. Students will be provided with both a practical and a theoretical introduction to supervision.

Young children

This module emphasises knowledge about young children in a historical and social context. Different viewpoints regarding the various pedagogical options available will be discussed. Central aspects of the conditions of families with small children in today’s society and the various authorities that co-operate regarding the conditions of children as they grow up will be addressed.

Various types of nurseries

Society and families have different requirements regarding nurseries. ‘Regular’ nurseries will often offer different pedagogical options. Students will become acquainted with different ways of organising and providing a pedagogical programme for the youngest children.

Learning Methods

The study programme will develop students’ professional skills and knowledge in relation to working with children 3 years old and younger. This requires the use of different working methods both during teaching and practical experience – including excursions to, for instance, the educational-psychological service, hospitals, family centres and health stations, and participation in various forms of children’s activities. Lectures, project work and discussion/supervision online are also important teaching methods.

The teaching and learning methods must be viewed in relation to the aim of the study programme. In content and form, the programme is primarily directed towards future employment situations. The importance of achieving an effective relationship between theory and practice has been emphasised above. The integration of these two aspects should, among other things, manifest itself in individual reflection, reflection among students and interaction between students and teachers, both in teaching situations and online. The programme presupposes that students have access to the internet and that they actively participate.

Observation practice

A large project/semester paper will concern the period of observation during teaching practice. Appropriate research methods and the syllabus reading material will be used when dealing with important questions related to the relevant age group. Work on this paper may be done in the nursery or other relevant locations, such as health stations, children’s homes, hospitals, the child care service, and must be related to the teaching and care of children under three years old.

It is the students’ responsibility to make contact with a suitable institution for observation, and to acquire sufficient information about the institution and the related problem approaches of the project.

Assessment Methods

Candidates are awarded a single final grade on the basis of:

A A semester paper describing the project based on observations conducted during the practice period.

Weight: 60% of the final grade.

B A final 4-hour individual written examination.

Weight: 40% of the final grade.

This component will be decisive in the event of doubt regarding the final grade.

In addition, a compulsory theoretical assignment, related to module 1, and a practical didactic assignment, related to module 2, will be given. These will be assessed pass/fail by the subject teacher.

One final single grade, graded A-F will be awarded, where A is the highest and E is the lowest passing grade. For further 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 Frode Evenstad <>, last modified Ian Hector Harkness - 01/04/2011