Crossing Boundaries

Harnessing Funds of Knowledge in Dialogic Inquiry Across Formal and Informal Learning Environments

Authored by: Kristiina Kumpulainen , Lasse Lipponen

The Routledge International Handbook of Learning

Print publication date:  December  2011
Online publication date:  May  2012

Print ISBN: 9780415571302
eBook ISBN: 9780203357385
Adobe ISBN: 9781136598562


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Many critical voices have been expressed towards formal education and its practices (Hubbard, Mehan, and Stein, 2006; Resnick, 1987; Sarason, 1993; Tyack and Cuban, 1997). The critics maintain that formal education does not acknowledge enough those experiences and that agency that learners bring to school from other contexts, such as from their homes, after-school clubs, museums, libraries and science centers. Further, formal education is said to be unable to exploit fully cultural resources, i.e. funds of knowledge (Gonzáles, Moll, and Amanti, 2005) of communities surrounding schools—their expertise, knowledge, and artifacts—and utilize these in a systematic manner. Critics continue that formal education should realize and acknowledge in more visible ways the fact that learning takes place everywhere. Learning in other contexts may even be more important or make more sense to the learner in her daily life than what is learned in the formal setting of the school. In fact, a major part of children's waking time activities take place in non-school settings (Bransford et al., 2006).

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