Contributions to Technology Education through Funds of Knowledge
Funds of Knowledge are the developed bodies of skills and knowledge that are accumulated by a group to ensure that they can function appropriately within their social and community contexts (Lopez, 2010). The value and place of cultural knowledge particularly that of minority groups is frequently overlooked in the school setting.(González, Moll, & Amanti, 2005), however when teachers are aware of students’ background, cultural practices the likelihood of students making use of this knowledge increases. When undertaking collaborative technological practice, students require a range of academic, social and physical skills to enable them to meet the identified technological need or opportunity. This article reports on a study that explored the contribution of students’ Funds of Knowledge play in undertaking technological. It explores the Funds of Knowledge deployed in technological practice and the role these played when students collaboratively developed their technological outcomes. The study was set in a large mid-decile urban primary school in New Zealand with 6 and 10 year old students. The data revealed that students used knowledge from their home and community to assist them to make sense of their learning and in developing technological outcomes. The article introduces two sub-categories of Funds of Knowledge and compares the use of Funds of Knowledge within each sub-category between the two year levels and across a unit of work. This study is significant because it highlights the use of Funds of Knowledge in technology education and examines aspects within Funds of Knowledge that are applicable to technology education.