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Early Childhood Education: Explorative Learning

This course provides an introduction to the learning environments and explorative approaches of Swedish preschools. Preschools are highlighted as a venue for children’s participation and influence in relation to children’s rights.

Children puting dandelions into a plastic can with water
Photo: Mostphotos/Therese Boman

The course provides insight into the development and philosophy of Swedish preschools, with links between the view on children, learning, play, care, and childhood conditions.

In addition, the course includes study visits to preschools and other institutions and activities for children.

Information due to Covid-19

Spring semester 2021

Please note that the teaching forms for this course will be adapted due to the situation with the corona virus. Read more here:

Adapted teaching forms during the spring semester 2021

How to prepare your participation in online based education

Autumn semester 2021

There is no decision yet regarding adapted teaching format during the autumn semester 2021 due to covid-19. Stockholm University follows the recommendations from the government and the Public Health Agency of Sweden.

Information for students and staff about covid-19

More information about the teaching format for the autumn semester 2021 will be available at the web page for the Department of Child and Youth Studies later.


  • Course structure

    The course is offered spring and autumn semesters.

    Study pace: Full time studies, 100%.

    The course is offered for international exchange students and for students who have applied for the course as a free standing (single subject) course.

    Teaching format

    Instruction is given in the form of lectures, teacher-led seminars, field studies, group exercises and study visits.

    Specific teaching sessions are mandatory. Absence must be compensated for as described in the study guide.




    Study Guide

    The Study Guide for the course will be published at the latest one month prior to the course start.

    Study Guide UB308F Early Childhood Education_ Explorative Learning_ Spring 2021 (368 Kb)

    Study Guide Autumn 2021 (to be published at the latest one month prior to the course start)

    Study Guide Spring 2022 (to be published at the latest one month prior to the course start)



    The course is examined on the basis of an individual paper and oral group presentation.

    In order to pass the course, students must at least receive grade E or G on all examinations, complete allassignments as per the course description and complete all obligatory attendance.

    For details and deadlines regarding examinations please see the study guide for the relevant semester.

    Next opportunity for re-examination

    The next opportunity to hand in a re-examination will be during the period May 11 2021 until June  4 (5 pm) 2021.

    The assignment is handed in via the course page in Athena in the re-examination folder under resources.

    If you are a student who took the course during the autumn semester 2020 or earlier you need to email the course administrator at the latest May 3rd in order to be re-registered and to get access to the Athenasite where you will hand in the re-examination.


    Spring semester 2021 and autumn semester 2021: Emilie Moberg

    Spring semester 2022:

  • Schedule

    The schedule will be available no later than one month before the start of the course. We do not recommend print-outs as changes can occur. At the start of the course, your department will advise where you can find your schedule during the course.

    Course period

    • Spring semester 2021 March 9th until April 13th
    • Schedule spring semester 2021 Please note that the schedule is preliminary until one month prior to the course start.
    • Autumn semester 2021 October 18th until November 12th
    • Schedule autumn semester 2021 (to be updated at the latest one month prior to the course start)
    • Spring semester 2022 (to be updated)
    • Schedule spring semester 2022 (to be updated at the latest one month prior to the course start)
  • Course literature

    Note that the course literature can be changed up to two months before the start of the course.

    The course literature will be published at the latest two months prior to the course start.

  • More information

    Combine courses to study a full semester

    Please note that it is possible to combine with the two following courses in order to study a full semester (30 ECTS) focusing on science, technology, education for sustainable development, mathematics and explorative learning in the context of early childhood education.

    Early Childhood Education Focusing on Science and Education for Sustainability, 12 credits (ECTS)

    Early Childhood Education Focusing on Mathematics and Technology, 12 credits (ECTS)

    How to apply

    Application - a Step by Step Guide

    It is important that you docucment your eligibility and language proficiency in your application. You can find more information at

    Understanding Bachelor's level requirements

    Documenting eligibility

    Documenting English proficiency

    Exchange students

    Please note that exchange students apply according to a separate routine.

    International freemover students

    International students create an account and submit an online application via the central Swedish application site:

    Studying at Stockholm University

    New student at Stockholm University

    Welcome activities for new students

    Academic writing service

    Stockholm University Library

    Guidelines for study groups


    See directions to the Department of Child and Youth Studies.

  • Meet us

    Meet our students

    My experiences as an exchange student at the Department of Child and Youth Studies

    The exchange student Deborah Suter from Switzerland was studying courses in Early Childhood Education during fall semester 2018 at The Department of Child and Youth Studies. Read about her experiences.

    Deborah Suter sitting on a small bridge. Photo: Deborah Suter.
    Photo: Deborah Suter.

    Read the whole travel report

  • Contact

    If you have questions regarding the content of the course please contact the teacher responsible for the course.

    If you have administrative questions regarding admissions, registration, registration of grades, the learning and collaboration platform Athena etc. please contact the course administrator.

    Course leder and examiner: Emilie Moberg, email:

    Course administrator: Malin Håkansson, e-mail: