Funds of knowledge
Smartblog on education
FoKs - Vygotsky’s vision
What does the term “funds of knowledge” mean?
Funds of knowledge is defined by researchers Luis Moll, Cathy Amanti, Deborah Neff, and
Norma Gonzalez (2001) “to refer to the historically accumulated and culturally developed
bodies of knowledge and skills essential for household or individual functioning and well-being” (p. 133).
When teachers shed their role of teacher and expert and, instead, take
on a new role as learner, they can come to know their students and the families of
their students in new and distinct ways. With this new knowledge, they can begin
to see that the households of their students contain rich cultural and cognitive
resources and that these resources can and should be used in their
classroom in order to provide culturally responsive and meaningful lessons that tap students’
prior knowledge. Information that teachers learn about their students in this process is considered
the student’s funds of knowledge.
“Funds of knowledge are constituted through events
or activities. That is, funds of knowledge are not
possessions or traits of people in the family but
characteristics of people in an activity. Knowledge
is therefore obtained by the children, not imposed
by the adults… The notion of culture is a dynamic
entity, not simply a collection of foods, clothes and
holidays, but a way of using social, physical, spiritual
and economic resources to make one’s way in the world” (Genzuk 2).
Reflecting on change
Teacher Research on funds of Knowledge: Learning from households (pdf)
Research shows that when teachers are engaged in the student’s interests,
that student’s motivation, effort, memory, and attention are improved. (pdf)
Computer related technology in education
Connecting to funds of knowledge through story
Robert L. Fielding
Robert L. Fielding