Funds of knowledge
Funds of Knowledge is a very niche field in the academic disciplines of the study of Education, developed primarily by Luis C. Moll, Cathy Amanti, Deborah Neff, and Norma Gonzalez in the 1990s and 2000s. It refers to these historically accumulated and culturally developed bodies of knowledge and skills essential for household or individual functioning and well-being.
History of the Term
The term “funds of knowledge” began with the qualitative study of households. It began in the border region between Mexico and the United States and other aspects of the sociopolitical and economic aspects of the household. It also involves analyzing the social history of the households, their origins and development, and most prominently, for our purposes, the labor history of the families, which reveals the accumulated bodies of knowledge of the households. The term also involves studying how household members use their funds of knowledge in dealing with changing, and often difficult, social and economic circumstances. It also refers to how families develop social networks that interconnect them with their social environments (most importantly with other households), and how these social relationships facilitate the development and exchange of resources, including knowledge, skills, and labor, that enhance the households’ ability to survive or thrive.
Funds of Knowledge is a means to developing cultural capital: social assets that promote social mobility in a stratified society. It is ”a collaborative project between education and anthropology” . It's a Model practice for many domains. It underscores the need for collaboration for scientists and practitioners.
Applications in Education
In order for teachers to gain this kind of knowledge about the households and social networks of their students, teachers must be willing to go into the homes and communities of their students to observe and learn not simply about, but also from and with their students and the families of their students. This involves drawing on the interests and questions of individuals in a class of learners, and the technique is intended to motivate children's interests. Typically, this technique serves to create a bridge between the students' worlds and their families' worlds to motivate them. The totality of experiences a student brings to a classroom is mediated by social relationships. The goal is enhancing and enriching the classroom experience through a variety of learned experiences and shared stories between students.
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- Moll et al. "Funds of knowledge for teaching: Using a qualitative approach to connect homes and classroom". http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/00405849209543534
- Greenberg, 1989.
- Tapia, 1991.
- Velez-lbfaez, 1988.
- Acevedo et al. 'Connecting to Funds of Knowledge through Story: Family Story Backpacks'. http://createarizona.org/professional-resources/professional-presentations/fefffeffconnecting-to-funds-of-knowledge-through-story-family-story-backpacks
- Moll et al., 1992)
- Moll, et al, 1992.
- UNC School of Education http://www.learnnc.org/lp/pages/939
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-  - Funds of Knowledge from the UNC School of Education
-  - TAPEdTheory
-  - IGI Global: What is Funds of Knowledge
-  - Luis C. Moll, PhD on Funds of Knowledge
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