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Supporting Research

  • Type: pseudo case study documenting one researcher’s results after showing a group of Algebra teachers in Singapore, teaching “under-achieving students ” (lowest 30%), how to incorporate comics into instruction

    Data Sources:  feedback from teachers

    Findings: Teachers used comic strips to show the connection from arithmetic to algebra, to think more deeply about the language of algebra in a more humorous way, to contextualize abstract procedures and to have students demonstrate knowledge by drawing their own cartoons.  Teachers reported that under-achieving students preferred drawings to traditional methods of instruction, became more engaged, were less resistant to learning algebra, were more willing to participate, and infused more algebraic language into their work.  Teachers reported that student drawn comics were a good way to assess students understanding and misconceptions of algebraic objects.

Structure: Comic books and graphic novels as textbooks and/or motivational tools to engage students in math and aid in vocabulary development, skill acquisition, and reading comprehension.

Learning Activities: Students read the stories and engage in a variety of teacher-designed activities to deepen understanding and strengthen memory of new concepts.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Increased student engagement with material.
  • Ability to recall and use new vocabulary.
  • Use visual presentations and patterns to  become familiar with mathematical syntax and to hook abstract knowledge to.

Special note:

The research cited here ion the use of comics in math specifically.  There is much research on the use of comics for reading comprehension, particularly with struggling readers and English Language Learners, in other content areas.

Authors/Contributors: 

Solution Squad Comics , Manja Guide to… (Statistics, Linear Algebra, Calculus), The Graphic Textbook (grades 3-6)

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