Robotics and Discovery Learning: Pedagogical Beliefs, Teacher Practice, and Technology Integration

Jan. 20, 2009

Source: Journal of Technology and Teacher Education, Volume 17, Issue 1, January 2009. p. 109-142

Much educational software is designed from a specific pedagogical stance. How teachers conceive of the pedagogical stance underlying the design will affect how they utilize the technology; these conceptions may vary from teacher to teacher and from teacher to designer. There may be a conflict between the designers pedagogical beliefs inscribed in the educational technology innovation itself, and the teachers pedagogical beliefs, which may affect the teachers ability or desire to use the educational technology innovation. The goal of this study is to examine teachers reflections on teaching and learning robotics through the discovery learning method. Data for the study were collected at a teacher professional development workshop series and at a robotics fair. A total of 20 middle and high school teachers participated in the study. The findings indicate that teachers perceptions of student learning needs influence their pedagogical practice. Furthermore, these perceptions and practices may be affected through teaching and learning with discovery learning-based educational technologies. Teachers developed a strategy aimed at creating and managing a pedagogically productive tension in students. They also devised two modes of learning alongside students. Implications for future research regarding technology integration are discussed.

Updated: Apr. 20, 2009