Conference paper by Randi Williams, Stephen P. Kaputsos, Cynthia Breazeal. Proceedings of the AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence (EAAI 21).
To enable a diverse citizenry to fully participate in future society, we must prepare all students to construct and critique emerging technologies like Artificial Intelligence (AI). Classrooms are important spaces to teach students these skills, however there are few AI curricula that have been developed for and used by K-12 teachers. We developed the How to Train Your Robot: AI and Ethics Curriculum for middle school teachers who want to introduce AI to their students. This paper describes the curriculum and professional development we used to prepare teachers to run a five-day AI course. Before and after they ran the curriculum, we interviewed teachers to understand their opinions on pedagogical approaches to teaching AI, meeting students’ needs, and the feasibility of doing the activities in the classroom. Our results indicate that, with appropriate training, even teachers who were new to computer science felt prepared and successfully engaged their students in the topic. We hope our insights will inform future efforts to realize AI education in primary and secondary classrooms.