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Comics, which attract attention with their adaptation to changing conditions in the historical process, are increasing their popularity both in current life and in the field of education. They can be used as a powerful supplementary teaching tool concertizing abstract concepts, especially in lessons such as Science. They can also be used to convey abstract concepts to students in an entertaining way. From this point of view, the study aimed to reveal the general characteristics, structure, elements, and historical development of comics at a theoretical level. The study, which adopted a qualitative research design, was based on a wide range of a literature review focusing on comics in an educational context as alternative resources to use in science education. The data collected were coded, grouped, and reorganized as a report to present within the context of science education for the teachers who might plan to use comics in their classes, and researchers who might scrutinize the influence of comics in teaching science at different levels.
Content may be subject to copyright.
Akcanca, N. (2020). An alternative teaching tool in
science education: Educational comics.
International Online Journal of Education and
Teaching (IOJET), 7(4). 1550-1570.
Received: 29.07.2020
Received in revised form: 15.08.2020
Accepted: 10.09.2020
Review article
Nur Akcanca
Çanakkale Onsekiz Mart University
Nur Akcanca, PhD, is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Early Childhood Education
at Canakkale Onsekiz Mart University. Her research interests include research methods and
teacher training, science education, science education in early childhood, teaching approaches.
Copyright by Informascope. Material published and so copyrighted may not be published
elsewhere without the written permission of IOJET.
Nur Akcanca
Comics, which attract attention with their adaptation to changing conditions in the historical
process, are increasing their popularity both in current life and in the field of education. They
can be used as a powerful supplementary teaching tool concretizing abstract concepts,
especially in lessons such as Science. They can also be used to convey abstract concepts to
students in an entertaining way. From this point of view, the study aimed to reveal the general
characteristics, structure, elements, and historical development of comics at a theoretical level.
The study, which adopted a qualitative research design, was based on a wide range of a
literature review focusing on comics in an educational context as alternative resources to use
in science education. The data collected were coded, grouped, and reorganized as a report to
present within the context of science education for the teachers who might plan to use comics
in their classes, and researchers who might scrutinize the influence of comics in teaching
science at different levels.
Keywords: Comics, supplementary tools, education and training, science education, abstract
Current developments in the field of education in the 21st century have led to a series of
changes in our understanding of education. Meeting our teaching needs in our age has led to
the necessity of preparing teaching materials with a new perspective in the classroom where
modern education and training practices are performed together. It is possible to mention many
positive effects of teaching materials such as increasing efficiency in the classroom, active
participation of students (Tekmen, 2016), and providing permanent learning (Aşçı, 2020).
The most used course material in the process of gaining scientific knowledge of science is
undoubtedly the textbooks prepared in accordance with acquisitions in the program. Textbooks
allow the subject to be handled systematically as a guide both for teachers and students (Ünal
& Demirkaya, 2019); however, in lessons such as science, which has abstract concepts which
are difficult to understand, using only the textbook and not supporting it with other course
materials may decrease students' interest in the lesson or decrease efficiency.
At this point, we come across comics that are becoming more and more popular in the field
of education (Lazarinis, Mazaraki, Verykios & Panagiotakopoulos, 2015; Topkaya, 2016). The
combination of images and texts in comics helps students to see the process more attractive by
changing their perspective on learning processes (Astuti, Kismini & Prasetyo, 2014). In this
respect, different researches have revealed that using comics as a teaching material will have
positive contributions to the learning-teaching process (Mamola, 2019; Yang, 2003). In order
to understand comics better, it is necessary to express how they are defined, to discuss their
features and elements, and to include examples in the historical process. In addition, it is
thought that focusing on the use of comics by addressing the role of comics in educational
environments will be beneficial for teachers who will use them in their lessons.
International Online Journal of Education and Teaching (IOJET) 2020, 7(4), 1550-1570.
1. Comics
Rapid technological developments and changes in our age change our perspective on
teaching materials used in education and training environments. Comics, which have become
popular in recent years thanks to their content and visuality, are one of these teaching materials.
