Lego-funded research centre launches new play hub

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Early years practitioners will be able to access current research on play thanks to a new online hub.

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Paul Ramchandani, Lego Professor of Play at the Centre for Research on Play in Education, Development and Learning (PEDAL) at Cambridge University

The Centre for Research on Play in Education, Development and Learning (PEDAL) at the Faculty of Education at Cambridge University has launched the new PEDAL Hub, which will make play research, policy and practice from across the world available to teachers, non-governmental organisations, parents and carers, researchers, policy makers and play advocates.

As well as containing play research articles, reports, policy documents and practical tips and resources, PEDAL Hub will also feature short summaries of current play research written by experts called ‘Play Pieces’, making findings accessible to a non-academic audience.

The PEDAL Centre was founded in 2015 to address a global gap in researching the role of play in children's education, development and learning, with the aim of ensuring play is more widely understood by those involved in children’s care and education.

The launch of the hub comes as the Lego Foundation, whose original £4 million donation established PEDAL Centre, unveils plans to continue its funding with a further £2.6 million over five years to May 2023.

Paul Ramchandani, leader of PEDAL and Lego Professor of Play at the Centre, said, ‘We are only just lifting the lid on play’s role in education, development and learning and there is still much to discover. This is why a further five years of funding from Lego Foundation is so welcome – it will continue to nurture this growing field of enquiry.

‘We know there is enormous interest in the value of play, from parents, educators and policy-makers alike. Some information can be inaccurate or unreliable: our aim is to give access to independent, peer-reviewed evidence in an accessible way.’

Bo Stjerne Thomsen, head of research at the LEGO Foundation, added, ‘Parents and caregivers play an absolutely vital role in nurturing children’s play, well-being and learning. We know that play is critically linked to how children grow and develop, to become thriving adults and citizens, and the PEDAL Hub will be a much-needed, credible source, with the latest insights on the importance of play.’

The PEDAL Hub is available at https://www.pedalhub.net

  • Don’t miss the 18 February issue of Nursery World for an interview with LEGO Professor
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