Date Approved

2-28-2020

Embargo Period

3-2-2020

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.A. Reading Education

Department

Language, Literacy, and Sociocultural Education

College

College of Education

First Advisor

Lee, Valarie

Second Advisor

Madden, Marjorie

Third Advisor

Browne, Susan

Subject(s)

Culturally relevant pedagogy; Language arts (Elementary); Home and school

Disciplines

Bilingual, Multilingual, and Multicultural Education | Language and Literacy Education

Abstract

This paper presents the initial findings from an ethnographic case study, in a small South Jersey town. Using a socio-cultural framework and drawing from Moll and Gonzalez's funds of knowledge study, the specific aim of the study was to investigate the literacy practices students bring to the classroom, families' views of home to school connection, educators' impression of the family school partnership, and the role of student's funds of knowledge in the classroom. Three second grade families participated in home visits which involved in-depth interviews detailing family literacies including culture, traditions, family background, early literacy practices, and value of education. To understand the school's prospective, the elementary principal and two second grade teachers were interviewed about culturally relevant pedagogy, parent-school connection, and their knowledge of the families. Results revealed missed opportunities to connect to students' funds of knowledge while teaching due to time, curriculum, and background knowledge of students. Results from home visits revealed that while daily routines differed, the participating families valued education, family time, kindness, and hard work. Parents indicated that while pleased with the school, they present examples of missed opportunities for parent involvement. Results are discussed in terms of implications for integrating families' funds of knowledge into the curriculum to allow for more inclusion and engagement.

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