Design and Impact of a Teacher Training Course, and Attitude Change Concerning Educational Robotics

  • Emanuela Castro
  • Francesca Cecchi
  • Pericle Salvini
  • Massimiliano Valente
  • Elisa Buselli
  • Laura Menichetti
  • Antonio Calvani
  • Paolo Dario
Article
  • 17 Downloads

Abstract

Current initiatives and laboratories concerning Educational Robotics (ER) are often not based on strong pedagogical backgrounds. Additionally, they are carried out by inadequately trained teachers, and are not evaluated properly in terms of effectiveness. Moreover, according to teachers, ER usability is often neglected. The main goal of the present article is to present a training course on ER (Edu.Ro.Co.), grounded in pedagogical insights, and to discuss the results of the course and teacher’s opinion about ER in terms of: (i) teachers’ attitudes and perceptions of using ER; (ii) the potential impact of ER on students’ key competences for lifelong learning; and (iii) strengths and weaknesses of ER. These aspects were analysed by means of questionnaires specifically designed by the authors, and administered before and after the training course. A total of 339 teachers attended the training course and 254 completed the questionnaires. The article describes the methodology utilised in the realisation of the course and analyses the questionnaire’s results. In particular, the number of teachers that considered themselves prepared to apply ER significantly improved after the training course. ER is considered by teachers an important tool for the improvement of students’ motivation, planning skills, team working, problem solving and creativity development. Finally, the results from questionnaires indicate that teachers consider ER, a method that improves team-working abilities and motivation in the students. In contrast, the main disadvantage is the cost of the robotic kits. Based on these results, new directions for future research in ER are discussed.

Keywords

Educational Robotics Training course Pedagogy STEM Teacher attitude 

Notes

Acknowledgements

This work was partially funded by the Tuscany Region. The authors would like to thank all the teachers involved in the training course.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Funding:

This study was partially funded by the Tuscany Region.

Conflicts of Interest:

The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Emanuela Castro
    • 1
  • Francesca Cecchi
    • 1
  • Pericle Salvini
    • 1
  • Massimiliano Valente
    • 1
  • Elisa Buselli
    • 1
  • Laura Menichetti
    • 2
  • Antonio Calvani
    • 2
  • Paolo Dario
    • 1
  1. 1.The BioRobotics InstituteScuola Superiore Sant’AnnaPontedera, PisaItaly
  2. 2.Department of Educational Science and PsychologyUniversity of FlorenceFlorenceItaly

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