For a variety of reasons, knowing and understanding history as a socially-valued skill has declined over the years. It is expected that people know the basic facts, but the model of history instruction in schools simply does not work in an optimum fashion, and so the ultimate fruits of the endeavor are limited in their staying power. Modern secondary schools are often required to follow a prescriptive curriculum that offers limited alternative options for study. History is no longer used as the important lens for decision-making that it once was. It is seldom used as that same civic compass and is now more lip service than anything.
Engaging Different Learning Modalities
The advantage for these kinds of graphic works lies in the ways that they present a story that engages different student learning modalities. With illustrations and text purposefully designed to be engaging first and informing second, readers will be left curious about what comes next.
An important feature for these graphic titles as they are used in K-12 settings will be the presence and application of formative types of assessment. The presence and use of this feature will function as an additional support for teachers who utilize these titles for instruction. The assessment function of the titles will be supported through the organization’s website and offer teachers the ability to receive and/or download data sets from their classes which apply to particular titles being read. There are several different commercially available software packages available that would be able to deliver this.
Historical Knowledge and Civic Understanding
From the perspective of NAEP, students in American schools could do with much improvement in knowledge, skills, and dispositions as it relates to civics and history education (National Assessment of Educational Progress, 2018). The presence of graphic materials that reinforce and expand educational standards and other guiding frameworks for educators are intended to present a positive impact for students by providing a supplement to other curricular materials which expands the nature and effectiveness of the curricular resources as a whole.
The study of graphic materials and their impact on learning a multilayered and multifaceted subject. In the sections that follow, we present research articles attesting to it's impact on numerous areas of learning.
Barbre, J. and Tolbert, J. (Spring/Summer 2021) Graphic Instructional Pedagogy: Critical Literacy Development Using Low Art. Journal of Thought (Manuscript in Press).
Barbre, J. (2019) Crafting a Critical Literacy Skillset: An Improved Use of Visual Modalities. International Journal of Education and Literacy Studies, 7 (2).
Barbre, J. (November, 2018) The Practical Implications and Possibilities for Graphic Novels and Comic Books as Pedagogy in the Literary Experience: A Proposal. International Journal of Learning, Teaching, and Educational Research, 17 (11) 48-55. https://doi.org/10.26803/ijlter.17.11.4
Barbre, J., Honaker, D. (May, 2018) Multimodal History Instruction: Expanding the Possibilities of Comic Books and Graphic Novels Across the Curriculum. International Journal of Humanities and Social Sciences 8 (4).
Comer, K. (2015). Illustrating Praxis: Comic Composition, Narrative Rhetoric, and Critical Multiliteracies. Composition Studies, 43(1), 75-104.
Kang, G. (2017). What Counts as Literacy? Investigating Everyday Flexible Literacy Practices Within An Academic Official Space. Illinois Reading Council Journal, 46(1), 41-50.
Michell, M. (2006). Teaching for Critical Literacy: An Ongoing Necessity to Look Deeper and Beyond. The En glish Journal,96(2), 41-46. doi:10.2307/30047126
Pagliaro, M. (2014). Is a picture worth a thousand words? Determining the criteria for graphic novels with literary merit. The English Journal, 103(4), 31-45. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/24484218
Pantaleo, S. (2014). Language, literacy, and visual texts. English in Education, 14 (2), 113-129.
Rapp, D. N. (2011). Comic books’ latest plot twist: Enhancing literacy instruction. Phi Delta Kappan, 93(4), 64–67. https://doi.org/10.1177/003172171109300416
Richardson, E. M. (2017). “Graphic novels are real books”: Comparing graphic novels to traditional text novels. Delta Kappa Gamma Bulletin, 83(5), 24-31. Retrieved from http://proxyeast.uits.iu.edu/ login?url=https://search-proquest-com.proxyeast.uits. iu.edu/docview/1929675667?accountid=11648
Schwarz, G. (2006). Expanding literacies through graphic novels. The English Journal, 95(6), 58-64. doi:10.2307/30046629
Dickinson, J., & Werner, M.M. (2015). Beyond Talking Heads: Sourced Comics and the Affordances of Multimodality. Composition Studies, 43(1), 51-74.
Hassett, D., & Schieble, M. (2007). Finding Space and Time for the Visual in K-12 Literacy Instruction. The English Journal, 97(1), 62-68. doi:10.2307/30047210
Jacobs, D. (2015). Special Issue: Comics, Multimodality, and Composition. Composition Studies, 43(1), 11-12.
