Film Collection > Plenary Talks

A Constructionist Approach to Teaching with Robotics

Gary S. Stager

(click here to watch the video)

This paper presents four case studies representing the use of LEGO robotics materials and MicroWorlds EX Robotics programming by learners from five years old to mid-career postgraduate educators representing a variety of communities and prior school success. The robotics examples presented are more whimsical, playful and gender neutral than the traditional “battlebots” and vehicles dominating much robotics instruction.

Nearly two decades of using robotics in a constructionist context as inspired by Seymour Papert led the author to propose a new pedagogical theory, “A good prompt is worth 1,000 words.” When the four critical factors in this approach are in place, learners are able to develop projects more sophisticated than those resulting from traditional curriculum and instruction.

During the conference presentation, video of the case studies and similar student projects will be presented in order to illuminate the powerful ideas contained within this paper. This work provides provocative ramifications for the successful teaching of robotics and implications for all teaching.


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