Generally, the term system is used to describe a set of processes and structures that work together over time to produce a product or set of outcomes. These outcomes could be a physical product, a type of human behavior, or even a biological process. Systems are pervasive, both occurring in nature and created by humans. On the surface, the concept of a system is well understood; individuals have vast experience interacting with systems—ecosystems, transportation systems, political systems, and economic systems, to name a few. Less understood, however, is the fact that systems are often conceptually and practically complex, and that this complexity affects how the parts of a system function as a whole.

In the field of early childhood education (ECE), there is a complex history ...

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