Capitalizing on English Language Learners’ Funds of Knowledge to Increase Achievement in Math and Science: An Equity Pedagogy

Imelda G. Chapa, Rosalinda Corral Garcia, Cathy L. Guerra


The population in the United States has increased in diversity in the last few decades. The result of this increase has been the fact that there were about 5 million English language learners (ELLs) in the public schools in 2002, which was an estimated 10% of the total school enrollment. As a result, educators must address the needs of culturally and linguistically diverse students (CLD) and at the same time comply with the accountability system in place at this time. To ad- dress the needs, educators can provide equity pedagogy which capitalizes on their students’ cultural funds of knowledge that they bring to the classroom to increase achievement of math and science. Thus, this funds of knowledge approach can be a solution to closing the achievement gap between ELLs and non-ELLs. Accordingly, studies cited on this paper have shown that incorporating students’ funds of knowledge can be beneficial in attaining student success. Using this approach, administrators and teachers can then be responsible for bringing about the needed change that will assist culturally and linguistically diverse students in being equipped with the necessary mathematical and scientific content knowledge.

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