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A Path to Our Future: Artful Thinking, Learning, Teaching, and Research


Elizabeth P. Quintero and Mary Kay Rummel

This is a book about story, the human experience, teaching and learning, creativity and community. Story is so much more than decoding text and writing using academic language. It also includes literature and all forms of the arts; digital forms of story, from social media to documentation of history; and new forms of multilayered, multigenre research. Story is the backbone and the catalyst for personal connections, appropriation of knowledge, and synergy of knowledge for global citizens. Critical qualitative research is the methodology by which to document and analyze what is really going on in the complex, multidirectional interactions. The authors maintain that story in a broad and newly enlightened sense may help us to break out from the narrow concepts of literacy, content knowledge related to measureable standards, and random facts that are unrelated to dispositions for addressing human needs. Literacy as a conceptual synthesis of knowledge, skills, and dispositions has been giving us glimpses of synergistic ways to approach learning and teaching.
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Chapter Four: Connecting Funds of Knowledge to Curriculum: Children and Teachers Using Story

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Regardless of the country or community we work in, this issue of participating in a culture different from one’s own is much more than reading multicultural literature, following court cases on affirmative action, or learning new histories. It’s more than the fact that since the 1990s more people have migrated all over the planet than ever before. And at the same time, a collaborative, respectful participation is all of those things as well. Schools and curricula are a composite of personal learning and teaching that occurs among students and their teachers. So how do we do it? The answer is very complicated. The only “non-answer” is not to think about it and not to do anything.

Moll, Gonzalez, and Amanti (2005) in Funds of Knowledge documented decades of research that illustrates the immense strengths of family history and family knowledge in a variety of forms in families of all economic and cultural backgrounds. This research brings to light the knowledge handed down within families and its importance in the education of children within the family. Many dedicated and creative teachers and school programs have taken the focus of funds of knowledge to the schools for the purpose of creating more meaningful curricula for many groups of disenfranchised students.

However, there is another way to focus on funds of knowledge, and this is to focus on the children—what do they know and how do we know they know it? How can we support the...

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