Studies refer to the difficulty of making a general description of comics. Emphasizing this
issue, Kireççi (2008) suggests that comics can only be defined according to the current culture
and time. At this point, it is important how Rodolhe Töpffer, who is considered to be the
founder of modern comics and is also an art critic and educational scientist, defines comics. It
is seen that Töpffer describes comics as a consecutive communication tool on a paper with
images and texts and points out that the text would be incomplete without the image and that
the image would be incomplete without the text (Paltani-Sargologos, 2011). Comics can also
be defined as an art of fiction in which a narrative style, formed by the combination of two
main elements, text and image, is adopted (Cantek, 2016). In another definition, it is mentioned
that comics convey realistic or imaginary ideas by using visual images, and the humour aspect
is also emphasized while conveying important messages (Toh, Cheng, Jiang & Lim, 2016).
Looking at the definitions, it is seen that the researchers emphasized the combination of text
and image. What needs to be noted here is that this combination comes together with a real
composition, not as a simple match (Kunzle, 1973). In this case, it would not be wrong to say
that comics consist of neither an image nor a text and that they are a synthesis which is achieved
by combining images and texts (Cihan, 2014).
The comics industry has gone through many historical stages. Considering the term comics
in general, it will be possible to divide them into branches such as graphic novel, newspaper
strips, single-panel gag cartoon, superhero comics, web comics, manga, underground comics,
alternative comics, and western comics (Bıçakcı, 2018). It is thought that comics, which are
accepted as an art type formed in the modern age, carry the function of images and visuals one
step further by including the text in the process (Orçan & Kandil İngeç, 2016). The purpose of
comics, which contain intentional images created by the combination of side-by-side images,
may be to convey information to the audience or to produce only an aesthetic response
(McCloud, 1993).
Comics are a form of storytelling. They use a series of static images while presenting a story
as a tool (Lazarinis et al., 2015). Unlike regular books, paintings, or movies, it would not be
correct to characterize comics as better or worse than other genres; however, it should be
admitted that they differ from other genres (Karczewski, 2013). It is important to reveal the
basic characteristics of comics which are shaped by a writer in order to understand them better.
The basic features of comics are given in Figure 1.
Figure 1. Common features of comics (Cantek, 2014; Uslu Üstten, 2014)
Considering the basic features in Figure 1, it is seen that the image in comics is at least as
important as the story. At this point, it would be appropriate to mention a specific structural
feature of comics. For the meaning integrity of comics, the relationship between the frames is
important rather than the image in the frame. The meaning of comics in the spaces between
two sequential images is related to the human mind. We complete the story of comics ourselves
by creating what is not written and drawn on paper or what does not exist, in our mind. The
reason for this is that our mind constructs meaning by establishing a connection between the
total symbols formed by written and visual texts while transitioning from one frame to another
(Gündüz, 2004). This connection is important for comic book readers to have actions in their
minds more easily and to achieve meaningful and permanent learning (Akkaya, 2013).
1.1. Comics in Historical Timeline
Researchers have different comments and opinions regarding how old the history of comics
are. According to some, the birth of comics is based on hieroglyphs in ancient times, while
some other researchers point out that comics are based on illustrations in Leonardo da Vinci's
notebook (McCloud, 1993; McCloud & Manning, 1998). However, comics are neither just
images nor texts (Derdiyok, 2019). For this reason, there is no consensus on the starting point
of the historical process of comics. One of the most important factors affecting the development
of comics is undoubtedly the presence of a printing house. With the advent of the printing
press, over time, pictures have taken on a complementary role to stories. It is, therefore, not
surprising that the object was ultimately combined with art to make illustrated and narrated
series (Olson, 1993).
Comics first became known in France and Belgium in the 1800s. The work named "Voyages
et aventures du Docteur Festus" (Travels and Adventures of Doctor Festus), which is the first
comic book in history, was completed in 1831 and was published in 1840 with the signature of
Rudolphe Töpffer (Gündüz, 2004).
features of
Comics are a type of story in which images that support each other
create a series of subject integrity and fit into a short timeline.
In comics, fictional elements such as relationships, manners,
emotions and thoughts, place and time, and cause and effect
relationships are expressed with images and drawings.
