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Children playing on ropes

World-class research

PEDAL is directed by a new professorship within the University of Cambridge devoted to the study of play. The LEGO Professor of Play will define and lead PEDAL's research programme, supported by senior academics in the field of developmental psychology with a track record in play research.

As well as producing new findings about play, PEDAL's research projects break new ground in terms of play research methodology. For example, we conduct field research in classrooms with teachers as ‘co-researchers’ and use GPS technology to look at how children’s social networks evolve in real time during play.

Our research is independent, peer-reviewed and rigorous.

Building capacity in play research

PEDAL offers PhD scholarships to students from around the world; employs postdoctoral research associates and postgraduate research assistants as they further their academic careers; and the PEDAL team teaches undergraduate and postgraduate students located within the Faculty of Education.

PEDAL also hosts and attends international seminars and conferences to share current thinking and contribute to scientific debates about play.

Influencing policy and practice

PEDAL's research will shape opinion, policy and practice. We communicate our findings to a variety of non-academic stakeholders, helping them to make informed choices about the role of play at home, in school and in wider society. 

Stakeholders include play advocacy charities; non-governmental organisations concerned with education and children's welfare; local and national government; think tanks; policy makers and government agencies; teachers unions, parents and carers; health professionals who work with children; funding bodies; opinion formers and the media.

If you would like to join the PEDAL mailing list and receive information about research, events and publications, please email us [] - and don't forget to follow PEDAL on Twitter.

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