Applying funds of knowledge theory in a New Zealand high school: New directions for pedagogical practice

Linda Mary Hogg


In New Zealand teacher practice is expected to be inclusive and supportive of all learners (Ministry of Education, 2007). However, diverse evidence highlights inequitable school experiences for Māori and Pasifika students. This study explored the application of funds of knowledge (FoK) theory within a New Zealand high school, with a focus on impacts for Māori and Pasifika students. FoK has been defined as knowledge and skills gained from life world experience. Participants included high school teachers (n=5), students (n=11) from their current classes, and students’ parents (n=5). Data collected over six months fieldwork included: interviews, focus groups, samples of student work, and meetings. Teachers developed two ways to apply students’ FoK to support academic learning: drawing on and drawing out their life experiences. Improvements in learning behaviours and achievement gains were reported by students, parents, and teachers.


Funds of knowledge; culturally responsive pedagogy; high school; multicultural education

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