In comics, characters often have features that repeat each other.
In comics, speech or text is included in the image, and the image and
text form a whole. Comics dominated by pictures or texts can also
be seen.
International Online Journal of Education and Teaching (IOJET) 2020, 7(4), 1550-1570.
Figure 2. A section from the comic book named "Voyages et aventures du Docteur
Festus" (Project Gutenberg Canada, 2013)
In the comic book seen in Figure 2, it is seen that the image and text are given together. In
addition, Töpfer chose space travels with his imagination as the subject of his stories (Olson,
1993). A few years later, in 1854, French artist Gustave Doré published “L'Histoire de la Sainte
Russie”, a series of 477 consecutive drawings which describe the history of Russia. Around
1865, Wilhelm Busch published "Max and Mauritz", the story of two malevolent children and
their hardship and final punishment. This comic book, which has a colourful image on almost
every page in addition to the text, had been popular for a long time (Olson, 1993). "Les
Aventures de Tintin" (The Adventures of Tintin), published by Georges Lemi in the 1920s, is
a comic book that achieved a significant success in those years (Uslu Üstten & Pilav, 2016).
An example section of this comic book is given in Figure 3.
Figure 3. A section from the comic book named "Les Aventures de Tintin"
With these developments in the historical processes, comics, which created a readership in
Europe, first appeared in the United States in the modern sense at the end of the 19th century
(Aşçı, 2020; Symeon, 2008). For the first time, Rudolph Dirks published the comic book "The
Katzenjammer Kids" for the New York Times on December 12, 1897 (Armor, 1987).
Meanwhile, comics in England developed under the influence of American publications, while
Germany fell behind in the field of comics due to the social and economic conditions that
emerged after the war (Uslu Üstten & Pilav, 2016).
In our country, the first comics entered our lives after the First World War. When the first
comic book examples in Turkey are considered, it is seen that the character of “Amcabey”
drawn by the cartoonist Cemal Nadir Güler in 1929 is important. The main character of this
comic book is given in Figure 4.
Figure 4. The main character in the comic book named "Amcabey" by Cemal Nadir
In the following years, the magazine named "Binbir Roman" published in Istanbul made an
important contribution with its comic book content compared to the developments in the period
(Kurt, 2019). It can be stated that qualified publications started with "Phantom" in the 1940s.
In the following years, comics, which won the appreciation of our country's readers, started to
appear in newspapers, especially with series of drama, adventure, love, and comedy. With the
publication of colorful magazines depicting western heroes such as Mandrake, Zagor, Mister
No, Flash Gordon and Tarzan, a serious comic culture was formed in that period (Çetin, 2010).
Turkish comics tradition, which started with the translation method at first, later had a realistic,
rational, local, and national direction that fed on Turkish history (Karagöz, 2018).
When we look at the historical process of comics, it is understood that they were accepted
as a second-class type of literature or a low art form for a period, and they did not, therefore,
see the value they deserved (Jacobs, 2007; Upson & Hall, 2013). The fact that comics mostly
consist of images and that they do not deal with subjects deeply is accepted as the main reasons
for being unfairly ignored (Tatalovic, 2009). In addition, it was suggested that comics were
designed for children, people who did not like reading, or adults clinging to adolescence (Lo
et al., 2019). For these reasons, there was a tendency among many educators and parents to
believe that comics were created only for entertainment purposes and had little or no real
educational and literary values (Lo et al., 2019). In fact, these beliefs at first prevented the use
of comics in the education and training process. To exemplify, similar situations were
experienced during periods when it was considered objectionable to teach comics in schools,
and it was prohibited to read comics during the education process (Toh, Cheng, Ho, Jiang &
Lim, 2017). Comics were traditionally seen as the "enemy" of schools, and students caught
reading comics in schools were referred to the disciplinary committee (Cleaver, 2008).
However, these periods did not last long, and comics, which are now appreciated as a
potentially important educational tool to attract students' interest in various academic subjects,
have regained the value and importance they have deserved (Tilley, 2008; Lo et al., 2019).
