The world's first robot teacher, Saya, was introduced to a classroom in Japan in 2009. Saya had the appearance of a young female teacher. She could express six basic emotions, take the register and shout orders like ‘be quiet’ . Since 2009, humanoid robot technologies have developed. It is now suggested that robot teachers may become regular features in educational settings and may even ‘take over’ from human teachers in ten to fifteen years [2, 3]. Designed to look and act like a particular kind of human; robot teachers mediate human existence and roles, while also aiming to support education through sophisticated, automated, human-like interaction. Focusing on the role of virtue, and in particular phronēsis, in educational contexts, our paper explores the design and implications of robots such as Saya or ARTIE, a robot teacher at Oxford Brookes University . Drawing on an initial empirical exploration of such robots as teachers we propose a model for signature pedagogy to support the future design of robots in education, in an effort to enhance learners' flourishing and pedagogical formation in educational contexts.
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