Teaching international students: Risky Play and Outdoor Life in ECEC settings

One of my really delightful teaching appointments is being a lecturer for international students visiting Queen Maud University College (QMUC) for five months. They are enrolled in a course called Outdoor Play and Learning in Norwegian Early Childhood Education (see study plan), and 10 ECTS of this study is the module Risky Play and Outdoor Life in ECEC settings. I teach this module together with my colleague, Trond Løge Hagen, and we try to do most of the teaching at QMUC’s farm, Frøset Farm, up in Trondheim city’s forest. We have recently had two long and wonderful days at Frøset Farm that I want to share with you all:

Day 1: Outdoor life – we first watched the price winning film Play Again about how today’s children are about to loose their close contact and ownership to nature, and then we discussed its content in the context of different cultures and traditions (Norwegian and the different countries from which the students come from). Then we prepared lunch over open fire outdoors and had further discussions. The last part of the day we taught the students how to build a nature playground with simple materials such as sisal ropes and branches.

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Day 2: Risky play – we first watched the very thought provoking film The Lost Adventure of Childhood, and then discussed the pros and cons of children’s free play in general and risky play particularly, linking it to cultural differences and recent changes in the western society. Then the students all by themselves made a fire outdoors and prepared lunch. It was a cold day, and since we brought skates for everyone (from the storage at QMUC), we tested the somewhat risky ice at the lake Store Leirsjø (we had ropes and ski poles as safety). Great day!

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I love my work!

Welcome to all international students out there who would like to join us!

Ellen Beate

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