Today's comic books, which are more entertaining and engaging than the ones in the past
and include subjects for adults, have significantly increased their popularity through comic
book films and television series in recent years (Çetin, 2010). The Road to Perdition, Ghost
World, Incredible Hulk, Sin City, X-Men, The Fantastic Four and Snowpiercer are among the
comics adapted into films. With these films, which are the adaptations of comic book stories,
the educational value of comics, which have proven their influence on popular culture, has
begun to be re-evaluated by different researches (Lo et al., 2019).
International Online Journal of Education and Teaching (IOJET) 2020, 7(4), 1550-1570.
1.2. Elements of Comics
Comics have elements that ensure the integrity of their unique structures. These elements
that make up comics are shown in Figure 5 (Tuncer, 1993).
Figure 5. Elements of comics
The elements that make up comics will be explained under separate titles.
1.2.1. Character in comics
Character is the main element of comics. For this reason, many comics are named after their
characters (Kireççi, 2008). The story narrated in comics is processed through characters;
therefore, characters are important for the reader. Characters are in favour of goodness, direct
and order (Sarıbıyık, 2018). The reader feels close to and embrace characters for a reason. In
fact, the reader can sometimes experience the character's emotional state in their inner world.
Although comic book heroes are mainly selected from male characters (such as Batman and
Superman), there are also comics (such as Black Widow and Wonderwoman) in which female
heroes are the main characters (Mutlu, 2019; Tuncer, 1993). The main character can be male
or female, as well as a plant or an animal. For example, "Snoopy", a comic book whose main
character is a dog, thinks and speaks like a human.
1.2.2. Language in comics
It is possible to say that comics have a special language of expression. Thanks to the
relationship between the frames, the idea to be conveyed is expressed clearly. In the spaces
between the panels, the connections established on the basis of the reader's mind make the story
complete by creating a part that is not drawn in the mind (Güdek, 2019). For this reason, it is
very important to use a language based on visual experience that will attract the attention of
the reader (Eisner, 2008). If we think of comics as a means of communication, the language
created with text and images must find its counterpart in the imagination of the reader in order
for communication to take place (Yavuz, 2011).
The language used in comics acts as a bridge between everyday language and academic
language, which is thought to positively affect the success in the lesson (Krashen, 1993). In
comics, language and expression are shown in speech and thinking bubbles. Understanding
who it belongs to is provided by directing an arrow from the bottom of the balloon towards the
head of the character (Sarıbıyık, 2018).
Elements of Comics
Character in
Language in
Time in Comics
Themes in
Graphic Elements
in Comics
Figure 6. Speech bubbles used in comics
When the reader see the text or balloons, they understand that the character whispers (the
lines that make up the speech bubble are broken), speaks loudly or shouts (text written in bold
and capital letters without a speech bubble), or even thinks (the speech bubble looks like a
cloud and small bubbles reaching out to the person it belongs to) (Sarıbıyık, 2018).
1.2.3. Time in comics
Time is flexible and unlimited in comics; therefore, it can be directed backwards or forwards
(Sarıbıyık, 2018). It is possible to travel in time thanks to the writer in comics. It is thought that
experiencing and transferring stories in comics in the present time attract the attention of the
reader (Tuncer, 1993).
Comics inform the reader about the time they are in. Details such as the dressing style of
characters, the architectural features of the place where the story takes place, the elements of
life, the presence/absence of technological products, the primitiveness/modernity of the tools
used are given both to reflect the time to the reader in a detailed and impressive way and to
connect the reader to the story more. For example, in the comic "Redkit", the story takes place
at the end of the 19th century. The time involved in the comic book story affected the
communication method in the story. It is seen that Redkit often uses telegrams to communicate.
For transportation, besides the horse carriage, a train road draws attention (Yavuz, 2011). With
such visual schemes, it can give information to the reader about those periods about which they
do not have much information (Sarıbıyık, 2018).
