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Humanoid robots supporting children’s learning in an early childhood setting

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British Journal of Educational Technology Volume 49, Number 5, ISSN 0007-1013 e-ISSN 0007-1013 Publisher: Wiley


This qualitative study explored the affordances provided by the integration of the NAO humanoid robot in three preschool classrooms. Using the Head Start Early Learning Outcomes Framework as a lens, the researchers qualitatively analyzed data from focus groups, observations, field notes and student artifacts, using grounded coding to uncover language and communication, physical, cognitive and social–emotional learning experiences for children. The researchers also examined interactions between the robot, children and teachers to identify successes and challenges experienced during the integration. Findings indicate the robot provided opportunities for student development in all learning domains. Students were intellectually curious about the robot; data showed their eagerness to “talk with,” generate questions about, make eye contact with and learn more about the robot. Students viewed these interactions as two-way. The presence of the robot created much enthusiasm and excitement, resulting in the opportunity for students to practice waiting their turn and cooperation. Challenges uncovered show that teachers lacked experience and knowledge in the integration and operation of the robot. Despite these challenges, findings show that teachers welcomed the robot as a tool in the classroom to align with curriculum requirements and meet the developmental needs of children.


Crompton, H., Gregory, K. & Burke, D. (2018). Humanoid robots supporting children’s learning in an early childhood setting. British Journal of Educational Technology, 49(5), 911-927. Wiley. Retrieved September 19, 2020 from .