Intergenerational Approach

Intergenerational Approach

An intergenerational approach is a best practice in language revitalization—language transmission must be across generations.  Intergenerational transmission of the Keres language is part of our everyday work—elders-teachers-parents-children. But at KCLC, an intergenerational approach to learning is much more.

An intergenerational approach is a natural reflection of the ways our grandparents and their ancestors learned. Our elders always remind us of our traditional teaching that “we are always learning, no matter how old.” Having the presence of all generations in the school, including our elders, recognizes and validates the way we have historically taught and supported, our children, parents and their families. Persons from the older generations also have a wealth of knowledge to share. They are the fluent speakers and therefore have access to our Indigenous knowledge systems embedded in our language. Our elders also validate our current practices and help us to integrate all the approaches that we use.

An intergenerational approach helps us make the most of each generation’s strengths. The elder generation’s strengths are fluency in our language and knowledge of our traditions.  Elders support parents’ and children’s and teachers’ language learning.  Reciprocally, younger adults help elders with workplace technology, assisting with time sheets and lesson planning and recording observations.  Younger generations bring their energy, their commitment, their children, and their knowledge of how to get things done in our modern high-tech world.

Each generation has been affected by colonization/settler colonialism. Having the opportunity to dialogue with each other—especially parents and elders—helps our community understand one another and heal from historical trauma and everyday challenges. Having all the generations active in the daily lives of our children is an essential element to redefining and reclaiming the education of our children.