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Robotics as a Tool to Enhance Technological Thinking in Early Childhood

Abstract

This paper presents findings regarding the addition of robotics education in kindergarten and elementary school as a tool for enhancing technological thinking, increasing children’s confidence in using technology, developing essential twenty-first century skills and increasing children’s self-confidence. A unique tailored compulsory program for kindergarten and elementary schools is presented. An important feature of this program is that the general education teachers are trained as robotics instructors. A quantitative survey of 197 children and a qualitative analysis of interviews are presented. Gender and age-related differences in attitudes towards robotics, self-confidence and technological self-efficacy are analysed. Children were assessed on their knowledge of basic robotics, sensors and programming, understanding technology and technological thinking and their desire to continue to study robotics and technology. Results show that kindergarten and elementary school children feel confident in their ability to invent new robots and other technological devices, and have positive attitudes towards learning technology, science and robotics in future.

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Correspondence to Rina Zviel-Girshin.

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Zviel-Girshin, R., Luria, A. & Shaham, C. Robotics as a Tool to Enhance Technological Thinking in Early Childhood. J Sci Educ Technol 29, 294–302 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10956-020-09815-x

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Keywords

  • Robotics in education (RiE)
  • Technology education
  • Robotics in kindergarten
  • Robotics in elementary schools
  • Twenty-first century skills
  • Creative thinking
  • Technological thinking
  • Technology education