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STEAM and Educational Robotics: Interdisciplinary Approaches to Robotics in Early Childhood and Primary Education

  • Lorenzo ManeraEmail author
Conference paper
  • 29 Downloads
Part of the Springer Proceedings in Advanced Robotics book series (SPAR, volume 12)

Abstract

In early childhood and elementary educational contexts, there is an increasing need to support the development of interdisciplinary skills such as creativity, digital literacy and critical thinking. Educational robotics can play a relevant role in this process, by providing contexts that involve design, construction and imagination. The STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics) approach offers a paradigm, which, by integrating educational robotics with scientific, digital and artistic perspectives, helps to undermine existing racial and gender inequality in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) and STEAM-related contexts. Some relevant experiences regarding the possibility to combine these fields in educational contexts show promising results. By discussing the most relevant difficulties related to the development of curricula where educational robotics finds a relevant place, this paper argues that the use of robotics as experimented with in the Reggio Emilia Approach allows to overstep most of the difficulties reported. Furthermore, it is argued that in order to be more effective, educational robotics might be considered by teachers not as a subject to teach by providing instructions but, instead, as a medium to allow children to explore the affordances of digital technologies in playful learning environments. Some practical examples of this perspective are reported and discussed in the final part of the paper.

Keywords

Steam Educational robotics Playful learning environments Reggio Emilia Approach 

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Education and Human SciencesUniversity of Modena and Reggio EmiliaReggio EmiliaItaly

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