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Design Culture in school. Experiences of design workshops with children

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This paper discusses the social and cultural roots of the emerging need for project-based didactic approaches within education systems, showing the advantages of the adoption of design tools and specifically of the Service Design Thinking method. These are presented in relation to extant literature in the pedagogic field, giving an overview of the domains within which Service Design Thinking can be beneficial. A series of workshops carried out with children are then presented, highlighting the most relevant findings that have been gathered from them and discussing their methodological potential toward an implementation of design education in primary schools.
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Design Culture in school. Experiences of design
workshops with children
Fabrizio Pierandrei & Elena Marengoni
To cite this article: Fabrizio Pierandrei & Elena Marengoni (2017) Design Culture in school.
Experiences of design workshops with children, The Design Journal, 20:sup1, S915-S926, DOI:
10.1080/14606925.2017.1353036
To link to this article: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14606925.2017.1353036
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Design Culture in school. Experiences of
design workshops with children.
Fabrizio Pierandreia*, Elena Marengonia
aPACO Design Collaborative
*Corresponding author e-mail: fpierandrei@gmail.com
Abstract: This paper discusses the social and cultural roots of the emerging need for
project-based didactic approaches within education systems, showing the
advantages of the adoption of design tools and specifically of the Service Design
Thinking method. These are presented in relation to extant literature in the
pedagogic field, giving an overview of the domains within which Service Design
Thinking can be beneficial. A series of workshops carried out with children are then
presented, highlighting the most relevant findings that have been gathered from
them and discussing their methodological potential toward an implementation of
design education in primary schools.
Keywords: Education, Design Thinking, Service Design, Didactic Methods,
Learning
1. Introduction
In the 21st century society, it has become clear that knowledge will become increasingly more
important than the tangible resources we have at our disposition (Robertson, 2005). In fact, it will be
more and more a fundamental asset to support us in the attempt to overcome those wicked
problems that are a daily issue in our societies. This confronts us with the need to ensure that the
educational system is ready to take this new challenge onboard. Three key topics inspire this debate.
1.1 Holistic understanding, autonomous discovery, critical thinking
When we talk about the importance of teaching students how to solve open-ended problems, there
is a stream of literature about logic and creative thinking to draw on. Experts have observed that one
of the key processes that enable problem-solving outside of closed systems is the capability to
transfer knowledge between fields and to generalize, zoom out and see the underlying complexity.
This relies on what Bartlett describes as ‘adventurous thinking’, which is the capability to go beyond
the obvious, a skill that can be nurtured and trained also by exposing children to a stimulating
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environment that allows them to experiment, move between fields of knowledge and make
autonomous discoveries (Bartlett, 1958). On the contrary, traditional school programs often confront
children with pre-packaged information and a simplified understanding of reality, offered in the form
of distinct school subjects: in this approach, the learner acts as an “independent observer of objects”
(Scheer et al., 2012, p.9). Schools should ever more promote a holistic understanding of the world, to
help kids become better individuals, equipped with strong logic and creative skills.
1.2 Adopting a variety of methods to fit different learning styles
Existing research has widely shown evidence of how different the learning process is for each child:
students may be naturally inclined to use certain intelligences more than others (Gardner, 2011;
Azzali & Cristanini, 1995), for instance being more at ease exercising their verbal-linguistic
competence than their visual-spatial or logical-mathematical. The different extent to which
intelligences are developed for each person results in endless combinations and a huge diversity of
learning styles. Although some degree of generalization is needed in order to come up with a
replicable methodology, it is clear that there is an opportunity for schools to recognize this variety,
allowing students to exercise those competences that are easier for them, but also stimulating them
to train “other intelligences” through a variety of activities, ranging from the more theoretical to the
more practical (Cornoldi, 1999).
1.3 Fostering collaboration and encouraging group work
A third dimension that cannot be overlooked has to do with the broader context within which
learning occurs, the classroom. A lot of research has been done on how to facilitate the exchange
between teacher and pupils but ‘the concept of pedagogy needs to be extended to allow for other
social relations, in particular, those involving co-learners or peers’ (Blatchford et al., 2003, p. 6).
Research has shown that collaboration between members of a classroom can improve both learning
achievements and attitude/motivation toward activities. This, in turn, reinforces the importance of
fostering cooperation with the aim to generate more debate and therefore to help children to
nurture critical thinking skills.
