Livnot U'Lehibanot, To Build and To Be Built: Making Robots in Kindergarten to Explore Jewish Identity
Source: Diaspora, Indigenous, and Minority Education: Studies of Migration, Integration, Equity, and Cultural Survival, Volume 7, Issue 3, 2013, 164-179
An important challenge for minority and diaspora populations is how to maintain their community from generation to generation by encouraging positive affiliation among their youngsters.
This article reports a technology-rich educational program that addresses this issue in the context of early childhood Jewish education. A central focus in early Jewish education is the strengthening of children's Jewish identity. Although several approaches have been taken to address this goal, this article explores the use of robotics in the context of a kindergarten curriculum focused on the primary question of “Mi Ani?” (“Who am I?”). In the Mi Ani project, kindergartners created robotic artifacts and programmed their behaviors to express their Jewish identity in a dynamic way through the robot's actions.