Why I use the term Play Ecosystems
When researching and analyzing the context of various functioning systems, I understood how each part of a system affects the other. In an ecosystem, the seed regenerates and continues to grow as part of a functioning community. I have seen the same metaphor come to life in play ecosystems. A child has an idea and shares it with another child. Soon the idea has regenerated, and children create a fantastic play ecosystem system where ideas grow and support the next steps of complex play interactions. Each member thrives as their ideas and theories are prototyped and tested. A dance of acceptance and challenges emerges, and new inspiration abound. A play ecosystem functions as a place, space, and context that supports each member. Not one idea takes over; understanding the diverse perspectives involved helps the play ecosystem grow and regenerate.
To create an educational system that values and supports every child, we must join together in creating biological communities where everyone has their voice heard. Play ecosystems are spaces where educators are committed to liberating students from oppression and maximizing freedom for all members of society through expanded understandings of human nature as it relates specifically to other individuals’ life experiences or perspectives that may differ from our own.
In a play ecosystem—biological communities of interacting organisms and their physical environments—where every community member is valued and supported. Play ecosystems are places where we hear every voice because we are committed to education that serves liberation and freedom rather than promoting oppression and minimizing people by reducing them to a label or an assumption based on negative perspectives and standardization.
We can’t remain passive when there’s so much at stake. We need active collaboration between families and local stakeholders, including administrators, support staff, and policymakers, who will work tirelessly toward ensuring every child succeeds and thrives as they play in well-provisioned spaces.