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AOE301 Aesthetic and Outdoor Education

Course description for academic year 2022/2023

Contents and structure

The course plan builds on National Guidelines for Kindergarten Teacher Education. The course is an elective course of the Bachelor Program in Kindergarten Teacher Education, taught in the autumn semester. It is open for both Norwegian 3rd year students and incoming exchange students. Students must have started a bachelor degree before they can take this course. The course combines Aesthetic and Outdoor Education, Mathematics and Pedagogic.

The main intention is to develop knowledge and skills within the field of Aesthetic- and Outdoor activity. Furthermore, the aim is to show connections between culture, nature and outdoor activities. ICT will be used as a tool to create, document and reflect.

This course has limited capacity; maximum 11 exchange students and 11 norwegian students.


Internship, kindergarten practice, is part of the kindergarten teacher education. Theoretical perspectives and discussions in, about and with kindergarten practice is part of the course. Internship is a learning arena as well as the teaching at Western Norway University of Applied Sciences. See mandatory assignments.

Internship includes 10 days

Learning Outcome


The student has knowledge about

  • children's play, joy, imagination, exploration and risky play based on the children's own premises
  • unidisciplinary, multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary approaches to mathematics, aesthetic- and outdoor education  
  • how the aesthetic dimension and the physical environment affects children´s creative activity and aesthetic learning processes  
  • safety and leadership in outdoor activities  
  • the following mathematical topics in an interdisciplinary perspective: measurement , shape, symmetry, pattern, spatial thinking and problem solving
  • spatial thinking and spaces for aesthetic- and outdoor learning
  • pedagogical documentation as a tool to visualize, reflect and assess pedagogical processes
  • process method
  • the profession, qualification, socialization and the concept of the subjective in order to meet political and ideological challenges of the kindergarten teacher profession, as well as in the relations between children and kindergarten teachers


The student is able to

  • meet requirements for the kindergarten / the kindergarten profession from their own point of view and professional judgement
  • facilitate children's participation in creative processes
  • document and reflect upon creative processes
  • create a mobile studio for creative activity
  • use materials, techniques and tools in their own creative work and in pedagogical settings with children
  • make use of artistic expressions as inspiration for their own and children´s creative work
  • practice basic skills in outdoor activities
  • ensure security on tour and facilitate children's risk coping
  • prepare food in nature and make use of local natural resources
  • stimulate and support the children's capacity for and perseverance in problem-solving

General competence

The student

  • has autonomic, critical and reflective understanding of the particular position the kindergarten profession has in today's society
  • has knowledge of research and development work relevant for this course
  • is able to reflect on risky play in early childhood
  • is able to reflect on multicultural perspectives

Entry requirements

Students must have completed 2 years at BA-level before entering the course.

Teaching methods

The course begins mid-August. The final exam is in December. The course is theme-driven and based on the subject's aesthetic- and outdoor education, mathematics and pedagogy. The teaching is organized as studio work, group work, lectures, discussions, excursions, supervision sessions, individual work and seminars. Emphasis is on didactics related to aesthetic- and outdoor education. The teaching language is English. Parts of the syllabus are self-study based.

Excursions are part of the program. There are two compulsory excursions:

  • Harvest expedition: Finding and processing both visual inspiration and wild food from nature. Three days in September. Price ca. 500 NOK
  • Student expedition in the mountains. Exploring culture and outdoor activities like making snow-sculptures, skiing and other winter activities. Three days in November. Price ca. 700 NOK

The expeditions are mandatory, and the students must cover the costs. Students must also pay for the costs of the material expenses that are 500 NOK.

The student must have a camera for documenting.

Canvas is the name of Western Norway University of Applied Sciences' Learning Management System, and it is assumed that students use it regularly. Many of the study activities and a lot of knowledge- and information-exchange takes place within Canvas. Students will use Canvas and be active in relation to the use of the college library.


Leadership in kindergarten

In the third year of their studies, students will develop the capacity for educational leadership, lead change and development processes in the kindergarten, and demonstrate that educational management involves professional ethical awareness. Students must focus both on their own professional identity and the kindergarten’s social mandate and be able to reflect on this. Students must develop various aspects of the kindergarten teacher role, such as:

  • standing out as kindergarten teachers and being able to reflect on various aspects of the practice of the profession in general and their specialisation in particular
  • being able to lead the kindergarten as a learning institution
  • improving their general educational skills
  • being able to create an environment which promotes and facilitates play
  • being able to reflect on the balance between goal-oriented educational leadership and dialogue with employees and the balance between taking care of one’s own needs and being considerate to others

A minimum of five days of internship must be completed throughout the period of supervised professional training (autumn and spring) and the focus must be on student evaluation in these areas.

Compulsory learning activities

Students are expected to participate in the various learning methods, which is why there is mandatory student participation.

Overview of the mandatory assignements will be given at the start of the semester, and they are tied to the learning outcomes in the course. Attendance to these mandatory assignments is considered passed, and non-attendance as not passed.

In order to take the exam, students must have completed and passed the following mandatory assignments:

  • Written assignment in groups focusing on challenges for the kindergarten profession
  • Collecting resources and preparing a meal based on raw material from nature Presentation of the process of preparing the meal
  • Test in basic skills in outdoor activities
  • Individual academic essay
  • Individual written "Pedagogic Creed"
  • Workbook with process-documentation from the whole semester

New mandatory assignment

Students who have not passed a mandatory assignment, will be given one (1) new opportunity to submit within the same semester. New attempts must be passed at least three weeks before the final examination.


Oral exam 30 min.

Grading A - F, where F is failed.

Examination support material


More about examination support material