Comics in the classroom guest post: Nick Sousanis of Teachers College, New York

American artist and educator Nick Sousanis is one of the experts interviewed in this month’s education article on Comics in the Classroom. Nick made his name on the Detroit art scene before beginning a Ph.D. at Teachers College in New York.

Unusually, Nick’s own doctoral thesis takes the form of a comic book – putting into practice his belief that the medium can be a powerful tool for intellectual inquiry and the communication of complex arguments.

Possibilities comic by Nick Sousanis
A page from Nick Sousanis’ ‘Possibilities’, a philosophical and historical examination of games

Nick is currently speaking at the Rocky Mountain Conference on Comics and Graphic Novels. In today’s guest post, Nick shares his thoughts on making the most of comics in education.

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Comics in NZ Education: Guest Post by Raymond Huber

Today as part of our ongoing feature on comics in New Zealand education, we’re joined by the New Zealand children’s author, editor and educator Raymond Huber. You can find out more about him and his great books, including the Ziggy Bee stories, at http://www.raymondhuber.co.nz/

Here’s Raymond on ‘Comics in the Classroom.’

The thought of comic books in the classroom is frowned upon by many teachers and parents. Comics still have an image problem with many adults – a mistrust of the comic format based on suspicions about quality, content, and most of all, literary value. There might be a grain of truth in the first two: comics used to be cheaply produced, and they can contain offensive material. Some comics do take the Readers Digest approach to literature, but there are also many that now take the comic form to its own artistic heights, especially comic picture books and graphic novels.

Why use comics in the classroom?

Perhaps the best reason is that children love reading stories in the comic form. Consider the Tintin books, selling over 120 million copies, and public libraries often put a limit on withdrawals of the books. Given a choice in class, many children will grab comic picture books before novels. And most of these readers will be boys – another great reason for using comics in class.

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