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EDSU111 Children, Science and Play

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.

Paper title Children, Science and Play
Paper code EDSU111
Subject Education
EFTS 0.1500
Points 18 points
Teaching period First Semester
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $863.25
International Tuition Fees (NZD) $3,954.75

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EDUO 173

The class is designed primarily to support the development of student teachers in the primary and ECE undergraduate programmes within the College of Education. It does actively include those undertaking Early Childhood Education and would be beneficial to anyone with an interest in how and why children should play.

Enrolments for this paper are limited and require departmental permission.
View more information about limitations of enrolment.

Teaching staff

Paper Co-ordinator: Dr Steven Sexton (Dunedin)
Other staff: Dr Brenda Shanks (Southland)

Paper 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 MÄori
There are two internal assessments:
  • A toy construction assessment
  • Resource Test (in-class)
Teaching Arrangements
There is a two-week gap when the College of Education students are on teaching placement - normally in May.
There are no prescribed texts for this paper.
Graduate Attributes Emphasised
Lifelong learning, Communication, Critical thinking, Self-motivation.
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
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

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First Semester

Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system


Stream Days Times Weeks
A1 Monday 15:00-16:50 9-15, 17, 20-22
Wednesday 15:00-16:50 9-12, 14-15, 17, 20-22