There is no uniform definition of play. In a western context, play often associated with children's activities and is considered important to their development. The research conducted the 1900s into children's play often had an adult and utilitarian perspective.

The function of play was the focus, rather than its content. In more recent research, play research has more clearly adapted a child's perspective and is studied in context, whereby the content has become more important. Play can be studied from many different angles: as a means of cognitive and social development for children, as an arena for peer socialisation, and for children's formation of opinions and creation of culture, or use of language.

By studying children's play, we not only gain knowledge of children's development, language and learning, we can also lear more about how children construe gender, age or ethnicity via social interaction. Studying how play is depicted in policy documents, children's programmes in the media or in literature can provide us with knowledge of how the view of children and childhood have changed over time.

Today research into children's play does not have a major position in research contexts. On the other hand, play is studied in relation to other fields of research such as ethnicity, languages, maths and ICT.

At LIU play is studied as an important part of interaction and conversation research. Play is also studied in relation to children's learning of maths in preschool, children's language development, and the use of language with respect to one and/or more languages, and children's reading and writing ability.


Pedagogiskt arbete

Section for Pedagogic Practises

The section for Pedagogic Practices is a research environment that deals in research in association with Linköping University’s teacher training, especially the training held in Norrköping.


Technology and Science Education Research - TESER

Technology and Science Education Research – TESER – is a research unit in science and technology education research that was initiated in 2011.


Social Interaction as Educational Practice

The research in this knowledge field analyzes interplay between actors (children, pedagogues, physical artefacts) with different special and social contexts (classroom, sandbox) in different communicative activities (free play, driving lessons).