New Perspectives in Science Education

Edition 13

Accepted Abstracts

Educational Robotics to prevent bullying and improve social skills - the Robotics versus Bullying experience

Elena Milli, Polo Europeo della Conoscenza - Istituto Comprensivo di Bosco Chiesanuova (Italy)

Stefano Cobello, Polo Europeo della Conoscenza - Istituto Comprensivo Bosco Chiesanuova (Italy)


Educational robotics is taught for many years in schools to help children develop the basic cognitive skills of mathematical thinking and computational thinking, programming language, scientific attitudes, interest in technology culture, creativity and innovation. Besides these academic aspects, educational robotics: increases the timing and the quality of attention, favours the development of superior competencies, facilitates the learning of abstract concepts, provides a positive effect on self-perception, improving motivation and educational and social results. Educational robotics has a potential that goes beyond these simple academic or cognitive aspects and can be used to stimulate the development of social and relational skills. Working with educational robotics in groups stimulates teamwork, abilities like collaboration, positive communication and mutual help, the development of shared rules, empathy, proactivity and prosociality. Children, in a playful environment, overcome the fear of mistakes and feel free to learn by trial and error, because the robot becomes a transfer of responsibility and children empower the ability to accept error as a natural process of learning and of life, in a serene, jovial way. Thanks to the experience and evidence gathered over the years Polo Europeo della Conoscenza National Network of Educational Institutions for Pedagogical Research and Innovation in Europe has developed the "robotics versus bullying" initiative in 2017, which then became an Erasmus+ project support for policy reform (612872-EPP-1-2019-1-IT-EPPKA3-PI-FORWARD with the aim of preventing bullying through educational robotics activities for pupils aged 5 to 12. The partnership is composed of 11partners from 9 European countries (policymaker institutions, universities, associations, one research centre and one enterprise). After developing the pedagogical framework Robotics versus Bullying (RoBy) project partners are implementing an experimental phase to assess the impact of the educational robotics activities in bullying prevention. In fact, through group activities and the creation of a playful space, it becomes possible to address complex issues such as bullying thanks to the mediation of the robot. Thanks to this project, children will improve at the same time their academic, psycho-cognitive, communication and social skills, improving their awareness of the bullying phenomenon.

Keywords: Educational Robotics, Inclusion, Bullying prevention, Social and Emotional Development, Teaching strategies

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