TEACHER TRAINING IN THE SCIENTIFIC FIELD THROUGH ROBOTICS ACTIVITIES: SOME EXPERIENCES FROM ITALY & SPAIN.
1 Public University of Navarra (SPAIN)
2 Town Museum of Rovereto (ITALY)
3 Univ. of Padova (ITALY)
About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2009 Proceedings
Publication year: 2009
Conference name: 3rd International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 9-11 March, 2009
Location: Valencia, Spain
Abstract:Since December 2006 the authors have started to work with five other partners -Aspete (Greece), IUFM (France), UP-RO (Romania), CUNI (Czeck Republic), and IT+Robotics (Italy)- in the TERECOP project (Teacher Education on Robotics-Enhanced Constructivist Pedagogical Methods, http://www.terecop.eu/).
The overall aim of the project is to develop a framework for teacher education courses in order to enable teachers to implement the robotics-enhanced constructivist learning in school classrooms, and report experiences from the implementation of this framework.
In this work we present some relevant results of 2 concrete actions (pilot training courses) that have been carried out in Italy and in Spain.
The first pilot course has been organized in the Town Museum of Rovereto (Trento), one of the Italian partners of TERECoP project. The Town Museum of Rovereto is one of the most lively and sound divulgation-center in north Italy.
The second course was held in Pamplona, where several institutions were collaborating to organise it. The Public University of Navarra, the Supporting Center for Teachers of Navarra (CAP) and CEIN (Public company which one of his activities is to promote creativity and innovation among young students) made it possible.
In both cases, the “trainers” were the partners of DEI (Univ. of Padova, Italy), UPNA (Public univ. of Navarra, Spain) and Rovereto Museum (Italy).
The courses aimed to reach two main objectives for the scientific education:
• to assure scientific competences necessary to face the nowadays world challenges;
• to design activities and curricula able to adapt disciplinary structures to the learning dynamics
To reach these objectives, the course contents and activities promoted the following topics:
• To discuss the basics of constructivism/constructionism in specific environments with robotics.
• To acquire basic skills in the design, construction, programming and educational use of robots.
• To acquire skills for designing and tutoring interdisciplinary projects in the field of robotics education.
• To promote within students in the "Learning to Learn", "cooperative working team" and "Learning to undertake projects and to solve problems".
The work was oriented to build ‘intelligent’ machines to be controlled, following all the steps of the construction, from the design to the realization, using a trial and error methodology, but with clear objectives; moreover educational paths were designed to introduce robots in the teaching of scientific subjects, making the trainees confident with the constructivist education following the aims of the TERECoP project.
In this work we present an analysis of the results and how these two courses are opening new issues in the use of robotics as a learning tool at several levels.
We also give some insights of how finalizing and evaluating robotic-enhanced projects as the result of the evaluation phases of our work as teacher trainers.
Keywords: educational robotics, scientific education, problem based learning, international projects.