Engaging middle years learners by making their communities curricular: A Funds of Knowledge approach

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Zipin, Lew (2013) Engaging middle years learners by making their communities curricular: A Funds of Knowledge approach. Curriculum Perspectives, 33 (3). 1 - 12. ISSN 0159-7868


AGAINST THE WELL-ANALYSED TENDENCY of school curriculum to reproduce social-structural inequalities, this paper counterposes a Funds of Knowledge approach that, since the early 1990s, has shown ways to build curriculum that furthers academic engagement and success among 'less advantaged' learners. The paper outlines how mainstream curriculum selects for the cultural capital of more powerful social positions, and how this significantly explains disengagement-particularly in the middle years of schooling-among less powerfully positioned learners: both because curriculum fails to resonate with their home/ community cultural lives, and because it transmits a deficit view of their life-based knowledge and capacities. The paper then elaborates an asset view that the life-worlds of less privileged students indeed endow them with valuable cultural resources- fimds of knowledge-for learning. The logic and practices for designing curriculum and pedagogy that make use of funds of knowledge as learning assets-thus engaging students' intelligence and enabling academic success-are elaborated. Across the paper, argument builds around an illustrative case study from an Australian action research project in which students working with an Art teacher in a high-poverty region drew on their funds of knowledge to create clay-animation stories about their life-worlds.

Item type Article
URI https://vuir.vu.edu.au/id/eprint/26659
Subjects Historical > FOR Classification > 1302 Curriculum and Pedagogy
Historical > Faculty/School/Research Centre/Department > College of Education
Keywords school curriculum; academic engagement; middle years; schooling; pedagogy; academic success; students
Citations in Scopus 25 - View on Scopus
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