NECEC2201 Playscapes for learning, health and relationships in ECEC

Generell informasjon

Course name in Norwegian Bokmål: 
Playscapes for learning, health and relationships in ECEC
Level of study: 
Syklus 1: Videreutdanning lavere grad
Language of instruction: 
Program of study: 
Outdoor Play and Learning in Norwegian Early Childhood Education
1 semester
Teaching semester
2018 høst
Assessment semester
2018 høst
Person in charge
Trond Løge Hagen


The programme is a comparative, theoretical and practical approach to early childhood education with focus on risky play and outdoor life in early childhood settings. The programme provides experiences, insight and knowledge about everyday life in Norwegian early childhood education and care institutions. Simultaneously the students will be introduced to the Nordic view on play and learning, the close relationship to nature, as well as children’s rights to participation.


The course “Playscapes for learning, health and relationships in ECEC” can only be taken as part of the 30 ECTS programme "Outdoor Play and Learning in Norwegian Early Childhood Education".


The basic values of the programme

The programme is based on an understanding of children that emphasizes children’s participation and children’s competences, a societal view that emphasizes responsibility for the environment and sustainable development, and a view on culture that embraces both cultural heritage and cultural criticism. The programme gives the students an insight into children’s culture and the formative influences that are part of the processes in a child’s development. The Norwegian society may still be categorised as quite homogeneous. However, increasing numbers of multi-cultural groups of children lead to more emphasis on inter-cultural work.  Core values in this work are respect, creativity, dialogue and wondering. 


Other values fundamental for this course are gender equality and equality between all people in a social and ethnic diversity. Accompanying this are moral values which constitute the foundation for a modern democracy, and are in accordance with the United Nations (UN) Human Rights. The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) forms the ethical foundation by emphasizing the child’s rights to a life that allows a physical, spiritual, moral and social development. In addition it is also a foundation for developing an understanding of the values inherent in religious cultural traditions.

Forventet læringsutbytte

At the end of the course the student has developed knowledge, skills and competence within the following areas:

  • Has understanding that access to active play in nature and outdoors, with its risks, is essential for healthy child development-
  • Gain theoretical knowledge about how the physical environment is important to children’s play and development
  • Has knowledge on how outdoor free play influence children’s psychosocial health
  • Has practical skills on how to facilitate  outdoor environments for children’s play and development
  • Can describe policies regarding immigrant children & families in a global context
  • Can describe experiences and challenges for children and families who are refugees/immigrants
  • Recognizes own position in the power dynamic regarding race, ethnicity, and class
  • Develops processes to communicate with families regarding their expectations for their children’s growth and development
  • Is able to establish a learning environment that honors all cultures, races, and ethnicities

Arbeids- og læringsaktiviteter

The programme is part of a professional education where theory and practice form two equal sources of knowledge which are inter-related. The programme is a platform for a reflexive meeting between theoretical subject knowledge, practical skills and professionalism, and the three areas of competence should be seen as a holistic unit.

Student participation

All teaching and practical training throughout the programme is compulsory. In order to have the various parts of the course approved and to take the final exam, the students have to fulfill all compulsory assignments. The requirement of mandatory attendance included.

Specifically for NECEC 2201: Part of the course will be a practical project developing/remodeling the outdoor space in an ECEC institution. The students’ written assignment/exam will be based on this project.

Obligatoriske arbeidskrav

Kode, navn og ev. beskrivelse av arbeidskravArbeidskravets form (hva vurderes)Gruppering
NEC-AK1 Written assignmentSkriftlig oppgaveIndividuell
OBLTS: Mandatory attendance Oppfylt krav om tilstedeværelse i undervisningIndividuell
Obligatoriske arbeidskrav:
Mandatory coursework:Skriftlig oppgave
Comment:NEC-AK1 Written assignment
Mandatory coursework grouping:Individuell
Mandatory coursework:Oppfylt krav om tilstedeværelse i undervisning
Comment: OBLTS: Mandatory attendance
Mandatory coursework grouping:Individuell


Oppgave OPGIndividuell4000ord Intern
Form of assessment:Oppgave
Type of duration:ord
Supported materials:
Exam code: OPG
Censor type:Intern
Grading scale: 

Øvrig informasjon

Students nominated from partner institutions are given priority if there are more applicants than places.
Free movers must document at least 60 ECTS credits of studies in preferably the field of Early Childhood Education, alternatively in Education. Students with background in ECE will be given priority.

Applicants must also provide documentation of English proficiency.

For more information about admission requirements, see:


Final bibliography will be published June 1st 2018.

