Cambridge University To Appoint A Lego Professor Of PlayBy Emily Marks, UniversityHerald Reporter
Cambridge University will be appointing its Lego professor of play, development and learning. The school stopped receiving applications last Friday, Jan. 20.
The Guardian reported that the successful candidate will be able to enjoy the perks of being a professor at the institution, which includes an average salary of £83,981. The Lego professor of play will also lead the school's newest Centre for Research on Play in Education.
Professor Anna Vignoles, interim director of Pedal and a member of Cambridge University's faculty of education, said that play's part in education is "relatively under-researched." She revealed that the aim of their new facility is to be able to conduct research on the importance of play and how it can be used to improve students' performance.
The Lego Foundation, which owns 25 percent of the Lego business, will not be part of the decision on who will be appointed. The foundation has committed to fund the role in perpetuity and has made a £4m endowment to Cambridge University. £2.5m has been set aside for the professorship while the remaining £1.5m will be used for the Pedal center.
The role may be offered to someone in the field of educational psychology. This way, the center can improve its research capabilities in this particular area.
According to BBC, details about the position were first announced two years ago, in 2015. The year before that, the school was in search for a doctor of chocolate to study the substance.
Wired noted that this marks an increase in the focus of how important play is in education. Bill Gates' company recently launched the "Minecraft: Education Edition" which is specifically developed for school use. This allows teachers to have interactive lessons with students.
It was also previously reported that video games may be the future of education. Research suggests that students who are successful in playing video games can translate that to school. Apparently, students who played online games were able to get higher scores on standardized tests compared to students who spent a lot of their time on social media.