Winter 2022      Volume 51, Number 1

Family Engagement in Literacy: Understanding Students’ Funds of Identity by Connecting with Families
By Laurie Elish-Piper

Document: Column  

Introductory Paragraph:  Many teachers are familiar with the funds of knowledge concept (Moll et al., 1992) which can be described as the “historically accumulated and culturally developed bodies of knowledge and skills essential for household or individual functioning and well-being” (p. 133). For example, some families may have a deep knowledge of agriculture and of how to live sustainably, while others may have rich knowledges related to storytelling, homeopathy, music, spirituality, or sports. By identifying and using these funds of knowledge as bridges to the curriculum, teachers can enhance student engagement and learning by building on the knowledges that are important and valued in their students’ families and communities (González et al., 2005; Moll, 2015). Extending the concept of funds of knowledge, Esteban-Guitart and Moll (2014) proposed the concept of funds of identity which they described as “when people actively internalize family and community resources to make meaning and to describe themselves” (p. 33). In other words, funds of identity acknowledge how family and community resources contribute to and define how individuals see and understand themselves.


Page Numbers:   33-38

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