Proposal Title

Utilizing Graphic Novels across the Content Areas with Preservice Teachers

Primary Faculty Mentor’s Name

Christine A. Draper

Proposal Track

Student

Session Format

Paper Presentation

Abstract

The graphic novel format has increased in popularity among teens in the recent years (Brozo, 2013; Carter, 2007; Monnin, 2013). Graphic novels require readers to interpret the connection between text and graphics and in doing so readers draw upon a wide range of strategies and comprehension skills to comprehend the text. Incorporating graphic novels in the classroom not only gives students exposure to more diverse text, but also motivates and requires them to think critically as they read.

While graphic novels have become popular among publishers, librarians, the public, and adolescents, they are still relative new-comers within classroom settings (McTaggart, 2008). The purpose of this study was to address this disconnect by introducing preservice middle grades teachers to the structure and language of graphic novels while they considered this tool as a resource in the various content areas. This study addressed the following questions:

1. What are preservice teachers’ perceptions and knowledge of graphic novels?

2. How can one use graphic novels as resources in each content area?

In response to the research about adolescents as well as resistance to reading instruction among content area teachers, this study focused on preservice teachers’ knowledge and perceptions of graphic novels as well as how these can be utilized as resources in content area instruction. More specifically, through the use and modeling of graphic novels we hoped to encourage preservice middle grades teachers to view reading and engagement with these texts as vital to content areas including: Math, Science, Social Studies, and Language Arts.

In order to investigate participants’ perceptions of graphic novels and their potential use in content area classrooms, a qualitative study was conducted. Qualitative studies provide an opportunity for researchers to “probe beneath the surface” and develop a rich contextual understanding of the phenomenon under study (Merriam, 2009, Tellis, 1997; Stake, 1995). In this instance, a qualitative study provided opportunities to uncover and interpret preservice teachers’ perceptions of graphic novels as they read and discussed graphic novels with their peers and considered the potential instructional uses of graphic novels in various content areas.

Prior to reading the graphic novels assigned for this study, few of the preservice teachers had even read graphic novels. This lack of exposure can cause preservice teachers to be apprehensive about using graphic novels as resources in their content areas because they have had very little instruction on how to do so. By incorporating graphic novels into teacher education methods courses, we sought to shift preservice teachers’ awareness of graphic novels to encourage our students to integrate reading instruction, and more specifically graphic novels, into their future classrooms.

Keywords

Qualitative research, Preservice teacher education, Literacy

Location

Room 2903

Presentation Year

2014

Start Date

11-15-2014 8:30 AM

End Date

11-15-2014 9:30 AM

Publication Type and Release Option

Presentation (Open Access)

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Nov 15th, 8:30 AM Nov 15th, 9:30 AM

Utilizing Graphic Novels across the Content Areas with Preservice Teachers

Room 2903

The graphic novel format has increased in popularity among teens in the recent years (Brozo, 2013; Carter, 2007; Monnin, 2013). Graphic novels require readers to interpret the connection between text and graphics and in doing so readers draw upon a wide range of strategies and comprehension skills to comprehend the text. Incorporating graphic novels in the classroom not only gives students exposure to more diverse text, but also motivates and requires them to think critically as they read.

While graphic novels have become popular among publishers, librarians, the public, and adolescents, they are still relative new-comers within classroom settings (McTaggart, 2008). The purpose of this study was to address this disconnect by introducing preservice middle grades teachers to the structure and language of graphic novels while they considered this tool as a resource in the various content areas. This study addressed the following questions:

1. What are preservice teachers’ perceptions and knowledge of graphic novels?

2. How can one use graphic novels as resources in each content area?

In response to the research about adolescents as well as resistance to reading instruction among content area teachers, this study focused on preservice teachers’ knowledge and perceptions of graphic novels as well as how these can be utilized as resources in content area instruction. More specifically, through the use and modeling of graphic novels we hoped to encourage preservice middle grades teachers to view reading and engagement with these texts as vital to content areas including: Math, Science, Social Studies, and Language Arts.

In order to investigate participants’ perceptions of graphic novels and their potential use in content area classrooms, a qualitative study was conducted. Qualitative studies provide an opportunity for researchers to “probe beneath the surface” and develop a rich contextual understanding of the phenomenon under study (Merriam, 2009, Tellis, 1997; Stake, 1995). In this instance, a qualitative study provided opportunities to uncover and interpret preservice teachers’ perceptions of graphic novels as they read and discussed graphic novels with their peers and considered the potential instructional uses of graphic novels in various content areas.

Prior to reading the graphic novels assigned for this study, few of the preservice teachers had even read graphic novels. This lack of exposure can cause preservice teachers to be apprehensive about using graphic novels as resources in their content areas because they have had very little instruction on how to do so. By incorporating graphic novels into teacher education methods courses, we sought to shift preservice teachers’ awareness of graphic novels to encourage our students to integrate reading instruction, and more specifically graphic novels, into their future classrooms.