Funds of Knowledge

and Non-Traditional Family Involvement

Funds of Knowledge

Students are not empty vessels that teachers need to fill with knowledge; rather, they are vessels filled with experiences, knowledge, and culture that they bring from their home culture. The teacher’s role is to enhance these full vessels with school-based skills and experiences. Looking outside the classroom and recognizing the contributions daily home activities contribute to the whole child is the focus of the qualitative study by Moll, Amanti, Neff, and Gonzalez (1992); they call these home contributions funds of knowledge. Funds of knowledge include life experiences, daily activities, trips, culture and family, which all contribute to the whole child.
Funds of Knowledge

What Can We Do?

  • We need to move beyond the deficit view these children are often surrounded by and see them for the knowledge children they are.
  • Ou role is to enhance these full vessels with school-based skills and experiences.
  • Students' and families' funds of knowledge can be integrated into the curriculum to help develop better understanding of classroom material.
  • Focus on their strengths and not weaknesses.
  • Come from a place of understanding.
  • Set high expectations and provide them with rigorous curriculum.
  • Use the community to help teach our children.
  • Get to know families and their funds of knowledge.
  • Provide a safe and supportive environment.
  • Culturally Responsive

Nontraditional Family Involvement

Attending PTA meetings, assisting in school activities, going on field trips, and appearing at conferences are all considered traditional forms of parental involvement; on the other hand nontraditional parental involvement includes the following: providing home-based moral support, teaching the value of respeto, honoring the teacher’s expertise, and monitoring their children’s behavior.

How to Increase School-Based Involvement

  • Call parents and have an open line of communication
  • Send personal invitations to parents to invite them to school functions
  • Involve parents in school committees which make decisions on school policies
  • Invite parents into classrooms
  • Bring in the home culture into the classroom