To devise innovative approaches to tapping the ‘funds of knowledge’
To devise innovative approaches to tapping the ‘funds of knowledge’ that parents and families have about their children, your pupils.
Evidence and reflection
Leave on one side the procedures you already employ within existing school frameworks for parental involvement such as parents' evenings, 'open' days and school reports. Instead construct procedures for an ideal ‘fantasy’ information exchange with parents and carers and perhaps also with other key members within your pupils’ families and communities.
- Pick four pupils in your class. List the questions you would most like to ask about each one. This will obviously vary from pupil to pupil but it could include such things as their likes, dislikes, interests, routines, and habits. It could also include explanations and rationalisations for certain aspects of the pupil’s behaviour, their feelings about school, teachers, and school friendships, as expressed at home.
- If you are a parent yourself – you might consider the sort of information that you would want your child’s teacher to know, such as information that could help them to motivate the child and to understand their behaviour.
- What would be the most appropriate time and place for such an exchange to happen?
- Adapt this idealised list to inform your approach next time you encounter parents/family members. Let it inform school discussions about parental involvement. Initiate such discussions.
Ask parents to keep a record of the comments that their child makes about school and make a time when such information can be shared with you. This can be especially helpful when children start at a new school.