A Public Service Announcement! ;)

A Public Service Announcement! ;)

Thursday, June 03, 2010

Article on Comics and Education from Memeticians

Nice write-up on comics and literacy featuring my friend and colleague Michael Bitz. It actually names some of the contemporary "opposition" to comics and literacy work, namely Diane Ravitch, who may change her mind on the subject one day, as, refreshingly, that's been her m.o. as of late.

The author states, "What I don't need is research to tell me that using comic books in the classroom works or doesn't work (being that most research about education is disconnected from the classroom anyway). I am living, walking proof that it works."

That's good for folks like him and me, but not everyone is as amenable to letting us be sufficient evidence.

I'm sympathetic to being "anti-research" in that some educators and teacher educators define it very, very narrowly, privileging the perspectives and ideas of the few, but I also accept the idea of "research on the go" or "teaching-based research" or "action research" or "research lite" or whatever you want to call it when teachers talk about what they do in their classroom or what they think might work based on multiple knowledge bases they've acquired. I'd like to think at the heart of pure research is creativity and curiosity, the kind that makes rules rather than follows them, the same kind of curiosity and creativity that ought to be at the center of education, which might be why comics work so well in pedagogical settings.

Anyway, the story is a nice little read. Check it out by clicking the title to this post.


Ben Villarreal said...

Nice read. I definitely get a little frustrated when someone tells me what will or will not work in the classroom, especially when it comes from the kind of research he discusses ("disconnected from the classroom").

But you're right. That's not the only kind of research there is. I still feel like I learned more about teaching from training lifeguards in college than my graduate "Teaching Composition" instructors and mentors taught me :-)

nyrdyv said...

It is frustrating to have any say that "such and such" does not work in the classroom. Comic books, like anything else in the class room, are just tools used by the instructors. Some are used well and some are not.


Steven G. Willis

mjhollman said...

I guess I didn't push the appropriate button. my Post disappeared.
anyway - w/less energy - I say I like research, in whatever form. I do not like writers who are unskilled or who appear to attempt to be obfuscatory. (the best do not; notice that?)
quants aren't aliens, really.
Recall John Goodlad's discussion of "thick research."