Murray State University

Poster Title

The Case for the Graphic Novel in Kentucky's Classrooms

Institution

Murray State University

Abstract

Graphic novels (or in layman's terms "extended comic books") are a genre of literature surrounded by controversy in the world of the high school classroom. Since graphic novels and comic books are closely linked, the advent of the graphic novel in 1978 raised serious questions about the comic book's role in literature—are graphic novels simply glorified comic books or do they go beyond the superhero stereotypes associated with the comics of American youth? As graphic novels gain more acceptance as a serious literary form in the public eye, educators throughout the United States are introducing them into school curricula for students of all ages. While curriculum specialists debate their legitimacy as beneficial teaching tools and students snub the genre as mere "kiddy stuff," teachers decide to use graphic novels and/or comic books for at least one of four reasons: (1) to spark the interest of reluctant readers, (2) to supplement previously instructed content, (3) to analyze artistic/visual elements, and/or (4) to explain complicated ideas. This research explores the trends in teachers who are using the graphic novel in Kentucky's secondary English classrooms (e.g. years of experience or grade taught). Furthermore, this research analyzes the graphic novel's place in education as a valid tool for accomplishing learning objectives.

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The Case for the Graphic Novel in Kentucky's Classrooms

Graphic novels (or in layman's terms "extended comic books") are a genre of literature surrounded by controversy in the world of the high school classroom. Since graphic novels and comic books are closely linked, the advent of the graphic novel in 1978 raised serious questions about the comic book's role in literature—are graphic novels simply glorified comic books or do they go beyond the superhero stereotypes associated with the comics of American youth? As graphic novels gain more acceptance as a serious literary form in the public eye, educators throughout the United States are introducing them into school curricula for students of all ages. While curriculum specialists debate their legitimacy as beneficial teaching tools and students snub the genre as mere "kiddy stuff," teachers decide to use graphic novels and/or comic books for at least one of four reasons: (1) to spark the interest of reluctant readers, (2) to supplement previously instructed content, (3) to analyze artistic/visual elements, and/or (4) to explain complicated ideas. This research explores the trends in teachers who are using the graphic novel in Kentucky's secondary English classrooms (e.g. years of experience or grade taught). Furthermore, this research analyzes the graphic novel's place in education as a valid tool for accomplishing learning objectives.