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Funds of Identity


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Table of Contents

Introduction: my own funds of identity; 1. Learning in a mobile-centric society; 2. From funds of knowledge to funds of identity; 3. How to detect funds of identity; 4. How to use students' funds of identity pedagogically; Final remarks: identities at the heart of education.

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This book suggests a strategy to put students' practices, cultures, and identities in the center of a twenty-first-century education.

About the Author

Moises Esteban-Guitart is Professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Girona. He is the editor of the journal Papeles de Trabajo sobre Cultura, Educacion y Desarrollo Humano (Working Papers on Culture, Education and Human Development). His research activity spans the fields of cultural psychology and educational research, and he has published widely on issues of identity, cultural diversity, and education.


'This is an audacious and vibrant book. Adapting a funds-of-knowledge approach to study identity, it contributes a dynamic, processual understanding of identity in context, not as some sort of stable or inherent trait, but as part of a human subjectivity that mediates and is in turn mediated by sociocultural practices of all kinds. It thus views identity, as also informed by a Vygotskian perspective, as a dialectical process, as both tool and outcome, one could say, and as central to all forms of semiotic mediation, thereby becoming a leading factor in human development and education, especially in today's more 'liquid' or 'networked' society.' Luis C. Moll, Professor Emeritus, University of Arizona
'Esteban-Guitart has written a bold and inspiring book of great importance to the field of learning in and out of school. An innovative approach is developed using the concept 'funds of identity' as an ecological approach to learning with unique educational experiences from Catalonia. I strongly recommend this book for people interested in core issues of education in our contemporary mobile-centric society and ways of understanding today's learners navigating in complex socio-technical networks.' Ola Erstad, Universitetet i Oslo
'Moises Esteban-Guitart presents a timely contribution to socio-cultural theorization on learning and human development. His framework is especially powerful as it provides researchers and educators with methodological and analytical tools to examine and transform contemporary educational practices.' David Poveda, Professor Titular, Universidad Autonoma de Madrid
'Connecting knowledge, minds and communities: Esteban-Guitart integrates funds of knowledge with learning motivations such as interests to elucidate ways funds of identity form through lived experiences in a world with increasingly intercultural connections. An insightful book that moves the education field forward in important theoretical, methodological and applied ways: participatory learning in families, communities and cultures is central to life in a 'mobile-centric' world and can be utilised by teachers to enhance educational processes and outcomes.' Helen Hedges, Associate Professor and Head of School, Faculty of Education and Social Work, The University of Auckland
'In this book, Esteban-Guitart answers a tricky question in our contemporary hyper-complex globalized world: why would studying identity be educationally useful and relevant? This book stems from contemporary cultural psychology and represents an attempt to reflect upon the educational contexts as characterized by the inherent unity of both situatedness and generalizability in their relationship with other life spaces or micro-cultures. Funds of Identity offers a complementary understanding of the learning processes overcoming the classical dichotomy of formal-informal education.' Pina Marsico, University of Salerno. Italy
'Funds of Identity explores an important emerging concept in education: that the diversity of who learners are is an incredible resource for learning. Esteban-Guitart explores how educators and researchers can discover ways to move beyond deficit perspectives of learners to promote equity in educational settings.' William Penuel, University of Colorado
'... an important milestone in cultural psychology as applied to education. Its main value is in the emphasis on the unity of teaching/learning experiences that cross the artificial 'formal' and 'informal' education boundaries in the social context of our mobile-centered participatory societies of the twenty-first century. I think it is a must read for educational researchers and practitioners, opening for them new alleys for how to make sense of the full social complexity of any educational effort. Esteban-Guitart builds his unique concept funds of identity on the grounds of its parent - funds of knowledge - notion. ... The book includes a number of innovative qualitative methods for studying the particulars of the funds of identity and is therefore recommended also as an example of how new phenomena-appropriate methods can be developed in psychology.' Jaan Valsiner, Niels Bohr Professor of Cultural Psychology, Aalborg Universitet, Denmark
'For schools to engage actual learners - especially from less powerful social positions - they must give educational value to cultural resources that carry meaning in the learners' family and community lives. This is a core premise of the Funds of Knowledge approach to curriculum development. In Funds of Identity, Moises Esteban-Guitart extends this approach conceptually, methodologically and practically, with exciting effect. Exploring the educational significance of engaging learners' identity-forming processes, across a complex ecology of social spaces, Esteban-Guitart amplifies how young people are not mere inter-generational inheritors of cultural artefacts, who thereby reproduce the past in new guises. Rather, they are new-generational makers of cultural tools for alternative social futures. Funds of Identity thus contributes richly to the project of social-educational justice.' Lew Zipin, Victoria University, Melbourne

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