Across the United States, schools are largely segregated by race and ethnicity, resulting in schools that are densely Latino and teaching staff who are overwhelming monolingual English speakers, as most teachers are white women. This has created difficulty in home communication in these schools. Given the positive impacts of personal and frequent home communication, a greater capacity of teachers to communicate with parents may be an important asset in school improvement efforts. This study looks at ongoing design-based research efforts to engage bilingual students in helping their teachers become more capable of communicating in Spanish. Through online-delivered challenges, teachers and students work together to complete a series of tasks that help teachers learn about communicating across cultures and preparing several communication aids to help them reach out to Latino immigrant parents more frequently. Through a narrative profile analysis, we uncover the influences the five-week intervention had on teachers' home communication efforts, beliefs in their own ability to develop stronger language skills, and relationships with students. The findings inform a set of preliminary procedures for a new method of research into understandings skills they use outside of school. We call this new method Integrating Funds of Knowledge. The findings also inform a set of core conjectures on how this method can help educators partner with their students to work toward solving a problem in their school.



College and Department

David O. McKay School of Education; Instructional Psychology and Technology

Date Submitted


Document Type





professional development, funds of knowledge, young interpreters, design-based research