Possibilities-within-constraints: implementing the funds of knowledge concept in the People’s Republic of China

Adam Poole

Research output: Journal PublicationArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
18 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

This article is designed as the starting point for future research into the implementation of the funds of knowledge concept in the People’s Republic of China. Utilizing an exploratory research design, I sketch how the funds of knowledge concept could be used by teachers to empower ethnic minority and city-born migrant children disadvantaged by government policies that restrict access to educational resources and marginalize local languages. The article identifies a number of logistical and cultural constraints that complicate the implementation of the funds of knowledge concept in the Chinese context, including access to minority and city-born migrant students, guanxi, examination pressure, and cultural scripts for teaching that emphasize knowledge transmission. However, it also suggests how teachers can work within these constraints by taking advantage of curriculum reform in China, which has led to more autonomy at the local level and the creation of elective courses. Elective courses could provide the space for the deployment of strategies that draw on students’ funds of knowledge. The strategies proposed include neighborhood walks, artifact collection, and pedagogies for teaching that foster collaboration between teachers and students. The article also extends the notion of funds of knowledge by suggesting how the funds of knowledge concept could be of benefit to China’s Han ethnic majority.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)187-216
JournalFrontiers of Education in China
Volume11
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2016

Keywords

  • China
  • ethnic minorities
  • funds of knowledge
  • migrant children

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