The debate around these topics is still open as they pose numerous challenges when it comes to
turning these principles into actionable guidelines and implementing them through activities. It takes
more than a simple manifesto to promote a cultural shift: the combination of a solid methodological
approach and the re-organization of internal processes are both equally essential for this evolution
to take place.
2. Design Culture
Nurturing a design culture within the school system is seen as a phenomenon that can result in
beneficial outcomes for the school itself. Design culture is here intended as the headline under which
two major contributions fall. First, it takes the form of a project-based didactic approach that
encourages children to perform design activities and "contextually informed actions within the
development of a design” (Julier, 2005, p.70). Second, it appears as a specific attitude towards
change and a sense of agency that can be seen within the school as an organization and in relation to
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the outside world. In this paper, we will mainly focus on experiences concerning the didactic
approach per se.
Promoting change within the school in these two directions would mean, on one hand, allowing
students to gain more active control over their learning process through design and, on the other
hand, absorbing these methodologies at the institutional level and putting them in use by
continuously improving the way educational experiences are offered, thus turning the school into a
learning organization itself.
On a more practical level, the key enabler of this cultural shift is the Service Design Thinking
methodology, a set of tools and methods that could both help teachers to deliver engaging learning
experiences to pupils and sustain this change at the organizational level.
In particular, the Service Design methodology has recognized the importance of design as a process
and not just as an outcome expressed through an artefact, with a certain form, function, and visual
language (Stickdorn & Schneider, 2012). The Service Design approach adopts a human-centered
approach as opposed to a more traditional feature-centered process. It has also pushed designers to
look beyond single objects and to explore the complex system of information, interpersonal
relations, and contextual dynamics within which they exist. This perspective could help educators to
focus more on the learning process and develop their educational approach by taking the point of
view of their learners, but it could also help them to connect the didactic experience with the
broader context of interpersonal relations, environmental influences, …
In other words, educating through Design will help children to use their creativity beyond the limits
of expressing themselves and as a tool to become critical thinkers and problem solvers, towards a
future generation of more conscious individuals.
Table 1. Design culture manifestation
DESIGN CULTURE IN SCHOOL
What
Project-based approach with
students (classroom)
School’s attitude towards
change (institution)
How
This whole approach sets its roots in the stream of constructivist ideas of learning, aiming to spread
design culture among existing programs. It also differs from the other constructivist approaches in
the following regards:
While constructivist learning methods are seen as “opposed to” those derived from
behaviourism and realism (Scheer et al., 2012), the goal here is to promote the
integration of different learning methods and not to generate a “brand-new” one nor
to add new disciplines to an already crowded curriculum.
The methods and tools are derived by those developed for Service Design and Design
Thinking.
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3. Hypotheses
A fundamental assumption of this research is that Service Design methods can provide support to
different moments of the learning experience, all the way from discovery to execution. Likewise, it is
assumed that this didactic approach results in children not only absorbing knowledge in a different
way but also engaging in design activities and producing knowledge.
Starting from this preliminary definition of design culture, a set of hypotheses has been defined to be
used as parameters against which to evaluate the outcomes of experimental projects.
Service Design Thinking allows learners to exercise different intelligences and can
match different personal attitudes (Cornoldi, 1999).
It facilitates a deep understanding of topics, facilitating the understanding of cause-
effect relationships and correlations, increasing awareness and helping children to
form opinions.
It encourages the interaction between people, both between peers and asymmetric,
(teacher-pupils relation).
It supports permanence of knowledge: in Bruno Munari’s words, “If I see I remember.
If I do I understand”.
It helps children to evaluate the feasibility and viability of a solution.
It encourages empathy and helps those who practice it to take other people’s
perspective (user-centric approach).
It fosters a holistic understanding of the world and encourages spontaneous
connections between different fields of knowledge.
A series of experiences that bring children closer to the Service Design Thinking approach has already
taken place.
4. Lessons from the field
4.1 Introduction
Initiatives promoting the use of design methods with and by children have taken place since 2014.
Fuelled by the contribution of designers, educators, and teachers, these initiatives adopted a project-
based approach with the goal of applying Service Design Thinking methods in educational contexts.
Design sessions mainly took place during Design Events in Primary and Secondary schools, in Italy
and abroad, or were hosted by institutions like Children and Science museums, often with the
support of the local Municipality and of design associations.
