Seeking Funds of Knowledge: perceptions of Latino families in a rural school district in the Midwest United States
The Latino population represents the fastest growing ethnic population in the United States (U.S. Census Bureau, 2007). Schools across the U.S. are experiencing growing numbers of Latino and mixed ethnicities. School districts are being challenged to provide English language resources to assist all children in obtaining quality learning experiences. In addition, the need for cultural support and advocacy from their public schools is necessary. By learning how to better understand Latinos, school districts can strengthen their relationships with this culture by considering how these families interact with the schools. In an attempt to better comprehend the worlds that Latino families negotiate daily, the Funds of Knowledge framework served as a lens to understand every day practices and ways of knowing what occurs in Latino family homes. Social Capital was the second theoretical lens used in order to view and understand the social networks utilized by Latino families on a regular basis. This study indicated how schools have a unique vantage point and obligation in understanding children and families that they serve. The findings clearly showed the significant funds of knowledge and social capital needs found within three Latino households in southwestern Kansas. First, Las Familias was the most impressive factor; these families possessed an intense attitude of togetherness. Second, the Latino parents understood English quite well but were too embarrassed to speak it. And last, the young people from these families navigate two worlds every day. At home, the Mexican culture is present; outside the home, American values and customs are everywhere.
Thesis (Ed.D.)--Wichita State University, College of Education, Dept. of Educational Leadership