The Benefits and Risks of Comics in Education by Corey Blake [V&A Project]

In an article for Comic Book Resources, Corey Blake discusses the benefits of comics in the classroom. He cites multiple studies, including Mathew Price’s 2013, NewsOK article, OU Study shows graphic novel readers retain more information versus traditional textbook users. Blake phrases his findings in a more general fashion, allowing for his point to be understood more easily. Describing a superheroes fans ability to recall trivial pieces of information, and applying such logic to something like a history text book.

“Just look at how easily we superhero fans memorize our favourite character’s power levels, sound effects, costumes and history. I could chronologically sort Cyclops’ outfits over the past 50 years faster than I could list the first 10 presidents of the United States. Why? Because there is a colourful narrative in comics form tied to Cyclops that captured my imagination when I was young. Meanwhile, there was a dry narrative tied to the U.S. presidents, probably more like a litany of facts occasionally brought to life by a good teacher. That doesn’t mean a history comic needs to give George Washington a ruby-quartz visor and Spandex, of course (although that would be pretty awesome!). U.S. history is actually pretty crazy and interesting on its own, but the engagement level will increase exponentially if we actually experience the story of Washington crossing the Delaware.” [Blake. 2013]

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