Sporadic Sequential
Monday, March 03, 2008
Comics in the Classroom: Still Controversial?

The St. Paul Pioneer Press has an interesting twist on the increasingly commonplace story of schools using comics as part of their curriculum: They present the article itself as a comic. The art is a bit crude, but there are actually a couple moments that showcase the strengths of sequential art, such as the scene with the shadowy judgmental figures looming behind the teacher who offers the course on graphic novels.

What I found really interesting, though, was how the vitriol against using comics in the classroom erupted right away in the comments. I guess I shouldn't be surprised, but after reading so many articles about schools and libraries using comics in their curricula, I thought the idea that comics could be a useful educational tool was more or less accepted now. Judging by the comments, however, there are still many people out there who view comics as subliterate trash. Here are some of my favorite comments:
Comic books have NO place in schools. That should be a 'duh'.

Bwaaaa Haaaa Haaaa. I work in HR and I can scarcely wait for one of these precious little snow flakes to submit their resume in "little comic book" form where their "words are reinforced with images." I can assure you it will find the circular file in record time.
[So everyone who takes a poetry class submits their resumes in verse? Or for that matter, everyone who takes a "traditional" English class submits their resumes as a prose story?]

Talk about the dumbing down of America.

"optionality" is beside the point; comic books have no place in a curriculum. Nevertheless, how long will it be before this muck satisfies the 'literature' requirement?
But for sheer "huh?" factor, I think this has to be the best quote:
I think that the children should be allowed, nay, required to publish pornographic materials in addition to health class, and journalism class, and women in history class so that they understand what it means when it is said that something is demeaning to women, or vulgar, or morally corrupt. They are children after all, and how are we supposed to make sure that they learn everything they need to be adults if we don't expose them to such things now.
Say what?

Labels: , ,