The Smart “Mitato”: A Holistic Approach to Creative Development Through Educational Robotics

The Smart “Mitato”: A Holistic Approach to Creative Development Through Educational Robotics

Iraklis Katsaris, Konstantinos Katsios
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-6717-3.ch019
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The chapter is an attempt to structure the lesson in a holistic way with the use and application of educational robotics. Emphasis is given on developing students' creativity, which is one of the dominant challenges of modern educational system, as it can be achieved through an educational environment focused on it. The use of STEAM method can help students develop creativity and at the same time develop skills such as programming and using new technologies (ICT). In fact, robotic constructions can help students understand basic principles of science such as mechanics and mathematics while solving problems related to their daily lives. During the project, students work in groups and highlight their skills in areas such as the creation of a mock up, the construction and presentation of robots, etc. This process gives the course a manifold holistic approach, as the knowledge the student acquires from different domains is used towards one direction, instead of the classical approach according to which only one subject is analyzed.
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Creativity Development

Can creativity be enhanced? This is one of the core and substantive questions nowadays. The difficulty in defining and studying the term creativity is undoubtedly great, yet scientists tend to agree that creativity can be taught (Amabile, 1996; Baer & Kaufman, 2006; Craft, 2001; Cropley, 1992; Esquivel, 1995; Fryer, 1996; James, Lederman, & Vagt- Traore, 2004; Kaufman & Beghetto, 2009; Parnes, 1963; Puccio & Gonzalez, 2004; Runco & Chand, 1995; Torrance, 1963; Wilson, 2005). Guilford (1950) argued that “Like most behaviors, creativity is likely to represent to a great extent some acquired skills. There may be limitations to developing these skills, but I am convinced that through learning they can be expanded within these limitations.

The concept of creativity, although it is particularly valuable for humans in order for them to be able to survive and thrive (Hennessey & Amabile, 2010; Puccio, 2017), has only been studied deeply and consistently in the last decades. Initial efforts focused on the definition of the concept, while the interest has gradually shifted to its measurement and in recent years to the ways in which the results have been used at all levels of education (Kim, Cramond, & Bandalos, 2006).

The number of researches in recent years has contributed to a significant progress, not only because of the aforementioned results, but also due to the correlation of research with the social and economic well-being of creative people and the wider opportunities on the labor market (Chan & Yuen, 2014; Davies et al., 2013; Scott, Leritz, & Mumford, 2004; Wells & Claxton, 2002). Accordingly, many developed countries place great emphasis on creativity to ensure that their citizens are suitably equipped and will not be left behind in a new competition that has already started in this field.

Key Terms in this Chapter

STEM Method: The academic disciplines of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. The STEM method is used as an educational policy in schools to promote competitiveness in technology development and enhance workforce development.

Creativity: The formulation of something new and valuable, the production of novel and worthwhile objects. Creativity can take the form of creating either an intangible item or a physical item.

Multiple Intelligences: Human intelligence is not described as a single general ability, but is divided in concrete ‘modalities’. Gardner proposed eight intelligence modalities (Musical-rhythmic and harmonic, Visual-spatial, Verbal-linguistic, Logical-mathematical, Bodily-kinesthetic, Interpersonal, Intrapersonal, Naturalistic).

Educational Robotics: The design, analysis, application, and operation of robots. Robots are used as an educational tool in primary school.

Problem Solving: The use of generic or specific methods to find solution to a problem. It includes the identification of the problem’s context, the interpretation of the problem, the implementation of the applicable rules and the attempt to reach the final solution to the problem.

Educational ICT: Information and communication technology. The integration of ICT in education, the use of computers as a teaching practice in education.

Project-Based Learning: A pedagogical learning method in which students actively explore and solve real-world and challenging problems. It is a dynamic learning process based on questions and scenarios which equips students with deeper knowledge through investigation.

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