EPN

BLH3310 Aesthetics and Special Needs – Nordic Childhoods Course description

Course name in Norwegian
Aesthetics and Special Needs – Nordic Childhoods
Study programme
Bachelorstudium i barnehagelærerutdanning, heltid / Aesthetics and Special Needs – Nordic Childhoods
Weight
30 ECTS
Year of study
2023/2024
Curriculum
SPRING 2024
Schedule
Course history

Introduction

Aesthetics and Special Needs is one of the courses under Nordic Childhoods. It focuses on Nordic culture where nature plays an important role in society, aesthetics and in work with children. Joint events with the other Nordic Childhoods courses are integrated as overnight trips and outdoor excursions. We also visit schools, kindergartens and other institutions. We focus on play, learning by doing, experience and workshops.

Aesthetics has not been a common way of approaching children with special needs. This course tries to change this by focusing on the value of aesthetics for children with special needs. The course is interdisciplinary, and takes a holistic approach to the field.

Aesthetics are important for everybody, including children and young people with special needs. Through literature, storytelling, music, dance, drama and other aesthetic acts, we perceive and understand the world and ourselves. Through aesthetics, we perform and collaborate with others. For some children and young people who lack verbal language; have problems with emotions, communication and interaction or find it hard to take other perspectives; aesthetic communication is particularly important. The aim of this course is:

1)  to enhance knowledge about and discuss the relationship between children and young people with special needs and aesthetic expressions,

2)  to introduce ways of working in practice with different kinds of aesthetic expressions when targeting various kinds of special needs.

The course is interfaculty and explores different disciplines, and ways of conceptualising and practising aesthetics with respect to a variety of special needs.

Recommended preliminary courses

 The language of all teaching and supervision is English, and the students should therefore have a working knowledge of both spoken and written English. 

Learning outcomes

After completing the course, the student should have the following learning outcomes, defined in terms of knowledge, skills and general competence:

 

Knowledge

The student

 

·         has knowledge of aesthetics and different aesthetic approaches

·         has knowledge of historical changes in the views on children and young people, normality and deviance, inclusion and exclusion

·         has knowledge of receiver orientation in communication and collaboration with children with special needs and media

 

Skills

The student is able to

·         accomplish and perform an aesthetic project for children and young people with special needs

·         reflect on work with children and young people with special needs

·         communicate with children and young people through aesthetics

 

General competence

The student

·         has an understanding of aesthetics and its value to children and young people with special needs

·         has an understanding of the value of autobiography as a means of critically reflecting on one’s own learning

·         is able to analyse and discuss how to understand and respond to children and young people with special needs

Content

The course is organised as a full-time programme of study for one semester.

The course has the following content:

 

·         Special education

·         Inclusion

·         Children and young people with special needs

·         Aesthetics

·         Ethics

·         Physical and psychological health

·         Play, development, identity and relations

·         Genres, multimodal texts and digital platforms

·         Verbal language, aesthetic perceptions and expressions

·         Music, drama, puppet play, storytelling and other performances and aesthetic acts

·         Aesthetic communication

Teaching and learning methods

·         Literature studies/theories

·         Lectures and supervision

·         Excursions, workshops and seminars

·         Individual and group papers/performances

·         Self-study

·         Project work

·         Digital blog

·         Dramatisation

·         Stop-motion animation

 Radio theatre

·         Storytelling

·         Visits and practice in school, kindergartens and other institutions

·         Interactive learning methods, including digital media

Appendix: progress clarification for internal students

(Applicable to Norwegian students only).

The course is open to internal students from the Department of Early Childhood Education (full-time students) in the sixth semester. The students follow the approved course description for Aesthetics and Special Needs - Nordic Childhoods (30 ECTS).

The following clarification applies to internal students:

  • Internal students must complete a five-week supervised and assessed period of practical training. 
  • The exam consisting of three parts counts as the student’s bachelor’s thesis. The assignments must be written in English.
  • Internal students retain bachelor supervision resources while taking the course, and are assigned a supervisor from among the teaching staff involved in the course, as far as possible.

The internal students otherwise follow the same programme and coursework requirements as the external students which, together with the written assignments, makes up the basis for the grade awarded for the course.

Course requirements

Three individual and four group coursework requirements must be passed in order to sit the exam. Aesthetics and/or children and young people with special needs should play an important part in the coursework requirements.

Individual:

  1. Storytelling
  2. Theory presentation
  3. Participation in excursions
  4. Participation in International Week

Group:

  1. Production of a drama
  2. Production of radio theatre
  3. Production of stop-motion animation
  4. Blog production
  5. Practical work in connection with International Week

Coursework requirements must be met by the deadlines. Coursework requirements are evaluated as pass/fail.

Valid absence documented by a medical certificate or similar is not an excuse for not meeting the coursework requirements. Students who, due to illness or other valid and documented reasons, do not meet the coursework requirements by the deadlines, may be given longer deadlines. A new deadline for meeting the coursework requirements is agreed with the relevant teacher in each case.

Students who meet the coursework requirements by the deadline, but are awarded a fail grade, shall be given another attempt to meet the coursework requirements. A new deadline for meeting the coursework requirements is agreed with the relevant teacher in each case.

Assessment

The exam consists of three parts:

Part 1: Aesthetic production in group for children and young people with special needs.

Part 2: Individual reflection paper on the aesthetic production (approx. 3,000 words).

Part 3: Individual autobiographical and multimodal (for instance a film) project where the student documents and reflects on his/|her process of making an aesthetic production for children/young people with special needs (maximum 3,000 words or a film of maximum 15 minutes).

Resit or rescheduled exams

If a student fails the exam or is absent at the time of the exam for a valid reason, the student is entitled to resit the exam the following semester. The resit exam will be organised in the same manner as the ordinary exam, but the group exam will be individual. The regulations on resit and rescheduled exams are set out in the Regulations relating to studies and examinations at OsloMet. Students must register for a resit or rescheduled exam.

Permitted exam materials and equipment

All exam aids are permitted. However, sources must be stated in accordance with the applicable rules for source references.

Grading scale

Part 1 will be evaluated as pass/fail.

Part 2 and 3 will be evaluated according to the ECTS grading scale, with A-E as pass grades and F as a fail grade. The criteria for the different grades will be presented to the students at the beginning of the course.

Part 2 accounts for 60% of the overall grade and part 3 for 40%.

The completion of the three parts will result in one final overall grade (A- F).

Examiners

Part 1 will be reviewed and graded by internal examiners.

Part 2 will be reviewed and graded by internal and external examiners.  

Part 3 will be reviewed and graded by internal examiners.

Admission requirements

Target group

The course is designed for students who want to learn more about children and young people with special needs in programmes of professional study and fields such as Health Sciences, Social Sciences, Educational and International Studies, and Technology, Art and Design.

 

Admission

For students at the faculties of Health Sciences, Social Sciences, Educational and International Studies, and Technology, Art and Design:                                                                                   

-          Students must have completed at least one year of their undergraduate degree studies in order to be accepted.

For international exchange students:

-       Students must have completed at least one year of their undergraduate degree studies at their home institution in order to be accepted.