Vol. 19 No. 1 (2019): Robotics, AR, virtual worlds, to support cognitive development, learning outcomes, social interaction, and inclusion
Articles

Educational Robotics and empowerment of executive cognitive processes: from typical development to special educational needs

Emanuela Castro
Department of Developmental Neuroscience, IRCCS Fondazione Stella Maris, Calambrone, Pisa, Italy
Maria Di Lieto
Department of Developmental Neuroscience, IRCCS Fondazione Stella Maris, Calambrone, Pisa, Italy
Chiara Pecini
Depart. Of Education, Language, interculture and Psychology. University of Florence, Florence, Italy
Emanuela Inguaggiato
Department of Developmental Neuroscience, IRCCS Fondazione Stella Maris, Calambrone, Pisa, Italy
Francesca Cecchi
The BioRobotics Institute, Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna, Pisa, Italy
Paolo Dario
The BioRobotics Institute, Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna, Pisa, Italy
Giovanni Cioni
Department of Developmental Neuroscience, IRCCS Fondazione Stella Maris, Calambrone, Pisa, Italy; Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, University of Pisa, Italy
Giuseppina Sgandurra
Department of Developmental Neuroscience, IRCCS Fondazione Stella Maris, Calambrone, Pisa, Italy; Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, University of Pisa, Pisa, Italy
Published April 30, 2019
How to Cite
Castro, E., Di Lieto, M., Pecini, C., Inguaggiato, E., Cecchi, F., Dario, P., Cioni, G., & Sgandurra, G. (2019). Educational Robotics and empowerment of executive cognitive processes: from typical development to special educational needs. Form@re - Open Journal Per La Formazione in Rete, 19(1), 60-77. https://doi.org/10.13128/formare-24782

Abstract

This paper describes a new Educational Robotic (ER) approach aimed to empower higher cognitive functions in school-setting. As robot programming requires to mentally plan a complex sequence of actions before the motor act, ER may indeed promote several crucial cognitive processes underlying learning. The steps needed and the mental acts for robot programming may involve Executive Functions (EF), that are complex higher cognitive processes, particularly crucial in the early development, because they are the base for abstraction and logical reasoning, decision-making, sequential thinking, maintaining and updating information in memory and problem-solving. Recent studies attempting to attest with a scientific approach the effect of ER on executive functioning are described. They concern both classroom with typical development or special educational needs and rehabilitation environment for children with developmental disorder.

 

Robotica Educativa e potenziamento dei processi cognitivi esecutivi: dallo sviluppo tipico ai bisogni educativi speciali

Il presente lavoro descrive come la Robotica Educativa (RE) possa essere utilizzata per potenziare alcune funzioni cognitive di controllo. Le azioni necessarie e gli atti mentali per la programmazione di un robot implicano le Funzioni Esecutive (FE), processi cognitivi di alto ordine, particolarmente importanti durante lo sviluppo cognitivo perché coinvolti nel ragionamento logico e nell’astrazione, nel decision-making, nel pensiero sequenziale, nel problem-solving e nel mantenimento/ aggiornamento delle informazioni in memoria. Nell’articolo sono sintetizzati e discussi gli studi con cui abbiamo cercato di provare con metodi scientifici l’effetto della RE sulle FE, nel gruppo classe per bambini con sviluppo tipico o con bisogni educativi speciali, e in ambito riabilitativo per bambini con disturbo del neurosviluppo.

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