After much publicity and no doubt an arduous appointment process, Cambridge University has appointed the LEGO Professor of Play – a new role at the institution.
Professor Paul Ramchandani is the first person to hold the £84,000 a year role, the Independent reports. The LEGO Foundation has sponsored the role and given £4 million to Cambridge to establish the research centre for Play in Education, Development and Learning (Pedal).
The Independent lists some of Ramchandani’s qualifications and experience:
The leading psychiatrist also works for an NHS mental health trust in London, has treated severely mentally ill children and written ground-breaking research in the field.
Commenting on the new role, Prof Ramchandani said: “Everyone has an opinion about what role play should have in early education and there is some wonderful research, but there are also big gaps in our knowledge.
”We need the best evidence possible in order to inform the vital decisions that are made about children’s education and development and I look forward to taking that work forward together with colleagues at Cambridge.“
The new section will work to develop play-based teaching methods, linked to the LEGO Group’s conviction that play is a vital part of learning.