Addressing the Whole Child
In the “Giftedness among Keresan Pueblos” study, feedback from elders on the various Keresan pueblos identified four domains of being a “successful pueblo person,” (Romero, 1994): 1) giving from the heart; 2) possessing linguistic abilities; 3) abundant cultural knowledge; 4) the notable ability to create with the hands. “Success” in the Pueblo world is the ability to learn, share, and utilize information for the benefit of the entire community. This philosophy is fundamental to our approach. KCLC also recognizes the importance of a strong academic program. Thus the Montessori Method has been chosen as the framework for educating the “whole child.” Educating the “whole child” means that we support all areas important to the successful growth of Pueblo children, including linguistic, spiritual, intellectual, social, emotional, and physical development.
Pueblo people have always recognized that each individual who enters this world has a gift to share, which is manifested through one’s contribution to the community. To assist each child in developing his or her potential gift and contribution, the classroom will consist of a prepared environment that will provide learning opportunities in the following areas: language, math, history, geography, zoology, sensorial, practical life, music, art, agriculture, grace and courtesy, peace education, and movement.
Maria Montessori (1870-1952) was a doctor and educator. She studied young children, scientifically observing their needs and tendencies at different stages of their development. She crafted an approach toward education based on meeting children’s developmental needs and satisfying their developmental tendencies that they might fully realize their unique potentials. For more information about Montessori education, please visit the following links:
Children Ages 3 to 6 (Casa dei Bambini)
Natural Language Use Leading to Bilingualism and Biculturalism
KCLC will use the Keres language naturally, supporting children who are already bilingual in Keres and/or supporting families in helping their children learn Keres. KCLC adheres to the belief preached by elders and tribal leadership that the primary responsibility of language learning belongs first to the family and the community. KCLC’s purpose is to provide a setting that will support already fluent children in continuing to speak Keres and to make Keres accessible to children and families who want to learn. KCLC will use immersion techniques, under the guise of natural usage.
Children will participate in culturally relevant, age-appropriate activities everyday that will build their Keres vocabulary, Cochiti identity, self-discipline, and sense of community, assisting them in developing a Pueblo worldview.
Montessori Method and the Whole Pueblo Child
Keres Children’s Learning Center’s central goals are 1) to ensure that children learn the indigenous language early in childhood, a time of life when it is relatively easy to acquire language; 2) to build a strong foundation for life-long learning by developing essential cognitive, social, and learning skills that will enable our children to function successfully both in community and mainstream learning environments; and 3) to encourage families to play a continuing role in the education of their children. Learn more
Please click on the following link to see a Comparison of the Montessori Method to the U.S. Approach and Pueblo Approach
Publications Related to Our Methods
Dr. Lily Wong Fillmore
- When Learning a Second Language Means Losing the First
- An Ecological Perspective on Intergenerational Language Transmission
Dr. Rebecca Blum-Martinez
- Reclaiming Languages and Communities
- The Key to Cultural Survival: Language Planning and Revitalization in Pueblo de Cochiti
Dr. Joseph Henry Suina
Dr. Eunice Romero Little
- How Should Young Indigenous Children Be Prepared for Learning? A Vision of Early Childhood Education for Indigenous Children?
- The Giftedness in Keres Study
Dr. Kateri Carver-Akers
Dr. Michael Krauss
Dr. Jim Cummins