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Overall, it has been made use of three formats, which differ in terms of goals, length, activities and
tools used by the students:
Design Jams
Workshops
School Programs
In all of these cases, the traditional Double Diamond divergent-convergent approach (Design Council,
UK, 2005) has been taken as a reference but adapted to the needs of the session, sometimes
modifying phase length as required.
The backbone of the process adopted in all the three formats is structured as follows:
Receive (the challenge): the session begins with the presentation of a challenge, often
related to the everyday life of the pupils. At this level, the facilitators’ role is crucial in
driving the children to embrace the challenge empathically.
Understand (the problem): children are engaged in a process of defining research
questions, finding critical points to solve and gathering key information through desk
and field research; they are then guided through a reflection about what they have
learned.
Develop (an idea): this is a manual and creative phase in which children are asked to
sketch workable solutions on paper, using different techniques and a mix of visual and
verbal language.
Prototype (the solution): by using different kinds of materials and probes, children
give visibility and tangibility to their ideas by mocking up objects, key interactions or
spaces in which their design sits.
Present (the project): after collecting feedback on the prototype, children arrange a
public presentation of their project, explaining to their parents, teachers or the rest of
the audience the advantages of their proposal and describing the salient aspects of
the design process they have gone through.
Also, some experience pillars characterize the experience across phases:
From complex to simple: breaking down complex notion into simpler facts and using
storytelling to deliver concepts to kids
From abstract to concrete: focusing on everyday life topics and practical challenges
From knowledge to involvement: promoting engagement through role-playing and
gaming and relying on kid’s self-consciousness and responsibility in taking action
From talking to doing: learning with their hands, activating behavioural change in
children
On the other hand, the main difference between the formats is referred to the duration and how
time differently stress each design session phase and the interactions among participants.
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4.2 Design Jams
Design Jams are activities open to children and pre-teens and characterized by a strong emphasis on
improvisation and fast prototyping. They are usually carried out in less than 4 hours and aim at
teaching how to transform ideas into prototypes to be tested.
The goal of the Jams is to help participants to try out the basic principles of a Service Design Thinking
process, by showing them that we live in a “designed environment” in which products, services, and
interactions can be improved through design. They are also encouraged to conceive solutions that
take into account what “the others think” and need, understanding their perspective as users and
assessing the complexity of situations which include multiple actors and points of view.
The schedule is tightly built around 6 activities: kick-off and challenge presentation (15-20 min),
brainstorming session (30 min), user interviews (40 min), project insights generation (30 min), rapid
prototyping of solutions (60 min) and presentation to the audience (20 min).
The Jam’s activities are carried out in groups of 3-5 kids each, supported by a facilitator, usually a
designer or an educator. Groups of this size have proven to be the most effective in terms of internal
collaboration and peer-to-peer exchange, while the support of a facilitator helps them to follow the
process, make decisions and focus on “doing” rather than talking.
Figure 1. Interviewing a passer-by
Characteristic of a jam is to introduce the topic at the very beginning of the session. This is a critical
phase in which it is important to make children feel emotionally connected to the given challenge,
which can be encouraged through a role-play activity in which all the participants are asked to tell
what their ‘superpowers’ are and are then called to use them into the specific context outlined by
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Design Culture in School
the topic. To increase empathy, facilitators are asked to take part into the role-play too. Perceiving
themselves as “heroes” called to action helps kids to embrace the challenge in a more enthusiastic
way. Plus, choosing themes that touch upon aspects of their daily life increases relevance. Examples
of topics are: “A visit to the dentist”, “The fear of darkness”, “What if I could fly”.
Through brainstorming, children explore and deepen their understanding of the given topic, sharing
opinions and starting to collect “preliminary insights” upon which to create a discussion guide for the
interviews. Large sheets of paper and a series of printed images related to the topic act as
icebreakers in the discussion and help the participants to share personal experiences. Interviews
require kids to ask questions to adults or peers and to report the insights they have gathered.
Parents, teachers, and passer-by are often interviewed. The use of sticky notes is encouraged to
better organize user feedback, while props such as fake microphones or badges are used to help kids
interpret the role of researchers. Interview notes are clustered by affinity and discussed to select
those that can be more easily developed into prototypes in the limited available time.
Prototyping is the activity that takes the longest: children use this time to give life to their ideas
through artefacts and to perform the key actions/interactions related to their solutions, focusing on
the entire ‘user journey’. Acting out, simulating gestures and talking out loud help kids to better
imagine how the experience will be like and to ideate faster. Prototypes are built with poor
materials, such as cardboard and glue, coloured plastic sheets, fabric, and modelling clay.
