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Pablo Torres


Research Assistant
Temporary Lecturer

E-mail Address


+ 44 (0)1223767632


  • PhD(c), Psychology and Education, Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge
  • BSc, School of Psychology, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile

Membership of Professional Bodies/Associations

  • European Association of Research on Learning and Instruction
  • British Association of International and Comparative Education
  • The British Psychological Society

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Pablo Torres is an educational and developmental psychologist specializing in primary school years. His research has focused on the relationship between social interactions, including play and pedagogical interactions, and children’s mindsets for learning, social and cognitive development. Before becoming a researcher at the PEDAL Centre, he worked studying the assessment of teacher quality, and was dedicated to his PhD studies. As part of his PhD, Pablo researched the relationship between culture, teacher-student interaction, and children's learning mindsets as well as self-regulation development. In addition to his PhD studies on these topics, he has been involved in the research of play since 2014, first as a researcher at the PLaNS project, and now as part of the research strand of the PEDAL Centre looking at ‘What is play?’ Currently he is working on the development and testing of a new comprehensive observational measure of play, which he will be examining in terms of its predictive validity of children’s linguistic and social development in their first year of schooling. Pablo also teaches and supervises University students. He has been a Temporary Lecturer at Cambridge for some years, designing and teaching the ‘Culture, motivation and learning’ module within the Psychology and Education paper for final year undergraduates. He is a research supervisor of final year undergraduate projects and has taught research methods in educational and social psychology to postgraduates at the Faculty of Education.

Academic Area/Links

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Research Topics

  • Play and children’s socioemotional and cognitive development
  • Collaboration, learning and development
  • Teacher-student interactions and their role over self-regulation and motivation mindsets for learning
  • Links between the culture of schooling and human cognition

Current Research Project(s)

  • Children’s relationships with peers through play (CHIRPP): A longitudinal study of the antecedents and consequences of play in first years of schooling. The project specifically looks at links between social pretend play and social competence in young children. It applies observational methods to examine play interactions and report measures of playfulness and social competence, as well as direct measures of children emotion understanding, theory-of-mind understanding and language development. This is a three-year project sponsored by the LEGO Foundation.
  • Play, Learning and Narrative Skills (PLaNS): 'The role of constructional and socio-dramatic play in the development of metacognition and narrative skills in primary-aged children'. The project will be examining the potential contribution of playful approaches to supporting 5-10 year old children's fictional and non-fictional narrative skills, and the mediating role of metacognitive abilities in this domain. This is a two-year project sponsored by the LEGO Foundation.
  • Culture of schooling, teacher-student communication, and children self-regulation: A PhD study looking at the relationship between culture and self-regulation, as mediated through teacher-student interaction in Chile and England. This project analyzed how what makes and gives origin to children’s self-regulation can differ according to both macro (national) and micro (classroom) cultures of education. It provides very practical outputs for teachers regarding how to communicate at a cognitive and motivational levels with their students to develop self-regulation. This is a four-year project sponsored by a CONICYT scholarship and research funding from the University of Cambridge.

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  • Postgraduate
    • Postgraduate level, Research methods in Social Psychology and Analysis of Talk in classrooms.
  • Undergraduate
    • Undergraduate level, Psychology of Education paper (Motivation culture and learning module).
    • Research and Investigation (final year undergraduate thesis), Supervisor.

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Principal and Recent Publications

García, M., Torres, P., Leyton, C. (2013). Cognitive representations involved in the assessment of teachers’ portfolios. Pensamiento Educativo, 50 (1), 21-39.

Castillo, J, Miranda, D., & Torres, P. (2011). Authoritarianism, Social Dominance and Trust in Public Institutions. Technical Report MIDE UC, IT 1107.

Sun, Y., Calderón, P., Valerio, N., & Torres, P. (2011). La Implementación de la Evaluación Docente (Implementation of Teacher Evaluation). In J. Manzi, R, González, & Y. Sun (Eds.) La Evaluación Docente en Chile, p. 63-90. Santiago: Facultad de Ciencias Sociales, UC.

In preparation

Torres, P., Whitebread, D, & McLellan, R. Teacher ‘regulatory talk’ in the classroom and students’ development of self-regulation.

Basilio, M., Torres, P., Kim, M., & Whitebread, D. Characteristics of playful collaborative groups that support metacognitive abilities, creativity and narrative skills.

Ranken, E. & Torres, P. The role of social regulation of emotions in collaborative play across 5 to 10 year olds.

Spurgeon, B. & Torres, P. Discovering the power of students’ sense of transformative agency in agentic engagement and school achievement.

Chan, Y. & Torres, P. Classroom epistemic climate and student autonomy for learning across cultures.