1973-1977: Under consecutive grants (New Haven Foundation), and in a graduate-level
teacher education class, began recording and documenting observations and anecdotal
reports by teachers suggesting that the use of puppet media causes a significant and
dramatic shift in perception, attention, motivation, emotion, participation, performance,
involvement, and receptivity in children with similar changes accordingly for adults.
Article in Instructor magazine generates 10,000 responses and inquiries worldwide, the
largest response in the magazine’s history.
Patents obtained for 'publishing utilities' create a technical basis and system
for the evolving body of work, recasting puppet art into a media form capable of
integration into common culture carriers like books and digital media.
1988-1990: Preliminary readings in brain science with focus on play behavior.
Association with the late Paul D. MacLean, Senior Research Scientist Emeritus, in the
Department of Neurophysiology, at the National Institutes of Mental Health, in Bethesda,
MD, and author of The Triune Brain in Evolution.
Extensive fieldwork with New York area teachers, including extensive
videography of teacher and student involvement with puppets in workshops and
classrooms. Meeting with Frank A. Wilson, author of The Hand: How its Use Shapes the
Brain, Language, and Human Culture.
1995-1999: Continuing research, readings, and white papers on the subject of
communicative play; a unified learning theory is advanced, connecting hand puppet
archetype and behavior to brain function. Development of Puppetools I: distance learning
web site; Puppetools is first online education course offered at New School for Social
Research, New York City. One of 15 Arts-in-Education programs nationwide invited to
participate in Kennedy Center symposium.
Development of Puppetools, Phase II: web site as both training and research
center and showcase. Association with Stuart L. Brown, M.D. at The National Institute of
Play and collaboration with Thomas W. Bass, M.D. to study play using topographic
imaging of the brain. Explorations also conducted at the Britton Chance Laboratory,
University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. Further research in Evolutionary
Perspectives in learning.
In Consilience: The Unity of Knowledge, biologist O. E. Wilson calls for the
incorporation of the arts and humanities into the natural sciences. Wilson's view of art as
a genetically based element of human evolution that provides 'agency' in the firing and
transmission of neuronal activity not only frames and supports the evolving theory of
puppet play or play-based communication, but also provides a basis for the truth-is-stranger-than-fiction proposition that puppet play, in terms of the response it elicits and
its effect on human communication, is a real, living symbolic outgrowth of mind.
2003: Seattle, WA, Exhibit of Poster at the Pediatric Academic Societies annual meeting,
Novel Motor/Somatosensory Activity Is Associated With Increased Cerebral Cortical
Blood Volume Measured by Near-Infrared Optical Topography Jeffery L. Peyton, BS;
W. Thomas Bass, MD; Bonnie L. Burke, MS; L. Matthew Frank, MD. Journal of Child
2004: "Emotions, Learning, and Education" brain science symposium: At the invitation
of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (Paris), two original
papers are presented in Copenhagen, Denmark: Theory of Puppet Play and Play
2005: Publication as “Special Article” of Novel Motor/Somatosensory Activity Is
Associated With Increased Cerebral Cortical Blood Volume Measured by Near-Infrared
Optical Topography in The Journal of Child Neurology. Field Theory of Communication
and Learning is written.
2007: Launch of Phase III web site. Puppetools is featured in the March issue of
2008: In collaboration with YES Across America, a grass-roots plan to enlist the young
and families to promote and market Puppetools is launched. The Play Tectonics
Movement is conceived as a creative, front-end driver of learning culture transformation.
The Puppetools web site is patented as a Puppetry Based Communication System,
Method, and Internet Utility; the patent office accepts the premise that play is a critical
learning resource that requires a unique application for directing play energy into
communication between adults and children.
2014: After 7 years of development, Play Tectonics is embedded into Constellation
Marketing, a social entrepreneurial process for advancing and engineering Play and other
solutions forward in communities across the country.
Copyright © Play Tectonics/ Puppetools 1996-2017