A fund of knowledge is knowledge and skills derived from a family and cultural background. The concept is based on the premise that knowledge is cumulative and culturally developed. This accrued knowledge is essential for survival. Such knowledge is validated when it becomes part of instructions in a classroom. To accomplish this, the teacher has to explore the heritage of the children he teaches.
Find out the backgrounds of each of the children in your classroom. Assess what type of funds of knowledge you will need to integrate into your instructions. Determine where most of your students come from before conducting a study that will help you include the funds of knowledge into your classroom instructions.
Conduct ethnographic fieldwork in order to conduct a study of the people, ethnic groups and other ethnic formations from which your students derive. Ethnography is a branch of anthropology and sociology which probes into human cultures. Understand that the households of your students are rich repositories of accumulated knowledge and to tap into that, you will have to live among the people you are studying while maintaining a level of detachment.
Keep in mind while you study a student's fund of knowledge that the whole purpose of your endeavor is to make sure the instructions you give are linked to student's life and that the details of the pedagogy must have a link with local histories and community contexts.
Transform community-based knowledge into thematic units within the content areas of the student's curriculum. Ethnographic analysis helps enhances your own professional development. You will be able to connect with your students in classroom easily, and your students will easily understand your instructions. You have to remember that each household is an educational setting in which knowledge is passed over from the elder to the dependents for survival purposes.
Understand the the family life in the country of your students' origin and how their families function in their new setting in the United States. Ask questions about family history and education levels. When you understand your students' fund of knowledge, you can use that to connect with your children in the classroom.