Jacobs, D. (2007). More than Words: Comics as a Means of Teaching Multiple Literacies. The English Journal, 96(3), 19-25. doi:10.2307/30047289
Labio, C. (2011). What’s in a name?: The academic study of comics and the “graphic novel”. Cinema Journal, 50(3), 123- 126. University of Texas Press. Retrieved June 26, 2018, from Project MUSE database. doi: 10.1353/cj.2011.0033
Letcher, M. (2008). Off the Shelves: Graphically Speaking: Graphic Novels with Appeal for Teens and Teachers. The English Journal, 98(1), 93-97. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/40503218
Lopes, P. (2006). Culture and stigma: Popular culture and the case of comic books. Sociological Forum, 21(3), 387-414. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/sta ble/4540949. doi: 10.1007/s11206-006-9022-6
Scanlon, J.J. (2015). The Work of Comics Collaborations: Considerations of Multimodal Composition for Writing Scholarship and Pedagogy. Composition Studies, 43(1)m 105-130.
Carr, P. (2012). Project Based Learning: Increasing Social Studies Interest and Engagement. Rising Tide, 5. Retrieved from http://www.smcm.edu/educationstudies/pdf/rising-tide/volume-5/Carr.pdf
Clark, J. (2013). Encounters with historical agency: The value of nonfiction graphic novels in the classroom. The History Teacher,46(4), 489-508. Retrieved from http:// www.jstor.org/stable/43264152
Jadallah, E. (2000). Constructivist learning experiences for social studies education.The Social Studies, 91(5), 221-225. Retrieved from http://proxyeast.uits.iu.edu/ login?url=https://search-proquest-com.proxyeast.uits. iu.edu/docview/274610499?accountid=11648
King, A. (2012). Cartooning History: Canada’s Stories in Graphic Novels. The History Teacher, 45(2), 189-219. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/23265919
Pustz, M. (2012). Comic books and American cultural history: An anthology. New York: Continuum International.
Ayala Garcia, P. (2009). Comic books and the experience of self-fulfillment: A study with high school students (Order No. 3348569). Available from ProQuest Central. (304866578). Retrieved from
Brenna, B. (2013). How graphic novels support reading comprehension strategy development in children. Literacy, 47(2), 88–94. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1741- 4369.2011.00655.x
Boerman-Cornell, W. (2015). Using Historical Graphic Novels in High School History Classes: Potential for Contextualization, Sourcing, and Corroborating. The History Teacher, 48(2), 209-224. Retrieved from http:// www.jstor.org/stable/43264401
Connors, S. P. (2015). Expanding students’ analytical frameworks through the study of graphic novels. Journal of Children’s Literature, 41(2), 5-15. Retrieved from http:// proxyeast.uits.iu.edu/login?url=https://search-proquest com.proxyeast.uits.iu.edu/docview/1734735898?ac countid=11648
Bahl, E.K. (2015). Comics and Scholarship: Sketching the Possibilities. Composition Studies, 43(1), 178-182.
Bridges, E. (2009). Bridging the Gap: A Literacy-Oriented Approach to Teaching the Graphic Novel Der erste Frühling. Die Unterrichtspraxis/Teaching German, 42(2), 152-161. Retrieved from http://www.jstor. org/stable/40608634
Burger, A. (2017). Teaching Graphic Novels in the English Classroom: Pedagogical
Possibilities of Multimodal Literacy Engagement. Cham, Switzerland: Palgrave Macmillan.
Chute, H. (2008). Comics as literature? Reading graphic narrative. PMLA, 123(2), 452-465. Retrieved from http:// www.jstor.org/stable/25501865
National Council of Teachers of English. (Nov 2008). Using Comics and Graphic Novels in the Classroom (The Council Chronicle). Retrieved from http://www.ncte.org/magazin e/archives/122031/contenthistory/compare/0/0
Romagnoli, A. (2014). Comics in the Classroom: A Pedagogical Exploration of College English Teachers Using Graphic Novels (Doctoral Dissertation). Retrieved from www.scholar.google.com
Sun, L. (2017). Critical Encounters in a Middle School English Language Arts Classroom: Using Graphic Novels to Teach Critical Thinking & Reading for Peace Education. Multicultural Education, 25(1), 22–28. Retrieved from http://proxyeast.uits.iu.edu/login?url=http:// search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&d b=eric&AN=EJ1170198&site=eds-live&scope=site
Versaci, R. (2001). How comic books can change the way our students see literature: One teacher’s perspective. The English Journal, 91(2), 61-67. doi:10.2307/822347
Vetrie, M. (January 2004). Using film to increase literacy skills. The English Journal, 93(3) pp. 39-45. doi:10.2307/4128807
Williams, R. (2008). Image, Text, and Story: Comics and Graphic Novels in the Classroom. Art Education, 61(6), 13-19. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/sta ble/27696303
Wilson, B. (2014). Teach the How: Critical Lenses and Critical Literacy. The English Journal, 103(4), 68-75. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/24484223
Wolfe, P., & Kleijwegt, D. (2012). Interpreting Graphic Versions of Shakespearean Plays. The English Journal, 101(5), 30-36. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/ stable/23269525
Gorlewski, J., & Schmidt, J. (2011). Research for the classroom: Graphic novels in the classroom: Curriculum design, implementation, and reflection. The English Journal, 100(5), 104-107. Retrieved from http://www.jstor. org/stable/23047812