Department of Teaching, Learning and Teacher Education


Date of this Version

Spring 2019


Great Plains Research 29 (Spring 2019):33–40.


Copyright © 2019 by the Center for Great Plains Studies, University of Nebraska–Lincoln


One’s sense of place is tied inextricably to one’s identity. Who we become as adults is closely connected to our interweaving of experience over time and how we come to understand the world and ourselves relative to it. Th ese informal and organic interactions within the specifi c environmental contexts of our childhoods can seem insignifi cant and inconsequential, particularly given that children’s imaginative explorations, informal investigations, and authentic observations of ecological phenomena present in their daily lives are oft en not acknowledged by or valued within formal educational settings. In this essay, I use Gonzalez, Moll, and Amanti’s (2005) Funds of Knowledge construct as a lens to interpret the ways in which the education of rural children could, but usually does not, intentionally draw on the routine, outside- of- school agrarian experiences and social, network- embedded wisdom that rural children bring with them to science classrooms. Furthermore, I problematize how the growing emphasis on globalization within formal education has increased tendencies to overlook and devalue some children’s lived experiences with their immediate environment. Finally, I provide considerations for educators and parents fostering the development of children’s scientifi c funds of knowledge, particularly in rural contexts.