Adair, J. K., Tobin, J., Arzubiaga, A. E. (2012).  The dilemma of cultural responsiveness and professionalization: Listening closer to immigrant teachers who teach children of recent immigrants.  Teachers College Record, 114, 12, (p 1-37)

Aziz, N. F. & Said, I. (2015). Outdoor Environments as Children’s Play Spaces: Playground Affordances. In B. Evans, J. Horton & T. Skelton (Eds.), Play, Recreation, Health and Well Being (pp. 1-22). Singapore: Springer:  (22 p)

Bennett, S. V., Gunn, A. A., Gayle-Evans, G., Barrera IV, E. S., & Leung, C. B. (2017). Culturally responsive literacy practices in an early childhood community.  Early Childhood Education Journal, Retrieved from

Bratsberg, B., Raaum, O., & Roed, K. (2012). Educating children of immigrants: Closing the gap in Norwegian schools. Nordic Economic Policy Review, 1, pp. 211-249 . Retrieved from: (38 p) [book chapter, students can use this link to access]

Corsaro, W., Johannesen, B., & Appoh, L. (2013). “My mother and father are African but I’m Norwegian”: Immigrant children’s participation in civic society in Norway. Sociological Studies of Children and Youth, 16, p. 201-225. (24 p)

Dennis, Samuel T. Jr., Alexandra Wells and Candace Bishop.  2014.  “A Post-Occupancy Study of Nature-Based Outdoor Classrooms in Early Childhood Education.”  Children, Youth and Environments.  Vol. 24, No. 2 Greening Early Childhood Education (2014), pp. 35-52.  University of Cincinnati.

Derman-Sparks, L. & Edwards, J. O. (2010). Creating an anti-bias learning community. In L. Derman-Sparks & J. O. Edwards (Eds.), Anti-bias education for young children and ourselves (pp. 32-51). Washington DC: NAEYC.

discourses on children and parenting in Norway: Norwegian Child Welfare Services meets immigrant families. Children and Youth Services Review, 60, pp. 52-60.(9 p)

Gill, T. (2007). No fear. Growing up in a risk averse society. London: Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation: (98 p)

Hagelund, A. (2008). For women and children! The family and immigration politics in Scandinavia. In R. D. Grillo (Ed.) The family in question: Immigrant and ethnic minorities in multicultural Europe. (pp. 71-88). Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press. (17 p)

Herrington, S., Lesmeister, C., Nicholls, J., & Stefiuk, K. (2007). Seven C’s: An informational guide to young children's outdoor play spaces. Vancouver, Consortium for Health, Intervention, Learning and Development (CHILD): (59 p)

Hollekim, R., Anderssen, N., & Daniel, M. (2016). Contemporary

Kriz, K., & Skivenes, M. (2010). ‘Knowing our society’ and ‘fighting against prejudices’: How child welfare workers in Norway and England perceive the challenges of minority parents. British Journal of Social Work, 40, 8, pp. 2634-265l. Retrieved from: Society-and-Fighting-Against (17 p) [students should use this link, not uploaded into google folder]

Lerstrup, Inger and Anne Dahl Refshauge.  2016.  “Characteristic of forest sites used by a Danish forest preschool.”  Urban Forestry & Urban Greening.  20: 387-396.  Elsevier GmbH

Moore, Robin C. with Allen Cooper.  2014.  “Designing nature play and learning places.”  Nature Play & Learning Places.  Creating and managing places where children engage with nature.  Raleigh, NC:  Natural Learning Initiative and Reston, VA:  National Wildlife Federation.  Version 1.5  (p 192)

Moss, S. (2012). Natural Childhoods. London, National Trust/Park lane press.  (28 p)

Sandseter, E. B. H. (2013). Learning risk management through play. O. F. Lillemyr, S. Dockett, og B. Perry (Eds.) Perspectives on play and learning: Theory and research on early years’ education (pp. 141-157), Information Age Publishing. (16 p)

Science Record, Fall. 5pages

Shackell, A., Butler, N., Doyle, P. & Ball, D. (2008). Design for play: A guide to creating successful play spaces. London, Play England. (156 p)

Souto-Manning, M. (2013).  Teaching young children from immigrant and diverse families. Young Children, 68, 4, pp. 72-81.  (9 p)

Style, E. (1996). Curriculum as window and mirror. Social

Szente, J., Hoot, J., & Taylor, D. Responding to the special needs of refugee children: Practical ideas for teachers. Early Childhood Education Journal, 34, 1, (p15-20)

Tobin, J., & Kurban, F. (2010). Preschool practitioners’ and immigrant parents’ beliefs about academics and play in the early childhood educational curriculum in five countries.  Orbis Scholae, 4(2), 75-88. (13 p)

Vesely, C. K., & Ginsberg, M. R. (2011). Strategies and practices for working with immigrant families in early education programs. Young Children, 66, 1, pp. 84-89. (5 p)