1.2.4. Theme in comics
The value judgments of societies are different from each other. Comics are also influenced
by the characteristics of the society in which they originate, and are often used to comment on
current issues (Tatalovic, 2009). Different comics have been developed on different subjects
for various educational purposes at educational levels (Lazarinis et al., 2015). Comics dealing
with history, politics, or bureaucracy can be classified within the framework of adventure,
politics, and history. Classification of comics around a category can create a certain audience
(Sarıbıyık, 2018). Throughout the historical process, themes in comics started with simple
stories and later left their place to superheroes. After the World War I, superheroes started to
lose interest and comics dealing with topics such as crime, thriller and science fiction came to
the fore (Aşçı, 2020).
Comics present themes to the reader with the method of uninterrupted illustration. It is
thought that it will be beneficial to reveal the details of the message that is desired to be given
to the reader if the main message is presented briefly and concisely (Topkaya, 2014). The fact
that people tend to and prefer topics that attract people's attention has made the concept of
theme in comics one of the determining factors for the preference of the readership.
International Online Journal of Education and Teaching (IOJET) 2020, 7(4), 1550-1570.
1.2.5. Graphic elements in comics
Illustrations in comics have a strong effect on keeping the story alive to the reader. Visuals
in comics are effective in guiding readers' perception of spatial relationships within a certain
context (Pratt, 2009). Preserving the balance between the text and the image in comics and the
fact that writing does not dominate when telling the story are significant and should be
considered (Sarıbıyık, 2018). Having more text disrupts the follow-up feature of continuity
between the images and makes it boring (Cantek, 2014).
The use of images in comics is effective in terms of improving students' ability to construct
information with more than one method (Bolton-Gary, 2012). This is very important for
students to prepare for their future life (Toh et al., 2017).
2. The Relationship Between Comics and Other Disciplines
Different disciplines communicate with each other. This context supports each other and
enables the development of related disciplines (Sarıbıyık, 2018). In this section, the interaction
of comics with education will be examined.
2.1. Comics in the Education Process
When we look at the historical development of comics, it is seen that they were first
published in newspapers and magazines and then published in print. Later, educational and
informative elements were added to the contents of comics, as a consequence of which they
were used in the field of education (Karagöz, 2018). This new genre was named "educational
Comics can be used as an important and powerful supplementary teaching tool in various
educational environments (Berkowitz & Packer, 2001; Cimermanová, 2015; Rajendra, 2015).
In this respect, the potential of comics in the education and training process emerges as a
subject worth researching (Marianthi, Boulodakis & Retalis, 2016). In fact, the use of comics
as a tool in education is not new (Owens, Eno, Abrams & Bedney, 2020). The basis of using
comics in education is based on the binary coding theory of Clark and Paivio (1991). This
theory, which supports the importance of images in cognitive operations, is based on the
development of recall and recognition by presenting information both visually and verbally
(Marianthi et al., 2016).
Comics are generally used as an educational material or activity in a visually enriched
format, preserving the features mentioned in the definitions in education and training
environments (Akkaya, 2013; Joshi et al., 2019). It is thought that, if comics are prepared in
accordance with two sound pedagogical principles, comics will support students' learning. The
first is to position stories that might be interesting for students in a certain context, whereas the
second is to establish a meaningful bridge between the concepts discussed and the students'
real life (Toh et al., 2016).
Since educational comics contain two very rich forms of cultural expression, the arts of
literature and painting, students actively participate in the learning process by structuring the
gaps between these two panels that require active thinking while reading comics (Rota &
Izquierdo, 2003). From this aspect, it can be said that this feature of educational comics is
suitable for the constructivist approach model (Topkaya, 2016).
Many educators make use of comics to facilitate a better understanding of a certain subject
by employing both linguistic and image systems (Liu, 2004). Comics both improve mental
processes, which are the indispensable elements of the cognitive field, and develop aesthetic
pleasure in students who are an important element of the emotional field (Akkaya, 2013). Based
on the researchers conducted to reveal the effect of comics in the field of education, the benefits
of using comics in the education and training process are shown in Figure 7.
Figure 7. Benefits of using comics in education and training
As can be understood from Figure 7, the inclusion of comics in the education process affects
children positively in many related ways. The fact that comics improve the level of children
both in terms of skills and cognition is considered to be important for the future lives of children
as well as their current experiences.
