Adult Learning within the Context of Early Head Start: The Case of Three Families, their Community Cultural Wealth, Informal and Incidental Learning




Elizondo, Andrea

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This qualitative case study focuses on three families—the Smith, the Lopez, and the Salinas—as they interact, struggle, survive, and at times evolve while participating in an Early Head Start (EHS) Program in rural Central Texas. The research questions guiding the study are: What can we learn from studying the focal families in terms of their community cultural wealth? What incidental adult learning occurs as a result of being involved with Early Head Start in rural Central Texas? Study findings are formed by Yosso’s (2005) framework on community cultural wealth and the tenants of informal and incidental learning. Data were generated through home visits, field notes, the researcher’s journal, interviews, and documents. As a result, data findings support the presence of four types of community cultural wealth: aspirational capital, social capital, familial capital, and navigational capital. In addition, data indicated that informal and incidental learning manifest through (1) social interactions and problem solving, (2) experiential learning, (3) transformational learning, and (4) incidental literacy development. Pedagogical implication and recommendations for adult instructors and for community-based programs serving families are provided.



adult education, non-formal education


Elizondo, A. (2010). Adult learning within the context of Early Head Start: The case of three families, their community cultural wealth, informal and incidental learning (Unpublished thesis). Texas State University-San Marcos, San Marcos, Texas.


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