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MBA504B Critical perspectives on mathematics

Course description for academic year 2017/2018

Contents and structure

The course is taught in the second semester and is one of several electives in this semester.

In this course, the students will examine how mathematics as a field of knowledge and kindergarten pedagogy and didactic work methods with mathematics manifest themselves in political documents such as the Framework Plan for the Content and Tasks of Kindergartens and Natural Science Strategy, with kindergarten owners, preschool teachers, parents, the children themselves or in the general public. The view that there is a major need for mathematics teaching in kindergartens will be compared with how other fields of study are positioned. By forming a critical perspective of how mathematics is positioned in Norway and internationally, the student can develop an insight into how kindergarten teaching has become more closely linked to learning at school in the past decade.

The course is open to incoming students with relevant prerequisites.

The course content includes:

  • Curriculum theory and mediatization of policy changes.
  • International trends to make kindergartens like schools and their impact on Norwegian kindergartens.
  • Changes in the value assigned to mathematics in kindergarten over time.
  • Children's experiences of differences in the value assigned to subjects in kindergarten.

Learning Outcome

Upon completing the course the student shall have the following overall learning outcomes:

The student

  • Has advanced knowledge of how the philosophical and pedagogic basis for kindergartens is changing in Norway and other parts of the world.
  • Can analyse how opinions about the quality of kindergartens changes over time

The student

  • Can analyse and critically interpret policy documents such as, for example, the Framework Plan for the Content and Tasks of Kindergartens.
  • Can analyse and critically assess of how changes in the kindergarten¿s philosophical and pedagogic basis impact on different groups of children.

The student

  • Can apply his/her knowledge and skills to recognise how children learn about the positioning of different subjects through observations in kindergartens (G2),
  • can communicate about issues relating to positioning of different subjects in kindergartens (G4).

Entry requirements

The students must have successfully completed three compulsory courses in the first semester of the programme. If there are special circumstances, this requirement may be waived.

Teaching methods

Teaching in this subject is organised in the form of lectures, seminars and individual supervision, and alternates between teaching and student activities. Field work may be included, for example in China, if the course is taken in combination with the elective "Intercultural pedagogy and glocal practices".

Compulsory learning activities

Project presentation:
The students prepare a proposal for a project in which they document and reflect on the value assigned to mathematics and at least one other subject in kindergartens. The proposal shall include an overview of all parts of the project.
The topic of the project must be approved and supervision is compulsory. The students will present the project proposal at a seminar.The guidelines for the project proposal and the presentation will be specified at the start of the course.

A new opportunity to give the presentation will be offered to those who do not have their presentation approved.
Approved coursework requirements are valid for 2 years following approval.



Students submit a written report on their projects. 2,800 words +/- 10%.
The submission date for the project report will be provided in Studentweb and in the digital examation system.

Grade scale of A-F, where F is equivalent to a fail grade.

The guidelines for the report will be specified at the start of the course.

In the event of a new/postponed exam, the same report can be submitted once in revised form within 1 year.