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

Author(s): Edoardo Datteri | Luisa Zecca | Federico Laudisa | Marco Castiglioni

Journal: Themes in Science and Technology Education
ISSN 1791-3721

Volume: 6;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 29;
Date: 2013;
Original page

Keywords: educational robotics | robotics in science education | philosophy of science

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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