Jan 18, 2017 09:37 AM EST
Being a Lego professor of play at Cambridge University is considered to be the most coveted job in the education industry today. The good news is they are still hiring until January 20. But what does this job really do?
The Lego Foundation is collaborating with Cambridge University's newly established Centre for Research on Play in Education, Development, and Learning or PEDAL to explore further the role of play in education.
According to Professor Anna Vignoles, interim chief of PEDAL and a member of Cambridge's education faculty, there are many claims regarding the importance and benefits of play in learning but there was not enough research to back that claim. Therefore, they are conducting in-depth research to find out if play has a significant effect in how students learn and how students enhance their skills through play.
What the center is looking for is someone who specializes in the field of education psychology but at the same time, someone with a "childlike mindset." That means the chosen professor should be curious, creative, open-minded, and imaginative enough to explore new methods of research.
Vignoles said that they are confident they will attract someone - an outstanding scholar - since there are already a lot of interesting research in the area of developmental psychology and this is one of them.
Aside from spearheading the research, the professor is also expected to speak to the "needs that exist in education" including the methods teachers use, the attitude to play, and the expectations of parents. According to Lego's global head of research Stjerne Thomsen, they hope that the research will be able to fill the missing gaps and address existing questions regarding the value of play in education.
The Lego Foundation is fully committed to funding the endeavor but it will be Cambridge's PEDAL that will have the final say which candidate will be chosen. The toy company is putting £4 million with £2.5 million going into the position while £1.5 million will be given to the PEDAL center.
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