St. Lucian scholar publishes first PhD research paper

By Cambridge Trust

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Gill Francis

Cambridge Trust scholar Gill Francis from St. Lucia, who is undertaking a PhD in education at the Centre for Research on Play in Education, Development & Learning, has had her first research paper published.

Gill first came to Cambridge in 2014 to study for a master’s degree in psychology and education studies at Murray Edwards College Cambridge, having been awarded a Cambridge Commonwealth Shared Scholarship by the Trust and the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission in the UK.

Following graduation, Gill wished to continue her education and undertake research to investigate the relationship between play and counterfactual reasoning as a means of understanding young children’s causal cognition. She was successful in gaining a place at the University of Cambridge, and in being awarded a LEGO Cambridge Scholarship to support her PhD studies.

Gill’s published paper compares autistic and typically developing children’s play with passive and digital construction toys. Investigating whether ‘Tangible User Interfaces’ (TUIs) promote social behaviour during free play, Gill’s research found that TUIs do not inhibit social engagement and can lead to more social play – especially in children with autistic spectrum conditions.

You can download the paper using the following link:

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  1. Keep up the excellent work, Gill. Super proud of you.

  2. Thats my girl. So proud of you.


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