14 SES 05.5 PS, General Poster Session
General Poster Session
Nowadays, long after University of Arizona academics introduced the anthropological concept of funds of knowledge into the education field to work against the deficit theorization related to Latino families and students, this approach is still in constant development, as the latest bibliographic reviews made in this regard show (Civil, 2016; Hogg, 2011; Llopart & Esteban-Guitart, 2017; Rodríguez, 2013; Subero, Vila, & Esteban-Guitart, 2015; Turner & Drake, 2016; Verdin, Godwin, & Capobianco, 2016).
In its original conception, were Luis Moll and Norma González (1994) the first ones who introduced this term to study Latino children working class literacy practices. Taking as a reference the studies of Velez-Ibáñez (1983) – who had previously studied the relationships of reciprocity between Mexican-American families who were living in the south of Tucson- they expanded the definition of funds of knowledge, describing them as:
We use the term funds of knowledge to refer to these historically accumulated and culturally developed bodies of knowledge and skills essential for household or individual functioning and well-being (Moll & González, 1994, p. 443).
This definition not only present a new refutation of the prevalent deficit model of theorization, but also ask for the involvement of teachers in the design and application of research in order to connect theory with practice (Moll & Greenberg, 1992). It is crucial that teachers can recognize themselves as cultural beings just like the rest of the individuals (Delpit, 1995). This is the previous requirement to achieve the self-awareness of perspectives, values and unconscious cultural practices (King, 2004).
Our intention is to move this successful paradigm to the Galician classrooms, especially those with more Roma students presence; a group that historically have been through a lot of difficulties to reach academic achievement comparing them with the rest of the Spanish students as a consequence of their marginalization and social invisibilization. The overall rate of school dropout in Spain is 19.4%, while the European average remains below 14.9%. In the Roma community case, this rate ascends to a 63,4% (Fundación Secretariado Gitano, 2013).
We draw from the premise of main threads capable of relate at some point the families guidelines of the Mexican-American students who where participant in the University of Arizona studies and our target population. Both groups are part of important cultural minorities, that describes in a similar way their past, starring by the persecution, the social exclusion and the resilience. Besides that, it is possible to highlight that, in both cases; the family role turns as a key point in all representative areas, from this the importance of getting a greater participation of parents in the schooling of their children derives. We understand that those are some of the elements that can facilitate the adjustment of the “Funds of Knowledge” program to our research field.
Especifically, with this study we present an educational proposal, the Fondos-Conocimiento-Familias program which is intended to improve the Roma families involvement with their children’s education. This program has been developed in the 2017-2018 academic course with the support of the Fundación Secretariado Gitano (Pontevedra, Spain).
For this study we choose a qualitative methodology focusing on the ethnography as an holistic approach, which allows a consistent link between theory, practice and the recognizing of identity, as well as the families and students knowledge. The families who participated in the study were selected by the Fundación Secretariado Gitano (Pontevedra), following the requirement set by our team: have children studying primary education and their willingness take part of the program. Thus, 8 families were chosen, made up of mothers and their sons and daughters (10). In the second phase of the program, we worked with 3 centers of this educational level, involving a total of 9 classrooms, 5 teachers and 1 counselor. In order to collect the information, we choose, in first place, an assessment protocol for each session of the program that was covered by both the Association workers and the university researchers who were responsible of its implementation. Moreover, we made use of fields notes as our main ethnographic tool, in which is embodied in detail the information from both the maintain meetings between the Association and the researchers for the design, monitoring and evaluation of the program as well as working with educational centers, describing the role of teachers in the development of the second phase of the program. Finally, semi-structured interviews were made to the participant teachers and to the Association workers to follow the development of the program, strengths and weaknesses, the level of participation and involvement achieved and the future perspectives.
After finishing with the corresponding program phases, we could to verify the high level of assistance of mothers to the established sessions. This data is especially significant, taking into account, on the one hand, that assistance is the indispensable requisite for its development, and on the other hand, it denotes the commitment of mothers to the education of their children. Specifically, in the case of mothers, we can highlight their awareness that there is no taxonomy of cultures, so that they, independently of their formation, can support their sons and daughters so that they reach the school success. Meanwhile teachers expressed their satisfaction for their participation in the program, showing a firm disposition to repeat it in the next course. However, they accuse lack of time in their development since it was concentrated practically in the last month of class. The team of professionals also affirms other weaknesses that will have to be corrected: the excess of time elapsed between the first and second phase; the sessions with the families must be contemplated in spaces that imply the lowest possible cost for them (displacements); it is necessary to deepen in the analysis of the culture and its incorporation in the school; and both parts of the program must be developed in parallel so that schools consider it in their programming. Finally, in spite of the limitations expressed, the willingness of both the teaching staff and the professionals involved has been clear to continue with their development in the next academic year. In fact, in February of this year 2019, it is planned to start working with the families, this time focusing in exploring their funds of knowledge that serve as a bridge both as hybridization between cultures "in conflict”, as well as enhancers of the academic success of Roma students.
Civil, M. (2016). Learning research through a funds of knowledge lens. Cultural Studies of Science Education, 11(1), 41-59. doi: 10.1007/s11422-014-9648-2 Delpit, L. (1995). Other people’s children: Cultural conflict in the classroom. New York: The New Press. doi: 10.3726/978-1-4539-1735-0/40 Fundación Secretariado Gitano (2013). El alumnado gitano en secundaria: un estudio comparado. Madrid: Ministerio de Educación, Cultura y Deporte. Hogg, L. (2011). Funds of knowledge: An investigation of coherence within the literature. Teaching and Teacher Education, 27(3), 666-667. doi: 10.1016/j.tate.2010.11.005 King, J. E. (1994). The purpose of schooling for African American children: Including cultural knowledge. In E. R. Hollins, J. E. King, & W. C. Hayman (Eds.), Teaching diverse populations: Formulating a knowledge base (pp. 25-56). New York: SUNY Press. Llopart, M., & Esteban-Guitart, M. (2017). Strategies and resources for contextualizing the curriculum based on the funds of knowledge approach: a literature review. The Australian Educational Researcher, 44(3), 255-274. doi: 10.1007/s13384-017-0237-8 Moll, L. C., & González, N. (1994). Lessons from research with language-minority children. Journal of Reading Behavior, 26(4), 439-456. doi: 10.1080/10862969409547862 Moll, L. C., & Greenberg, J. (1992). Creating zones of possibilities: Combining social contexts for instruction. In L. C. Moll (Ed.), Vygotsky and education: Instructional implications and applications of sociohistorical psychology (pp. 319-348). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. doi: 10.1017/CBO9781139173674.016 Rodriguez, G. (2013). Power and agency in education: Exploring the pedagogical dimensions of funds of knowledge. Review of Research in Education, 37(1), 87-120. doi: 10.3102/0091732x12462686 Subero, D., Vila, I., & Esteban-Guitart, M. (2015). Some Contemporary Forms of the Funds of Knowledge Approach. Developing Culturally Responsive Pedagogy for Social Justice. International Journal of Educational Psychology, 4(1), 33-53. Turner, E. E., & Drake, C. (2016). A review of research on prospective teachers’ learning about children’s mathematical thinking and cultural funds of knowledge. Journal of Teacher Education, 67(1), 32-46. doi: 10.1177/0022487115597476 Vélez-Ibáñez, C. G. (1983). Bonds of mutual trust: The culture systems of rotating credit associations among urban Mexicans and Chicanos. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press. Verdin, D., Godwin, A., & Capobianco, B. (2016). Systematic review of the funds of knowledge framework in STEM education. School of Engineering Education Graduate Student Series, 59, 1-24. doi: 10.18260/p.25999
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