New Perspectives in Science Education

Edition 13

Accepted Abstracts

Educating preservice teachers to introduce educational robotics into their future preschool classroom.

Michail Kalogiannakis, University of Crete, Department of Preschool Education, Crete (Greece)

Stamatios Papadakis, University of Crete, Department of Preschool Education, Crete - Greece (Greece)


Concepts such as creativity, Computational Thinking (CT), algorithmic thinking, and STEM have become a focus of research and teaching interest in recent years, recognizing a priority worldwide by public and educational authorities. Studies show that early exposure to CT and STEM learning encourages students' interest and educational attainment in various disciplines. Simultaneously, researchers note that there is a belief that pre-service teachers are not yet fully equipped with the knowledge to include CT and coding into the curriculum: the idea that the skills learned in coding activities are helpful in other disciplines. This paper describes the design, implementation, and evaluation of a semester-scale teaching intervention that involved 21 pre-service teachers provided with 39 hours of learning activities using Scratch 3.0 and MaKey MaKey robotic kit. The intervention presents positive results concerning computational thinking concepts and coding skills based on a pedagogical practice that encourages active learning and emphasizes intrinsic motivation and cognitive outcome. In conclusion, the students enjoyed the activities and, indeed, reported on having achieved a high level of confidence and sense of accomplishment. This study also highlights the importance of including robotics and visual blocks-based programming for pre-service teachers to improve CT knowledge and coding skills.


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