Eventually, each group is asked to pitch their proposal to an audience composed of all the
participants and their parents by staging their solution, showing the key features and main
interactions but also explaining the process they have followed throughout the Jam: this also
becomes a moment of feedback on the potential of the Service Design Thinking approach as a
learning method.
Figure 2. Quick prototyping
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4.3 Design Workshops
Design Workshops differ from Jams in respect to three factors:
they are mainly carried out in schools with the presence and participation of teachers
they are composed of different design sessions: 2-3 short encounters
the topic is agreed upon with the teachers and presented to the kids some days
before the first design session.
While jams are usually offered to an open audience, workshops are offered to children from the
same school or even to single classes. Therefore, teachers play a crucial role as part of the team who
prepares and delivers the activities, making sure that there is integration between the design
sessions and the other curricular activities:
They prepare the ground for design activities through preliminary group discussions or
short
lectures focused on the topic of the workshop
They gradually introduce a project-based approach also to form project teams based
on kids’
personal attitudes in advance.
Their presence throughout the sessions facilitates the workshop process, increases
children’s participation and helps to create or make more evident the link with
previous curricular activities or experiences.
Exercises are formulated in order to drive children to propose workable solutions around a topic
related to their everyday life or experience at school: themes can be concrete, such as “Redesign the
school canteen”, or more abstract like “How to help teachers to teach love for nature at school”. The
question that triggers the design session is never seen as a task or a homework but rather as an
invitation to explore, understand, elaborate, prototype and present, thus fostering a diversity of
responses and moving beyond conventional mental models.
In order to facilitate this outcome, pupils are engaged, not instructed, by being provided with a clear,
but open, end-goal to reach and a selection of tools (toolkit) from which they can choose the ones
they want to use. The toolkit is based on the most common and easy-to-use Service Design and
Design Thinking tools: it includes a guide to contextual interviews, a diary, a storyboard, some
worksheets that guide children through the “five whys” and “what if” tools, rendered more apt to
children by adding playful content and by making these tools part of a game in order to encourage
them to participate.
The concept of “workable solution” requires children to draw on their personal experiences and on
previously-learned notions from different disciplines. As in the jams, they are also asked to evaluate
other people’s opinions by interviewing them or creating a list of questions on the topics they are
less familiar with, usually involving parents and teachers in this process.
Overall, the workshop process encompasses the same phases of a Design Jam, all the way from
research to ideation and share-out, with the exception that activities are stretched over a longer
period and divided between sessions: this gives time for in-home interviews and for more group
discussions at different stages to ensure that kids get to reflect upon their activities and consolidate
their learnings.
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Figure 3. Discussing a solution
4.4 School programs
The peculiarity of school programs is that they are planned around an existing didactic program in
order to introduce a holistic approach to learning: programs touch upon different school subjects at
once and provide teachers with new tools and methods to create a “learning by doing” experience.
These programs take place at school over a period of time of one or several months and topic and
methodology can vary according to the age of the students and their background.
Among other examples, two stand out as the prototypes of this format.
A game-based program on food education, in which children are guided to discover
the characteristics of vitamins and nutrients in fruits and vegetables, by transforming
them into “super-powers”. According to the game rules, children are challenged to eat
fruits and vegetables regularly, both at home and in school, so to increase the powers
of their favourite super-heroes and get strong enough to defeat the villains,
represented by unhealthy food. Using games creates a moment in which the concepts
learned in class and through the activities at home fuel action, thus encouraging
children’s collaboration and competition.
A 6-month long weekly program on ‘design and basic entrepreneurship’ offered to
pre-teens (10 to 12 yo), with the goal to help them ideate, produce and launch a
product or service. The duration of this program allows teachers of different
disciplines to contribute to the project with specific lectures (e.g. basic principles of
economics) around which design activities are developed.
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In both examples the contribution of the Service Design Thinking method lies in:
the creation of a game or a plot, the narrative of which enhances the learning
experience and the behavioural change and the collaboration among children
(storytelling)
the activities and the tools designed in order to promote active and enthusiastic
participation and facilitate the development of their design skills and strategic
thinking.
the transposition of complex concepts into simple facts that can be used to design or
refine ideas (which can help teachers to replicate the same didactic approach later
on).
the definition of a “user journey” of the learning experience, which takes all of the
actors into account.
