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Design Thinking at GCC

Cool Teachers Use Comics

Achieving academic success through familiar territory

Current Project Stage: Preliminary testing 

In today's schools, children face the problem of not being able to relate to the material covered in class. Over the past decade there has been a narrowing of the curriculum due to the emphasis on standardized testing, which has resulted in teachers spending more classroom time on mathematics and English/language arts and less time on other subjects, including science, social studies, art, and physical education. To put it bluntly, many students today are bored in school. There are a number of reasons for this, from old school teaching pedagogies (the lecture being at the top of the list), to a lack of materials that are relevant to students lives. 

Our solution to this problem is to use comic books and graphic novels to create relevance through familiar materials and transport students back to a world of super heroes and super villains, where they will learn themes, concepts, and theories that relate to their present day lives and their present day studies. 

This project revolves around the idea of combining graphic novels, comic books, and original literature that kids would not likely connect on their own to deepen their understanding of issues. One example might be to study the life of Anne Frank, first by reading her first person diary, and then by reading a graphic novel version of her story. Students would then read  X-Men: Days of Future Past, which introduces themes related to racism and genocide. By combining these texts in this way,  students will be able to experience from different perspectives what it was like to live as a Jewish person in Germany under the regime of Hitler, and how racism and genocide continue to exist today in different forms.

Next Step: ​Gather feedback from preliminary testing and use it to improve final stages of project

Design Studio: Glendale Community College

Student Design Team: ​Mohamed-fafana Inoussa, Rodolfo Basurto

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