Lego in Special Education

In recent years, educational robotics and education with Lego bricks has been used every day, both for children with typical development and for children with learning difficulties, mental retardation or children on the autism spectrum. It has been observed that engaging with robotics and Lego bricks helps children develop skills and empathy, learn to cooperate and gain self-confidence.

Building a robot that will be programmed to move or a simple construction using Lego bricks, seems like a very difficult process for children with special needs. Intellectual and practical skills are needed, such as the concept of sequencing and fine motor skills. However, a robotics lab can provide a lot of knowledge, such as designing a robot, operating a motor and basic concept of Computer Science. Children learn to deal with the mistakes they make while building the robot and to operate it after programming it. It has been observed that children with special abilities have overcome significant obstacles in education due to educational robotics. Also, children with attention deficit and dissociation, were focused for a long time in the construction, while children with deficits in social skills cooperated and interacted with each other without problems during the learning process (Ζυλφολλάρι, 2019).

The benefits that children with special needs derive from their involvement with robotics and Lego bricks are not limited to the academic subject. Children face this learning process with joy and enthusiasm, positively affecting their emotions. At the same time, experiential learning, the exchange of ideas, reflection and cooperation between them leads to the acquisition of knowledge and the building of learning (Κούτρα, 2017).

The learning process through robotics labs is based on Piaget’s constructivist model of learning, i.e., the construction of learning by learners. Real-life problem-solving activities encourage participation and promote social interaction. Students acquire knowledge most effectively through their active involvement in the design, construction and digital programming of an object. In other words, engaging with educational robotics and Lego bricks is a very interesting process for children with special abilities, while at the same time offering them direct experience, the joy of experimentation and creativity, self-efficacy and direct involvement in the learning process, which are basic parameters for their education (Ζυλφολλάρι, 2019).

Photos by Mariana Mouratidou

Ζυλφολλάρι, Ι. (2019). Η Εκπαιδευτική Ρομποτική στην Ειδική Αγωγή. (Πτυχιακή Εργασία, Αριστοτέλειο Πανεπιστήμιο Θεσσαλονίκης, 2019). Ανακτήθηκε από
Κούτρα, Π. (2017). Η Εκπαιδευτική Ρομποτική στην Ειδική Αγωγή. (Μεταπτυχιακή Εργασία, Frederick University, 2017). Ανακτήθηκε απόΗ_εκπαιδευτική_ρομποτική_στην_Ειδική_Αγωγή