Art and Design Culture 15KFK

Course Objectives

The students will:

  • Develop the ability to perceive art and design culture as a source of experience, knowledge and understanding.
  • Gain insight into the principal elements which characterised ancient and modern art history, handicrafts traditions, arts handicrafts, industrial design and mass media forms.
  • Develop an understanding of art and design culture as representing expressions of contemporary ideas and changes in culture and society.
  • Develop the ability to apply the correct technical terminology in analysis, interpretation and evaluation.
  • Acquire the knowledge and teaching methods relevant for use in various target groups and situations.

Target areas

The course consists of three course units:

  • Art History 10 ECTS
  • Art and Design Culture, with a Focus on Teaching 3 ECTS
  • Art and Design Culture - Project Work Related to Teaching Practice 2 ECTS

The various course units are offered in specific semesters and together constitute a larger unit. Students will acquire knowledge of art and design culture from a historical perspective; be able to apply it in teaching; be able to use art and design culture in creative processes in their own work, and in the teaching of children and youth.

Course unit 1: Art History

This course unit focuses mainly on European art – including architecture, handicrafts and design – from its earliest beginnings to the present. It focuses on various style periods and movements, their origins, specific characteristics and development. Special attention will be given to the growth of visual mass media. Students are required to reflect over the interrelation between art and society and art and technology; in brief, they should reflect on the complex context in which art is produced and perceived.

Students will develop the ability to:

  • Explain the main features of art history from ancient times to the present day.
  • Explain the main features of the principal movements in art and design culture in the 20th century.
  • Explain the development and the main features of handicrafts traditions, folk art, art handicrafts, industrial design, modern design and industrial mass production.
  • Gain insight into handicrafts, design and material in a selection of ethnic cultures, including for example the Sami culture.
  • Reflect on architectural forms, building traditions and utility objects as an expression of the age and society in which they were produced.
  • Reflect over the relationship of art to the ideas of the historical period in which it was produced, to changes in culture and civilisation, to technical innovations and changes regarding the position of art in society.
  • Use relevant technical terminology and methods of analysis to describe, interpret and discuss art and design culture from various style periods and movements.

Course unit 2: Art and Design Culture, with a Focus on Teaching

During the course students will practice teaching the subject to various target groups, in particular in schools. The course includes various tools and methods for teaching which the students will become acquainted with, including: visual documentation as a pedagogical tool; ICT and video; and visual presentations used in exhibitions.

The focus on the teaching of the subject will be based on figurative art, architecture, handicrafts traditions, industrial design, modern design and industrial mass production.

Students will:

  • Be able to describe paintings and objects by using basic terminology and use this in teaching various groups according to age and ability.
  • Reflect on the aesthetic and ethical aspects related to teaching of the artistic qualities and values.
  • Present a specific teaching project in which ICT is used as a working tool.

Course unit 3: Art and Design Culture - Project Work Related to Teaching Practice

This course unit builds on the course units 1 and 2. It is offered in cooperation with the foundation study programme in design, arts and crafts and pedagogy, and includes project work related to the teaching practice. All three subject areas focus on a joint project that will be used during the teaching practice at a placement school. This will involve close cooperation with the placement school concerning communication and planning; specialisation within the separate subject areas; and communication across various subject areas and between students. The aim of the project is to integrate the instructions which students receive at the university college with the teaching practice.

As regards art and design culture the relevant theoretical issues will be related to the project. The project work should be characterised by research and development activities. The responsible subject teacher and the teacher responsible for pedagogy in design and arts and crafts will plan the project and supervise the students. The project work will be based on teaching practice situations, and the various teaching practice groups, together with their mentors and subject teachers, will define and develop areas of study and problem approaches for each practice group.

The subject specialisation will be carried out within each specific subject area, and the students will provide a brief account of the theoretical basis applied in the specific projects. This constitutes the subject-specific parts of a brief project report of up to ten pages. The report must be written in accordance with the ‘Guidelines for Written Assignments at the Faculty of Art, Folk Culture and Teacher Education’.

Students will:

  • Learn to understand art and design culture in relation to the professional aspect of the studies.
  • Acquire knowledge of how visual and material forms of expression may stimulate their own development of ideas and creative work in relation to working with pupils in schools.
  • Learn to apply knowledge related to art and design culture in a subject-didactics context through practical teaching work.
  • Show their ability in connection with subject specialisation and be able to relate art and design culture to their own creative work.
  • Gain experience in research and development activities in schools through cooperation with mentors at the placement schools, pupils and other students.

Course Description

The course represents an important part of the historical and cultural foundation of the study programme, and will enable students to gain an understanding of themselves in a cultural context. The interrelation between the student’s own creative work and the experience and evaluation of the work of others is an important prerequisite for creative work. The course in art and design culture is to a great extent aimed at studying material cultural expressions, and the thoughts and reflection related to this. The experience and study of specific works of art therefore plays an important role in this context. In addition to the sources and arenas mentioned above, the Internet is also as an important source of information and resources used on the course.

Learning Methods

The course will be organised as follows: Course unit 1, Art History is taught during the first year of study (first and second semesters). Course unit 2, Art and Design Culture with a Focus on Teaching, is taught during the third semester as a teaching project in which ICT is used a teaching tool and method. Course unit 3, Art and Design Culture – Project Work related to Teaching Practice, is a group project taught during the fourth semester in cooperation with foundation studies in design, arts and craft and pedagogy.

The teaching is organised into lectures, group work and excursions. In addition to the compulsory syllabus literature, the students and subject teachers should also work together to investigate other sources of knowledge and experience.

Students will study the relevant subject literature which covers the principal aspects of the course. The subject teachers are responsible for the organisation, overall structure and progression of the programme and guidance of students; while the students are responsible for their own learning progress, which involves acquiring the relevant knowledge and skills.

The main feature of this course in art and design culture consists in the study of material forms of cultural expression and reflection related to this. This requires the availability of original works of art and/or copies thereof (photos, slides, film and electronic images). The opportunity to engage with original works of art is an important source of knowledge, and field studies should therefore constitute an important part of the course. In this context, museums, galleries, exhibitions, collections, architecture and building traditions in the local area represent important arenas for learning. The alternation between experience and reflection related to art and design culture is an important basis for subject-related discussions and for stimulating the understanding of one’s own creativity and various teaching methods. The students’ work with art and design culture should be coordinated with other courses regarding content, progression and organisation to ensure that art-related courses mutually enrich and supplement each other. Subject knowledge from art and design culture studies will be used during the teaching practice, where the students should be given the opportunity to gain experience using a selection of teaching methods.

Assessment Methods

All of the course units will be assessed. Art History is assessed at the end of the second semester by a written examination or home assignment, while course units 2 and 3 are assessed at the end of the course. Course units 1 and 2 will receive a graded mark, while course unit 3 is assessed pass/fail. The individual written examination at the end of the first year of study will receive a graded mark. The assessment of course units 2 and 3 is carried out by the responsible subject teacher.


The final grade for the course is allocated as follows:

Course unit 1: 60%

Course unit 2: 40%

A graded mark is entered on the diploma, graded from A to F, where A represents the highest mark, and E the lowest passing mark. Students must achieve passing marks in all course units, including course unit 3, in order to achieve a final passing mark for the course.

Please refer to Telemark University College’s examination regulations for further information.

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

Publisert av / forfatter Marte Gulliksen <>, last modified Liang Xiaoli - 17/12/2006