Children Teach a Care-Receiving Robot to Promote Their Learning: Field Experiments in a Classroom for Vocabulary Learning

Fumihide Tanaka, Shizuko Matsuzoe


In contrast to conventional teaching agents (including robots) that were designed to play the role of human teachers or caregivers, we propose the opposite scenario in which robots receive instruction or care from children.  We hypothesize that by using this care-receiving robot, we may construct a new educational framework whose goal is to promote children's spontaneous learning by teaching through their teaching the robot.  In this paper, we describe the introduction of a care-receiving robot into a classroom at an English language school for Japanese children (3--6 years of age) and then conduct an experiment to evaluate if the care-receiving robot can promote their learning using English verbs.  The results suggest that the idea of a care-receiving robot is feasible and that the robot can help children learn new English verbs efficiently.  In addition, we report on investigations into several forms of teaching performed by children, which were revealed through observations of the children, parent interviews, and other useful knowledge.  These can be used to improve the design of care-receiving robots for educational purposes.


care-receiving robot, teachable robot, learning by teaching, child-robot interaction, early childhood education, learning support, direct teaching, robot ethics, NAO

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