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Funds of knowledge


An old adage goes, “The culture of the student can only enter the classroom once it has entered the mind of the teacher.”

Students do not enter our rooms as empty vessels willing and eager to be filled, they are each ornate vessels, with beautiful carvings, deep meanings, filled with knowledge and skills from their families and cultures.

Funds of knowledge are the bodies of knowledge that underlie the activities in households. The Funds of Knowledge project began in a bid to “develop innovations in teaching that draw upon the knowledge and skills found in local households” (Moll et al, 1992). This is a term that closely aligns with what the New Zealand Curriculum seeks to achieve through the community engagement principle.

  •  How can we make visible, draw upon, and celebrate the rich funds of knowledge that our students bring with them to the classroom?
  •  What impact will this have on our classroom practice and assessment tasks?

Hobbits, and their funds of knowledge

Hobbits are quite popular in NZ at the moment. One teacher has put together this video to explore the idea of funds of knowledge. 

Explanation of funds of knowledge

Luis Moll, professor and associate dean at the College of Education at the University of Arizona explains the term Funds of knowledge.

Funds of knowledge for teaching: Using a quality approach to connect homes and classrooms (PDF 598kb)

This article provides the research behind Funds of knowledge.

Funds of knowledge as a shared school experience

The staff at Owairaka School have explored ways to build deep connections and partnerships with the many cultural groups and families at their school. Principal Diana Tregoweth and her staff went on a professional development trip to Samoa to help them to understand the culture of their Samoan students. This story tells how the community subsequently worked together to bring an element of Samoan culture to the school in the construction of a traditional fale.

community engagement
cultural diversity