5. Conclusions
Although these experiences represent the first steps towards a more consolidated methodology,
they already show some advantages of a project-based approach to learning.
Apart from the natural enthusiasm shown by the pupils all along the design sessions - very likely also
caused by the novelty of the experience and the possibility to work with a very clear goal but very
little constraints other benefits of this methodology have been observed.
Overall, these activities have facilitated a deep understanding of topics: at the end of a session or
during moments of share-out children were capable of recalling what they had learned and where
the insights came from, referring to feedback received during interviews or their direct experience
during the session. This has often been matched by high-quality outcomes that stood out in terms of
conceptual complexity and completeness: mock-ups and acting-out activities often showed a
complete understanding of the entire user experience and of all its different aspects. This has been
the case even during Design Jam, the shortest format, in which many groups succeeded in quickly
developing solutions, mainly according to two patterns: by surfacing the entire user journey and
giving a hint of the experience or by deep-diving into a few selected aspects.
Availability of time influences depth, especially during the immersion phase, while it seems to be less
influential on prototypes quality, probably reflecting children’s natural inclination towards manual
activities. Longer programs, therefore, deliver better on building a conceptual structure.
Children approach the activities in different ways, depending on their attitudes and natural
inclinations: short formats have proven less effective in allowing facilitators to fruitfully exploit this
diversity and help children to exercise different intelligences (visual, verbal, …), whilst longer formats
allowed enough time to witness an evolution of their skills.
Providing Design tools with minimal instructions gradually showed increased autonomy: this helped
them to organize their activities both in the exploratory and the generative phases.
This methodology also seems to reinforce permanence of knowledge: a few months after the end of
the food education program, a follow-up with the school has shown that children’s behaviors and
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choices were still informed by the notions they had acquired during the workshop and that
consumption of fruits and vegetables was still higher than before.
From a relational point of view, a project-based approach implies a lot more emphasis on
collaboration and empathy than a traditional lecture set-up. However, the very same activities yield
different outcomes when embedded different formats, as children’s reactions to them are different.
For instance, using the metaphor of ‘heroes’ and encouraging children to use their superpowers
offers an immediate hook to get started during Design Jams, in which time is a scarce resource and
improvisation is welcome, whilst, if used in longer programs, it pushes participants to come back to
their individual resources and act more independently, not necessarily facilitating cooperation.
In general, it can be concluded that Design Jams prove effective in making children and parents more
familiar with a new methodology that helps them to tackle unexpected challenges, go beyond their
personal opinions and biases, create solutions collaboratively and present their ideas in front of an
audience. On the other hand, more complex formats allow the generation of long-lasting outcomes
both for kids and for teachers and educators.
However, it is too early to measure the impact of this methodology in the long run. The experiences
discussed in this paper have already shown the potential of the design thinking approach in changing
the way children learn and retain knowledge, but further investigation is needed to prove its
benefits. During a recent workshop, some preliminary work has been done on the application of
these methodologies to the STEM subjects: these disciplines are a particularly interesting testing
ground as they offer numerous possibilities for the kids to produce prototypes and conduct
experiments. However, it will be essential to collaborate with schools to integrate Service Design
Thinking into their traditional curricular activities.
This can eventually help kids to learn from their experiences (learning by doing), to express their
potential without fears, to see educators as facilitators and enhancers of their learning experience
and to finally grow a responsible way of thinking that can better prepare them for being citizens of
this world.
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Boscarino, G. S. (2004). La didattica laboratoriale [Didactics of laboratories]. Scuola e Didattica (9).
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About the Authors:
Fabrizio Pierandrei is founder of PACO Design Collaborative, an innovative network of
professionals exploring the potential of Design and Education in fostering social
innovation, sustainable behaviors and business opportunities. Aside this, he teaches as
lecturer at Politecnico di Milano, in the PSSD Master Course.
Elena Marengoni is a member of the PACO community and a professional design
researcher and service designer at frog, interested in design thinking, collaborative and
participatory design as methodologies to grow new skills both in the educational and
business context.
Acknowledgements: We wish to express our deepest gratitude to all the members of the
PACO community, for the experiences described in this paper would not have happened
or been possible without their contribution and commitment.
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The global pandemic affected the way of education in Slovakia, at all levels of education. From day to day, Slovak schools had to deal with radical changes in the way of teaching, for which no one was prepared. The resulting lack of support for distance education has caused large regional and local differences in the way education is educated, but also in terms of access to education. In this paper, we focus on how teachers in Slovakia have dealt with the transformation of forms, methods and Realizacija nastave na daljinu u Slovačkoj u vreme pandemije teaching content in continuing distance education in Slovakia. Keywords: distance education, content of education, methods, game in education
... Od ključne je važnosti poboljšati sposobnosti svih učesnika u obrazovnom procesu za primenu holističke pedagogije i nastave zasnovane na oplemenjivanju i zaceljivanju (Hill et al., 2020), kako bi se ublažio uticaj epidemijske/pandemijske traume na decu. Pristup usvajanju znanja i obrazaca ponašanja kroz radioničarske aktivnosti koje uključuju igru, zabavu, timski rad, diskusije, predstavljaju dobru strategiju u neplaniranim i neobičnim okolnostima (Pierandrei & Marengoni, 2017;Rousseau et al., 2003), što se pokazalo i u slučaju KOVID-19 pandemije (Bubadué et al., 2020). Naime, svi iznenadni i neočekivani događaji i krize otvaraju nam mogućnosti da se podrobnije suočimo sa trenutnim problemima i razmotrimo nove i inovativne pristupe u obrazovanju (Mutton, 2020), što je pouka koju svakako treba da ponesemo iz trenutne pandemijske situacije. ...
... Apart from activities related to technology, the design-based approach to learning is spreading also in several initiatives, also at local levels. In Italy, for instance, the PACO Design Collaborative, an open and non-profit organization based in Milan, started a series of initiatives, namely design jams, workshops, and school programs, for introducing project-based learning in children's education (Pierandrei and Marengoni 2017), through a project called The Design School for Children. Similarly, the Innovation Design research group from Politecnico di Torino, in Turin, from 2016 is carrying out a project that involves high school students in a project-based learning initiative. ...
Thesis
This thesis investigates the intersections of three disciplines, that are Design Research, Human-Robot Interaction studies, and Child Studies. In particular, this doctoral research is focused on two research questions, namely, what is (or might be) the role of design research in HRI? And, how to design acceptable and desirable child-robot play applications? The rst chapter introduces an overview of the mutual interest between robotics and design that is at the basis of the research. On the one hand, the interest of design toward robotics is documented through some exemplary projects from artists and designers that speculate on the human-robot coexistence condition. Vice versa, the robotics interest toward design is documented by referring to some tracks of robotic conferences, scienti c workshops and robotics journals which focused on the design-robotics relationship. Finally, a brief description of the background conditions that characterized this doctoral research are introduced, such as the fact of being a research founded by a company. The second chapter provides an overview of the state of the art of the intersections between three multidisciplinary disciplines. First, a de nition of Design Research is provided, together with its main trends and open issues. Then, the review focuses on the contribution of Design Research to the HRI eld, which can be summed up in actions focused on three aspects: artefacts, stakeholders, and contexts. This is followed by a focus on the role of Design Research within the context of children studies, in which it is possible to identify two main design-child relationships: design as a method for developing children’s learning experiences; and children as part of the design process for developing novel interactive systems. The third chapter introduces the Research through Design (RtD) approach and its relevance in conducting design research in HRI. The proposed methodology, based on this approach, is particularly characterized by the presence of design explorations as study methods. These, in turn, are developed through a common project’s methodology, also reported in this chapter. The fourth chapter is dedicated to the analysis of the scenario in which the child-robot interaction takes place. This was aimed at understanding what is edutainment robotics for children, its common features, how it relates to existing children play types, and where the interaction takes place. The chapter provides also a focus on the relationship between children and technology on a more general level, through which two themes and relative design opportunities were identi ed: physically active play and objects-to-think-with. These were respectively addressed in the two design explorations presented in this thesis: Phygital Play and Shybo. The Phygital Play project consists of an exploration of natural interaction modalities with robots, through mixed-reality, for fostering children’s active behaviours. To this end, a game platform was developed for allowing children to play with or against a robot, through body movement. Shybo, instead, is a low-anthropomorphic robot for playful learning activities with children that can be carried out in educational contexts. The robot, which reacts to properties of the physical environment, is designed to support different kinds of experiences. Then, the chapter eight is dedicated to the research outcomes, that were de ned through a process of re ection. The contribution of the research was analysed and documented by focusing on three main levels, namely: artefact, knowledge and theory. The artefact level corresponds to the situated implementations developed through the projects. The knowledge level consists of a set of actionable principles, emerged from the results and lessons learned from the projects. At the theory level, a theoretical framework was proposed with the aim of informing the future design of child- robot play applications. The last chapter provides a nal overview of the doctoral research, a series of limitations regarding the research, its process and its outcomes, and some indications for future research.
