Play in Learning
We are educators, scientists, engineers, and artists who are working to grow a grassroots movement in order to bring the teaching and learning of Play back to the hands of people. At Play Tectonics, we imagine a new face on education, one mirrored in the image of young people. The only way to achieve this is for adults in our communities to create a space for the children to lead way! It is time that learning cultures become playful.
Our media is simple... Paper Puppetry! This historical artform creates playful communication, and a strong sense of self, while transforming the learning culture.
As in the geological science of ‘plate tectonics’, Play Tectonics is a way to MOVE the continental world of learning culture FORWARD on the power of PLAY.
In the spirit of PLAY, we respect that playful experience is a daily ritual for every human. In effective education, it is critical to partake in daily conversations of playful expressions with others. Through collaborative conversations, we learn to empathize and be human.
Many people have supported Play Tectonics in the past, helping us to grow in our field research and cultivate a vision. On October 7th, 2017, we sponsored RVA MakerFest, with a vision to create a playground of paper puppet making. Not only did we achieve this, but we had an incredible volunteer turn out and created share moments of pure joy with wonderfully unique art.
By taking the next step in growing a grassroots movement at our home base in Richmond, Virginia, we hope to create a form of social entrepreneurship for the community people of Richmond City and beyond!
We are trying to recruit Play Ambassadors who would like to support Play Tectonics with at least a $25 sign on donation, and who will then be eager to learn how to teach, create and communicate through our paper hinge puppets. Could that be YOU? Please contact us!!!
1.) Help bring more Play into Education through Paper Puppetry.
Help us to spread the media of paper puppets into all learning cultures, by donating funds that support material and labor costs for teaching the strategies and methods of Puppetools!® through the city of Richmond, surrounding counties, and beyond!
Your donation supports the freedom of playfully creative hands within the lives of our community members, parents, educators, and young people!
2.) Become a Supporting Member of the Play Tectonics Movement.
Receive an invitation to attend our kick-off town hall meeting for our finale fundraising campaign party on Spring of 2018, hosted by Build, RVA Community Maker Space! We will live webcast the conference to those those remoting in.
3.) Communicate with Our Staff.
Start exploring possible collaborations of YOUR interests within the power of playful experiences and Puppetools®, our paper puppet teaching and learning artform. What we would love to learn from YOU, is:
How could your talents and interests help create a PLAY REVOLUTION with Play Tectonics?
4.) Receive a FREE Sample:
Learn how to make and use our puppet media, and see how it can transform learning cultures by using our toolkit, Puppetools!®. Receive a set of downloadable patterns to build on your puppet experience and use to inspire the magic of puppetry throughout your daily experiences.
Children are built to play. However, many classrooms are STUCK. Other than the occasional recess or gym class, young learners are often denied the opportunity to learn the way their brains do it best… through PLAY! To brain scientists, Play is a serious activity worthy of study. It creates a special frame of mind when the brain becomes completely engaged and open to discovery.
Recent psychology studies have shown rises in depression, anxiety, and other stress related issues of young people who are not afforded enough time to allow their brains to exercise necessary brain processes of Play. Students in mainstream education today are actually learning less because they have no playtime to process information! They are gravely lacking time for relaxation, emotional self expression, and safety within social interactions. Play creates states of mind that build self confidence, as well as empathy for others. When a puppet is introduced in the simple art of puppetry, the student must open the imagination to transform into character, and Play.
Play Tectonic’s solution is to give educators and other interested adults a simple tool. We call it Puppetools™, it is one resource that offer lessons on how to teach through play-based communication, to instantly transform classrooms.
Puppetools® provides various curriculum ideas of how to integrate paper puppetry into the dialog of all subjects.Through our action research, we have demonstrated how simple puppetry produces powerful learning experiences in classrooms at all levels. When adults become fearless practitioners in the world of Play, they invite students into a thoughtful, more relaxed, and open-minded environment where all ages feel safe to experiment with their ideas.
As our buddy Leap would say,
“hop on board and join our team!”
History of Play Tectonics
When we began showing teachers how to make and use puppets more than forty years ago, we had no idea what the teachers (and puppets!) would teach us about Play.
We could only imagine where Play would lead us, or what puppets--as paper media— could do to transform the learning culture. This was particularly important for teachers— and how it enhances their individuality and personality, lowering their fears and resistances to animating their creative self— thus, bringing that out in students!
Our path into play follows in the tradition of field biologists who have researched the communicative behavior of apes, ants, and bees. Except in our case, the focus on communication is sparked by children's response to art-based life forms that are unique to human communication—namely puppets. To help drive the lifelong work of Play Tectonics in play-based learning, we created a paper Play Language that has reached into the hearts and hands of kids and teachers in over 30 countries around the globe!
Meet Jeff Peyton, Founder and
Scientist behind Play Tectonics
The body of Jeff Peyton’s work as an independent scientist is groundbreaking and recognized in the annals of neuroscience. He believes that the United States is at a crossroads in Education: either we find creative ways to heal and repair the schools and our social fabric, or we increasingly become victim to political and technological interests that only want to own the learning culture— as well as our society at large. The work of reinventing our learning culture begins with our young people.
Jeff believes that Play as a learning science points to a needed space for children in our learning culture that is invaluable and free from adult control. If there is an arc, as Martin Luther King, Jr. wrote, that bends toward justice, then there must first be generations of kids who have been free enough to find the creative power inherent in their own humanity.
We challenge you to use the puppets at home and at school as an opportunity to better understand WHO WE ARE and what we’re doing to bring Play into mainstream society! This is the legacy of Play, this is Play Tectonics.
Thank you for your time and interest.
All my best,