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Professor Fraser Brown


About Professor Fraser Brown

Fraser Brown is the first Professor of Playwork in the World. His key interests include Playwork and the therapeutic value of play in children's wellbeing. He has built a substantial research and practical knowledge of play and playwork and the value of these factors in children's development.

For ten years he was Director of the playwork training agency Children First, and previously held advisory posts with Playboard and the National Playing Fields Association. He spent three years as a playworker on an adventure playground in Runcorn, and managed a range of projects for the North West Play Association. For two years he was District Leisure Officer in Middlesbrough.

He has spoken throughout the UK and around the world about his research into the effects of therapeutic playwork on a group of abandoned children in Romania. He is the Chair and Co-Founder of the Aid for Romanian Children charitable trust, and a member of the International Advisory Board of the Romanian Association of Play Therapy and Drama Therapy.

Current Teaching

Professor Brown is Link Tutor for all the postgraduate play therapy courses run in collaboration with the Academy of Play and Child Psychotherapy. He is Academic Advisor to the BA (Hons) Playwork degree, and leads the Therapeutic Playwork module. He also supervises a number of PhD students, and invites applications from postgraduate students interested in researching the role of play in children's lives, and especially the fields of playwork and play therapy.

Research Interests

Play is absolutely essential to positive development and has implications right into adulthood. Although Professor Brown's focus has been predominantly on the playwork profession, his work will also be of interest to all those working in early years, childhood, children's health and wellbeing and children's social care.

Professor Brown's research is wide-ranging. Recent examples include:

  1. The role of stories and humour in children's lives
  2. The Benefits of Therapeutic Playwork - focused on the work of a Therapeutic Playwork Project, working with abandoned children in a paediatric hospital in Romania
  3. The Impact of Chronic Deprivation on Children's Play Behaviour - focusing on a group of Roma children from a village in Transylvania
  4. The Role of Play in the Montessori System of Education - how does play relate to teaching and learning in a Montessori nursery? - particularly the role of observation
  5. Reasons for the longevity of a specific adventure playground - a case study of The Venture in Wrexham
  6. The 'Snug' Schools Research Project - an evaluation of the impact of introducing a new range of equipment into the playgrounds of two primary schools, and a further study of the impact at the Eureka Children's Museum

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