Learning to explain: the role of educational robots in science education

Edoardo Datteri, Luisa Zecca, Federico Laudisa, Marco Castiglioni

Abstract


Educational robotics laboratories typically involve building and programming robotic systems to perform particular tasks or solve problems. In this paper we explorethe potential educational value of a form of robot-supported educational activity that has been little discussed in the literature. During these activities, primary school children are asked to explain the behaviors of a robot constructed in advance by the teacher orlaboratory supervisor, rather than having to construct or program a robot themselves. It is argued that activities of this kind may have a significant role to play within science education: participation in a collaborative process aimed at explaining the behaviors of an educational robot provides children with the opportunity to develop scientific research skills and competencies and to engage in meta-cognitive reflection on fundamental issues surrounding scientific research methods.

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