“humans learn by observing and listening in on others as they collaborate in shared tasks”

“Rogoff et al. describe how humans learn by observing and listening in on others as they collaborate in shared tasks, in flexible and complementary roles. Observation of others’ activities, as an important way in which children learn, is neither incidental nor passive. Further, Vygotsky (1986) described how children learn ‘everyday’ or ‘spontaneous’ concepts and gradually, through play and language, develop and recontextualize these into ‘scientific’ concepts. Vygotsky believed that children’s informal daily interactions provide a bank of experiences to draw on to develop more formal, scientific, conceptual knowledge in later schooling.
Consistent with sociocultural perspectives, a positive view of the diverse knowledge and experiences found in families was located in the notion of funds of knowledge (Moll et al. 1992, González et al. 2005a). Moll et al. (1992) defined funds of knowledge as the bodies of knowledge, including information, skills, and strategies, which underlie household functioning, development, and well-being. These may incorporate information, ways of thinking and learning, approaches to learning, and practical skills. Examples include economics, such as budgeting, accounting, and loans; repair, such as household appliances, fences, and cars; and arts, such as music, painting, and sculpture (Moll 2000).” (p.189)

“Rogoff (1998) noted the need for research to identify ways in which children use their expertise to influence each others’ actions or engage in shared thinking. While there is a considerable literature on children’s peer cultures (e.g. Corsaro 1985, 2003), this literature has not been interpreted in relation to funds of knowledge, nor has the influence of peers been explored in the existing literature on funds of knowledge.” (p.189) [These authors took this on in the research they present here]

Discovering the value of friendship is an important step in children’s social development. Friendships enabled children to extend each other’s learning, thinking, and interests by drawing on each other’s experiences and funds of knowledge.” (p.196)

Supportive, child-initiated peer-tutoring was common in both centres. This enabled children to demonstrate knowledge of how they themselves had experienced being encouraged to learn something new. For older children, friendships also provided a way to act on and test expectations of others about turn-taking, sharing, leadership, and fairness, also important knowledge and skills for family and household functioning and well-being.” (p.196)

The notion of funds of knowledge, that is, knowledge about household functioning, development, and well-being, provides an analytical way to assess children’s interests, respectful of their lives in their families, communities, and cultures.” (p.198)

“The findings [of this study] highlighted a number of significant pedagogical relationships that children engage in. Spending time with parents, grandparents, siblings, cousins, friends, teachers, and peers provided opportunities for children to develop funds of knowledge. These opportunities occurred in the contexts of family homes, early-education settings, during other family and community activities, and through the affordances of family social capital such as holidays, cultural celebrations, and technologies. Further, through children’s funds of knowledge-based interests, culturally-valued conceptual knowledge such as literacy, mathematics, and science begin to develop, as children engage with teachers and families, without the need for didactic teaching approaches.” (p.199)

“A funds-of-knowledge perspective on children’s interests is proffered to encourage teachers to take a more analytical interpretation of the term ‘children’s interests’ in early-years education. This perspective also positions parents and families centrally in early-years curriculum, consistent with Te Whāriki and established international philosophies and practices. Moll et al. (1992) suggest that teacher–child relationships are lightweight if only built on knowledge of the child in the educational setting.” (p.199)

Ref: (emphases in blue/green bold, mine) Hedges, Helen , Cullen, Joy and Jordan, Barbara (2011) ‘Early years curriculum: funds of knowledge as a conceptual framework for children’s interests’, Journal of Curriculum Studies, 43: 2, 185 — 205,  DOI: 10.1080/00220272.2010.511275


About backyardbooks

This blog is a kind of electronic storage locker for ideas and quotes that inform my research... literary research into fiction for young adults (with a special focus on New Zealand fiction). Kiwis are producing amazing literature for younger readers, but it isn't getting the academic appreciation it deserves. I hope readers of this blog can make use of the material I gather and share by way of promoting our fiction. Cheers!
This entry was posted in early years education, education around food and meals, Science education and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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