Article
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In an ever changing society of the 21st century, there is a demand to equip students with meta competences going beyond cognitive knowledge. Education, therefore, needs a transition from transferring knowledge to developing individual potentials with the help of constructivist learning. Advantages of constructivist learning, and criteria for its realisation have been well-determined through theoretical findings in pedagogy (Reich 2008, de Corte, OECD 2010). However, the practical implementation leaves a lot to be desired (Gardner 2010, Wagner 2011). Knowledge acquisition is still fragmented into isolated subjects. Lesson layouts are not efficiently designed to help teachers execute a holistic and interdisciplinary learning. As is shown in this paper, teachers are having negative classroom experience with project work or interdisciplinary teaching, due to a constant feeling of uncertainty and chaos, as well as lack of a process to follow. We therefore conclude: there is a missing link between theoretical findings and demands by pedagogy science and its practical implementation. We claim that, Design Thinking as a team-based learning process offers teachers support towards practice-oriented and holistic modes of constructivist learning in projects. Our case study confirms an improvement of classroom experience for teacher and student alike when using Design Thinking. This leads to a positive attitude towards constructivist learning and an increase of its implementation in education. The ultimate goal of this paper is to prove that Design Thinking gets teachers empowered to facilitate constructivist learning in order to foster 21st century skills.
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In any classroom, pupils will be drawn together for many purposes and we can refer to such within classroom contexts as ‘groupings’. The teacher often creates these, and the way that they are set up, and how they are used for particular learning purposes. If the relationships between grouping size, interaction type and learning tasks in groups are planned strategically then learning experiences will be more effective. However, research suggests that the relationships between these elements are often unplanned and the ‘social pedagogic’ potential of classroom learning is therefore unrealised. In this paper we explore the notion of social pedagogy in relation to group work. It is argued that research and theory relevant to group work in classrooms is limited, and that a new approach, sensitive to group work under everyday classroom conditions is required. This paper identifies key features of a social pedagogy of classroom group work, which can inform effective group work in classrooms. It also describes the background to a current large scale UK project which has been set up to design with teachers a programme of high quality group work in classrooms at both primary and secondary phases.
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Incl. abstract, bib. Using critical discourse analysis as a methodology for analysis, this paper sets out the nature and form of the challenges directed to the compulsory schooling sector by the knowledge economy that is contained in key policy and related documents put out by the OECD, the World Bank and the UK government. The OECD and the World Bank's policy agendas are increasingly important in setting policy and programme agendas for the developed and developing countries respectively; however there are important differences between the two institutions regarding how education should be redesigned. The World Bank's redesign of education favours the market and individualism as the means for developing knowledge and skills for the knowledge economy. The OECD, however, while concerned with human capital formation, rejects the market model in favour of an institutionally embedded liberalism to overcome the problems posed by tacit knowledge. The UK, on the other hand, has promoted the idea of personalized learning. The paper suggests that this idea is particularly problematic for developing a system of innovation for the economy that is dependent on high levels of social interaction. The first half of the twenty-first century will, I believe, be far more difficult, more unsettling, and yet more open than anything we have known in the twentieth century. I say this on three premises; none of which I have time to argue here.
La didattica laboratoriale
  • G S Boscarino
Boscarino, G. S. (2004). La didattica laboratoriale [Didactics of laboratories].
La diversità come fattore di apprendimento: stili cognitivi e intelligenze in Tuffanelli L
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Cornoldi C. (1999). La diversità come fattore di apprendimento: stili cognitivi e intelligenze in Tuffanelli L. [Diversity as a factor of learning: cognitive styles and intelligences], (pp.109-128), Intelligenze, emozioni e apprendimenti. Erickson.
Design Methods for Developing Services
  • Design Council
Design Council UK (n.a.). Design Methods for Developing Services. Retrieved from: http://www.designcouncil.org.uk/sites/default/files/asset/document/Design%20methods%20for% 20developing%20services.pdf
This is service design thinking: Basics-Tools-Cases
  • M Stickdorn
  • J Schneider
Stickdorn, M., Schneider, J. (2012). This is service design thinking: Basics-Tools-Cases. Bis Publishers. About the Authors: