Foundation Course 1st Year GRUNSF35

Course Description

Course unit 1: Basic Subject Didactics and Theoretical Topics (15 ECTS)

Subject didactics concerns an overall approach to a school subject’s special characteristics, aims, content and values. In their studies, students will develop the ability to reflect on, discuss and debate, the nature of subject didactics and its relation to practical creative work, theoretical studies and the period of teaching practice. The course unit will include selected theoretical topics regarding aesthetic learning processes, cultural understanding, interdisciplinary activities, documentation, research and development work and basic theory in relation to the practical part of the programme.

The study of subject didactics will enable students to plan, organise and implement teaching in the subject matter in an effective and thoughtful manner in relation to current curricula. Students will acquire knowledge regarding how stimulating, learning environments for children and youth may be created. They will gain experience and knowledge of how they can use curricula in relation to the pupils’ situation, background and abilities in specific teaching practice situations.

The content of the programme will reflect and debate how the subject may contribute constructively to the reality of life in a multicultural school community and to a continuously changing society. Knowledge and experience with topics and project work will be gained through theory and practice, and the close cooperation between students, subject teachers and the teaching practice placement school. Students will become acquainted with methodology used in research and development work both through practical creative processes and investigations carried out during teaching practice. Knowledge regarding aesthetic learning processes, idea development and problem solving will form a part of the theoretical foundation and will be experienced through the processes in which students are involved.

Experience with the dissemination of art and design culture constitutes an important part of the programme. Familiarity with dissemination models, communication theory and the use of visual communication for dissemination and exhibition purposes will make the students aware of what dissemination involves. Students must be able to teach art to children and youth using different methods, arenas and aids. They should also be able to use observation and visual documentation as a pedagogical tool in the work aimed at creating effective learning conditions for pupils and thereby contribute to developing the subject area.

Course unit 2: Images (15 ECTS)

Pictorial representation holds an important position in Western culture as a means of expression and communication. Skills in visual images are important in a society in which the two-dimensional image media has a great influence on our ways of thinking. The use of images in today’s culture and society is complex and comprehensive and encompasses a diversity of expressions, from mass media to art images. Children and youth are large consumers of images. Consequently, students should acquire practical skills in relation to images, so they are able to support the pupils’ own production of images, and also assist them in interpreting images. It follows that the course unit will focus mainly on students working with the production of their own images. This work will amongst other things be concerned with the study of pictorial art, so that students will be able to fulfil the subject requirements in the current curriculum for primary and lower secondary schools. Students’ work will also focus on the image media that influence us daily, so that students will be able to relate to children and youth in their cultural reality.

Through work with various materials, tools and techniques for creating images and the use of formal means, students will try out and investigate various forms of expression of image media as well as their own ability to express themselves. Students will develop skills in expressing themselves through images using techniques such as drawing, painting, prints, photography and digital media. In the workshops, students will acquire knowledge of the appropriate materials and the qualities of these. This will involve, amongst other things, familiarity with various types of paper, drawing tools such as pencils, charcoal and chalk; various types of colour, and other materials and computer programmes for the production of images, which are suited to various age groups in schools. Knowledge, experience, curiosity and reflection form the basis for students’ own creative work with images, and for teaching the subject matter in schools.

Visual presentation and dissemination will form a natural part of all the work done with images. Installation and dissemination, for instance in exhibitions, will form a part of the students’ routine work with images. An aware attitude towards the visual environment in the workshops and other rooms is a precondition for practising skills in visual presentation.

Course unit 3: Sculpture (10 ECTS)

Students will gain experience and knowledge of sculpture through investigating and experimenting with the characteristics of various materials and their importance for sculptural expressions. Through creative work with various types of tools and techniques, and through manipulation of sculptural elements, students will gain experience with some of the different means of expression that are inherent in three-dimensional forms.

This course unit consists of the range of three-dimensional forms of expression, from traditional sculpture to object art, installations, performance and land art. Students will work with approaches related to sculptural expressions from various periods and cultures, and children’s play and building with materials. Students will be challenged to see the opportunities for interdisciplinary work with other subjects in schools. Work will be done both indoors and outdoors, in small and large formats. The course unit will challenge and develop students’ understanding of sculptural modes of expression, their own ability to express, and their didactic skills in relation to the opportunities that are inherent in working with sculpture in schools.

The choice of the appropriate materials is large, and the opportunities many. For instance, wet and dry wood, clay, metals, textiles, various qualities of paper and synthetic materials, or a combination of these. In the preparation and assembling of materials students will learn to select, use and maintain the tools and machines properly.

The work with dissemination and exhibitions will form a natural part of the course unit and will be related to the exploration and experimentation of pedagogical opportunities in schools.

An aware attitude towards the physical, visual and functional environment in workshops and other rooms is a precondition for the development of effective learning arenas. Knowledge regarding the organisation and planning of functional workshops and working conditions, and maintenance of tools and machines form a part of this work.

Course unit 4: Utility Objects (15 ECTS)

A special characteristic of humans is their ability to develop functional tools and utility objects. The design of such objects has arisen due to needs, and has been characterised by the materials that have been used and the technological expertise humans have gained throughout history to process these materials. In an industrialised society and culture characterised by mass-produced consumer objects, it is important to develop aware attitudes towards production and consumption, as well as a critical approach and new ways of thinking. Reflected attitudes, and aesthetic and problem-solving awareness will be reached through tasks related to the students’ world and relevant contemporary contexts, as well as through investigation of the design culture of earlier periods.

Through the knowledge and experience of design development processes, students will learn methods regarding creativity and the development of ideas. Emphasis will be placed on creative work using various materials and techniques, and with approaches related to functional needs and aesthetic criteria. Students will be encouraged to develop their awareness regarding the relationship between design, function, choice of materials and techniques. The use of materials and their preparation should be considered in the context of recycling, environmental aspects and resources.

Acquiring skills regarding crafts, use of tools and machines is necessary in order to carry out practical design processes.

Course unit 5: Architecture (5 ECTS)

Architecture includes the design of the environment, such as town planning, landscape architecture and man made structures. In order to recognise and express both verbally and visually what characterises a structural environment it is necessary to be aware of these elements.

The course aims to provide students with knowledge of the subject, so that, in combination with practical assignments, they will learn to understand which factors throughout history influence building traditions both nationally and locally; they will also gain insight into how international impulses within the building arts emerge, and come to expression in the local environment. Knowledge and common experiences form the basis for creative work using various materials, in both models and full-scale work. The course emphasises reflection and knowledge acquired through creative expression in two and three-dimensional forms. The work will be carried out both indoors and outdoors depending on the nature of the activity.

Work with constructions, space and volumes will be focused on. It is necessary to have knowledge of the properties of the various materials used in construction, to try out how physical laws influence a construction, and to experience at first hand the forces in action. In this manner, students will gain experience of how choice of materials, light and colour influence space and forms. Observations and discussions of various materials’ and objects’ life cycles, and how they are produced, used, disposed of and possibly reused will also be focused on.

Sketches, working drafts, elementary perspective constructions, photography and ICT will be used as tools, and as a visual documentation of experiences, processes and products.

Course unit 6: ICT (15 ECTS)

This course unit will focus on how ICT is used to both retrieve information and to create digital forms of expression. ICT is used as an aid in creative processes using specific materials; to make digital presentations and to disseminate in various ways; and to make/use multimedia. The course employs teaching and learning methods that will prepare students for their teaching roles in schools. How ICT is used in relation to curricula in primary and secondary schools will also be discussed.

By alternating between practical and theoretical work, students will acquire an understanding of concepts, theories and methods used in the subject area.

The course unit is organised into the following topics: General Information Technology – Electronic image processing – Multimedia - Internet/Web design.

