Heterogeneous Associations of Second-Graders’ Learning in Robotics Class

Abstract

Drawing on Latour’s (Reassembling the social: an introduction to actor–network-theory, Oxford University Press, New York, 2005), this manuscript discusses a study of a robotics class in a public, Title I elementary school. Compared with theoretical frameworks (e.g., constructivism and constructionism) dominant in the field of early childhood robotics education, the lens of ANT served to move beyond emphasizing a single element (i.e., either robotic tools or children’s work with teachers and parents) to seeing heterogeneous associations of multiple elements involved in robotics education. In these associations, human and non-human elements greatly contributed to implementing robotics activities. In particular, our analysis of three second-graders, who successfully met the instructional objectives set by our research team, revealed critical roles played by material actors (e.g., robotic manipulatives, engineer logs) and quasi-human/quasi-material actants (e.g., embodied simulation) in these children’s learning and performance. The findings of this study encourage educators to pay careful attention to multiple elements, including instructional materials and children’s bodily exploration, associated with teaching and learning.

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Notes

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    All names of people in this manuscript are pseudonyms.

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Correspondence to Eunji Cho.

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Cho, E., Lee, K., Cherniak, S. et al. Heterogeneous Associations of Second-Graders’ Learning in Robotics Class. Tech Know Learn 22, 465–483 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10758-017-9322-3

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Keywords

  • Actor–network-theory
  • Robotics education
  • Early childhood education
  • Heterogeneous associations
  • Embodied simulation