MBH4310 Kunst og lek Emneplan

Engelsk emnenavn
Art and Play
Masterstudium i barnehagekunnskap
15 stp.


The overall aim of this course is to explore and challenge understandings of the significance, ambiguities and rhetoric of art, play and learning in an early childhood setting as well as the implications of these understandings for practice, research and professional development in the field. 


After completion of the course, the student will have acquired the following learning outcomes, defined as knowledge, skills and general competence



By the end of the course the student has advanced knowledge of 

  • theories of art, play and learning that inform current thinking in early childhood education and care 
  • different historical, anthropological and cultural approaches to understandings of child culture/children's culture in an international perspective 
  • child culture and children's play culture with a focus on the interrelatedness between play and learning; and the inherent value of play 
  • aesthetic expressions in children's everyday life, in the early childhood curriculum, in the arts for children and in media for children 



By the end of the course the student is able to 

  • engage critically and independently with academic studies on art, play and learning 
  • engage with participatory interaction as a pedagogical process from both child and adult perspectives 
  • analyse and deal critically with current theories, methods and interpretations concerning art, play and learning, children's perspectives, the roles of professionals and cultural diversity 
  • reflect critically on the integration of art, play and learning and the implications for practice and research 


General competence 

By the end of the course the students have 

  • developed their sensitivity regarding children's aesthetic practices as well as their own creative skills, values and practices and how these reflect their participatory interaction with children 
  • developed their own methodological research practice and scientific approach 
  • developed their creativity, improvisational abilities and playfulness in both scholarly approach and modes of artistic and academic communication 


In Nordic early childhood research, art and play comprise an essential foundation. This course provides an in-depth exploration of art, play and learning in early childhood settings, aimed at developing critical problematizing and reflection both in practice and in theory. The course addresses key issues in current research in view of their implications for practice and future research.  

In view of the international scope of the course, particular emphasis is placed on comparative approaches. 

Students will investigate and interrogate: 

  • theory of the arts, play and culture 

  • understandings of child culture/children's culture in relation to everyday life, play, the curriculum, the arts and modern media 

  • understandings of interaction with children in early childhood education and care settings 

  • notions of children`s agency and participation 

  • discourses of cultural diversity and inclusion 

  • the use of digital tools for play and learning 

the relationship between children`s creativity and opportunities for free play, exploration and imaginative play   

Arbeids- og undervisningsformer

Literature studies are combined with lectures, seminars, and student work in groups. 

Arbeidskrav og obligatoriske aktiviteter

Active participation during the lectures, seminars and group work is expected. Since this is a course with practical and creative components in teaching as well as assessment, an active student engagement is essential for completing the course successfully. The purpose of the course-work requirements is to contribute to professional reflection and to provide training in the presentation of professional content in an organized manner. Together with other academic work, the course-work requirements shall help the students achieve the skills stated in the subject plan. The attendance requirement for teaching activities in this course is 80%. Absence beyond 20 per cent means that the student cannot take the exam in the course. Students who exceed the absences quota due to valid documented absence, will be able to receive alternative assignments, by agreement with the supervisor and can give the examination right. Such alternative tasks are not given to students who have absence exceeding 50 per cent, regardless of the reason for absence.

Vurdering og eksamen

The exam is in two parts: 

Part 1) Individual written semester assignment: approx. 2500 words. Counts 50 % of the final grade. 

Part 2) Practical group exam based on key issues of art, play and learning. Each candidate is given an individual grade.  Counts 50 % of the final grade.

New/postponed exam


In case of failed exam, the student can submit an improved assignment, one time.

The practical group exam may be substituted by an individual assignment. 

Regulations for new or postponed examinations are available in Regulations relating to studies and examinations at Oslo Metropolitan University. Students must register for a new or postponed examination.   

Hjelpemidler ved eksamen

Examination support material is permitted.


Letter grades ranging from A to F are used, with A being the highest grade and E the poorest pass grade, and F being a fail grade.

Students will be assessed on their 

  • skills of independent inquiry and originality 
  • practical exploration and communication of academic research knowledge 
  • presentation of in-depth knowledge and critical reflection 
  • use of national and international sources   


To be assessed by an internal and an external examiner.