Reflection regarding the possible consequences of technology in relation to the use of ICT forms an important focus of the programme. Students should be able to discuss and reflect on the use of technology in relation to values in the subject, culture and society. Students should attempt to acquire the necessary experience and skills in the use of various types of equipment and computer software.

Assessment Methods

There should be a relationship between the competence aims of the study programme, content, organisation, teaching, learning and assessment methods.

Assessment should form a part of the learning process and be a means for the individual student to gain increased insight and understanding of their professional predisposition. Continual informal supervision and assessment during the course of the programme has the purpose of increasing the student’s awareness both concerning defining the level of their own work and their academic ability. This assessment concerns the actual study process, the ability for professional development and progression, and the ability for cooperation and responsibility for one’s own learning. Experience of various forms of assessment is a part of the development towards final professional competence and future professional roles.

Suitability assessment

All the teacher study programmes include a suitability assessment. Suitability assessment is included as part of the total assessment of the student’s professional and personal aptitude and pedagogical skills which will enable him/her to function as a teacher. Continuous assessment of suitability will be carried out throughout the whole of the study programme in accordance with specific assessment criteria which are described in the Regulations for Suitability Assessment for teacher education study programmes established by the Ministry of Education and Research 10th October, 2005 pursuant to the Norwegian Universities’ Act, no. 15, §, 4-10 sixth section, 1st April 2005.

Course requirements

In order to sit the examination students must fulfil the following requirements:

  • Assignment periods/portfolio assignments must be answered according to the given criteria.
  • Each student must produce and discuss assignment solutions with the subject teacher as part of the work process. Assignment responses which are not presented to the subject teacher for supervision may be refused assessment.
  • Satisfactory participation in maintenance and inspection of workshops and tools.

Final assessment

The student will be assessed in relation to the given competence aims:

Assessment criteria:

  • Overall impression and quality
  • Connection between choice of materials, form, function/expression
  • Ability to solve problems, innovation and originality
  • Ability to present thoughts, ideas, experiences and impressions in an independent manner
  • Ability to reflect on subject theoretical and didactic questions
  • Professional documentation and dissemination ability
  • Use of aesthetic means
  • Choice of materials and technical solutions
  • Crafts’ skills
  • Use of relevant subject material

Assessment after the 1st year of study:

Portfolio with possible written documentation:

  • As many as 4 pieces of student work possibly including subject theory and subject didactics; one will be chosen by the student.

‘Student work’ may involve:

  • A specific product as a solution to a given assignment
  • Several products which form a whole
  • Experiments as documentation of a creative process towards a product

Diploma and transcript of grades

The diploma for the Subject Teacher: Education in the Arts study programme includes all the study units which the student has completed, and which have been allocated grades. Students who do not complete the whole study programme may obtain a transcript for the examination protocol for the study units which have received passing grades. If the practical training has not been completed or passed then this will be entered on the transcript of grades.

A graded mark from A-F will be entered on the diploma, where A represents the highest passing mark, and E the lowest. All assignments must receive a minimum grade of E in order to receive a final passing grade. Please refer to Telemark University College’s examination regulations for more information.

Obligatory attendance

Large parts of the study programme have obligatory attendance requirements; information regarding attendance is provided in the year plans, semester plans and period plans.

Guidelines for obligatory attendance in studies at the Faculty of Art, Folk Culture and Teacher Education will be valid for parts of the study programme. The student is responsible for documenting attendance in the obligatory parts of the study programme, and for keeping himself/herself informed with regard to whether he/she is in danger of falling below the minimum attendance requirement. Failure to meet the attendance requirement may result in the student not being allowed to continue on the study programme or to sit the examination. This will be considered in connection with a student’s rights and responsibilities as described in Telemark University College’s examination regulations and the Norwegian Universities Act § 40 and § 46.3.

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

Publisert av / forfatter Marte Gulliksen <>, last modified Jostein Sandven - 02/01/2012