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Early Years Learners & Funds of Knowledge

Funds - a source of supply; a stock (http://www.thefreedictionary.com/funds)

The term "Funds of Knowledge" as stated by Greenberg et al. 'refer(s) to...historically accumulated and culturally developed bodies of knowledge and skills essential for household or individual functioning and well-being' (cited in Moll et al. 1992, p.133).

In other words a child’s funds of knowledge refer to taking what a child already knows and building on this knowledge. It explores things that children learn from their cultural (home) and society backgrounds.

Children begin accumulating funds of knowledge in the very early stages of life, and they do this by absorbing information from everything around them.
Hill (2006) says that this knowledge gained is not just a ‘bank of ideas’ but comes from the child’s life experiences - things that they enjoy doing and things that make a impact on who they are and what they like - and it can make curriculum meaningful for children by relating it to the individual (eg. family, sports, culture, etc.

The use of children’s funds of knowledge in education helps the teacher to construct their teaching methods to expand this knowledge whilst keeping them interested and willing to participate.

In order to find out about each individual child's personal funds of knowledge, a series of reading and writing questions were asked, such as:
  • what do you like to read/write about?
  • why do you think people read/write?
  • how do you chose what you are going to read or write about?
  • what technologies do you use?

That information then assisted us in exploring how that child will learn best.




Sex
Year
Level

Favourite
Book

Likes
What technology do they use?
Suitable learning approaches
based on Child's funds of knowledge

CHILD A
Male
2
Captain Underpants Series
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  • Sport - football and soccer
  • Playing his DS
  • Ipod touch
  • DS
  • X-Box
  • TV
  • Computer
Child A requires critical thinking work that will keep him focused and on task. He enjoys playing critical thinking games on his DS, which assists in his comprehension and learning abilities.
CHILD B
Male
1
Are you my mother?
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  • Cooking
  • St Kilda Football Club
  • Making things
  • Playstation 2
  • X-Box 360
  • DS
  • Computer
  • TV
Child B would benefit from a more hands on approach. Visual aids would help him to understand new concepts, so that he can out things together and physically figure out how things work.
CHILD C
Male
1
The very hungry caterpillar
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  • Drawing cars
  • Playing outside with friends
  • Playing X-Box
  • X-Box 360
  • Mobile phone
  • Computer
  • Ipod
  • TV
Child C would benefit from visual aids to assist in learning. Having him use illustrations to support his writing could lead to a more comprehensive learning tool for him.
CHILD D
Male
1
Narnia Chronicles
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  • Books
  • Power miner lego
  • The furture
  • How things work
  • Playstation
  • Computer
  • iPhone
  • Wii
  • TV
Child D appears to be more lateral in his learning and would benefit from research based work, where they are required to find the information. He would enjoy work catered to involve critical thinking.
CHILDE
Female
1
Princess stories and Spot books
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  • Trampoline
  • Riding her bike
  • Playing with her barbie dolls
  • Singing
  • Computer
  • TV
  • Phone
  • DS
  • Wii
  • Playstation
Due to Child E's Dyspraxia she will benefit from studying subjects that interest her. Interesting subjects will keep learning fun while she works hard to comprehend the work. Singing songs would also assist with her phonetic awareness, which can also aid in her comprehension.


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