Children, Science and Play

University of Otago

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Children, Science and Play

  • Host University

    University of Otago

  • Location

    Dunedin, New Zealand

  • Area of Study


  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • Course Level Recommendations


    ISA offers course level recommendations in an effort to facilitate the determination of course levels by credential evaluators.We advice each institution to have their own credentials evaluator make the final decision regrading course levels.

    Hours & Credits

  • Credit Points

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
    3 - 4
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
    4 - 6
  • Overview

    Explores concepts of physical, material and biological sciences in the context of children?s toys, games and play.

    This paper is largely practical, and students learn how to include types of energies, forces, nature of science and play in toys - many of which are made in class.

    Teaching Arrangements
    The paper is taught over one semester, with classes Monday and Wednesday from 3.00-4.30 pm. There is a two-week gap when the College of Education students are on teaching placement - normally in May.

    Course Structure
    The paper is predominately hands-on, with students making and creating many of the activities used in class. Topics include:
    - Materials play
    - Moving-things play
    - Air play
    - Playground play
    - Water play
    - Living-world play
    - Electricity-and-magnets play
    -Light-and-colour play
    - Sound play
    - Natural-world play
    - Computer-based animations/interactives
    - Toys and games of the early M?ori

    There are two internal assessments:
    - A toy construction assessment
    - Resource Test (in-class)

    Learning Outcomes
    The students will:
    1. Investigate physical phenomena, such as forces and energy in children's toys, games and play
    2. Investigate the nature and properties of materials used in children's toys, games and play
    3. Investigate the living world through children's toys, games and play
    4. Recognise the natural environment as a context for developing scientific understanding through children's toys, games and play

Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

Eligibility for courses may be subject to a placement exam and/or pre-requisites.

Some courses may require additional fees.

Credits earned vary according to the policies of the students' home institutions. According to ISA policy and possible visa requirements, students must maintain full-time enrollment status, as determined by their home institutions, for the duration of the program.

Please reference fall and spring course lists as not all courses are taught during both semesters.

Availability of courses is based on enrollment numbers. All students should seek pre-approval for alternate courses in the event of last minute class cancellations

Please note that some courses with locals have recommended prerequisite courses. It is the student's responsibility to consult any recommended prerequisites prior to enrolling in their course.