In addition to their positive contributions to learning and teaching processes, educational
comics also have some limitations. Some of these are as follows: limitations arising from
educational programs; difficulty in accessing educational comics; inadequate use in the
classroom environment due to reasons such as additional burden on teachers (Karagöz, 2018).
The small font size in educational comics is also thought to be a deficiency in these materials
(Topkaya & Yılar, 2015).
2.2. Comics and Science Education
The benefits of using written teaching tools such as books and journals in science teaching
are known by everyone (Falk, Storksdieck & Dierking, 2007). Today, however, these tools fall
short of meeting the need to convey the fascination, joy, and utility of science (Hosler &
Boomer, 2011; Roswati, Rustaman & Nugraha, 2019). Although science is still taught with
written teaching tools based on the traditional education model (Eshach & Fried, 2005), it is
actually a discipline that allows the use of new educational resources to encourage students'
learning (Morel, Peruzzo, Juele & Amarelle, 2019). Among these new educational resources,
International Online Journal of Education and Teaching (IOJET) 2020, 7(4), 1550-1570.
one of the most accessible and useful written tools in science education is comics (Roswati et
al., 2019).
Besides being a popular art form especially for children, comics provide a potential
environment for science education (Tatalovic, 2009). In this context, comics that address
children's interests can be used as alternative resources in science education (Koutníková,
2017; Seitz, 2012; Shurkin, 2015). Comics are very useful tools for educators to teach complex
science subjects in a short, appropriate and effective manner, to help explain a world made up
of abstract science concepts to students (Morel et al., 2019), and to prevent misconceptions that
may occur in students (Asci, 2020). Comics prepared to convey a subject in science education
lead students to think about science, which can be used to explain scientific knowledge (Orçan
& Kandil İngeç, 2016). Educational comics, which are used for science concepts to get rid of
complexity and abstraction, can provide the permanence of knowledge and eliminate forgetting
caused by rote learning since they are visually attractive to students (Şengül & Dereli, 2010).
While reading comics, students try to establish a relationship between the text and the image
and participate fully and actively in the learning-teaching process (Dalacosta, Kamariotaki-
Paparrigopoulou, Palyvos & Spyrellis.2009; Rota & Izquierdo, 2003).
In science education, comics are also used to involve students in complex hypothetical
scenarios before the real physical classroom experience (Upson & Hall, 2013). Olson (2008)
and Tilley (2008) found that using comics improved science literacy by increasing students'
opportunities to read and discuss science topics. For example, a science teacher who would
like his students to have a sufficient understanding of the nature of science and to be science
literate can explain the process of creating scientific knowledge by using comics or use comics
as documents to shed light on the relevant period. Figure 8 shows an example comic book.
Figure 8. An example comic book (Akgül, 2016)
Comics to be used in science education should have three significant characteristics which
are humour, visualizing learning and contextualizing learning (Lin, Lin, Lee & Yore, 2015).
The humorous aspect of comics helps students to handle the tension in the classroom, to reduce
their embarrassment, and to relieve their troubles (Özdemir, 2017). The fact that children both
enjoy reading comics and are affected by the visual appeal of the graphic presentation make
comics an effective tool in learning scientific concepts (Weitkamp & Burnet, 2007). However,
comics are effective in affecting and shaping students' attitudes towards science positively
(Hosler & Boomer, 2011). They also support the development of their logical thinking
(Rozkosz & Wiorogórska, 2016). However, it is not always easy to find ideal and suitable
comics that can be used as a teaching tool in science education. While the content of some
comics is not proper for the culture of students, the content of some may not be suitable for
learning science (Özdemir, 2017; Roswati et al., 2019). In this case, it may be necessary for
teachers to prepare the teaching material to be used by themselves.
At this point, it will be useful to focus on some characteristics that need to be considered
while preparing comics in science education.
Scientific information in speech bubbles should be short and clear in order to increase
the effectiveness of comics.
The drawings of the comics to be used in science education should be simple and should
be associated with the objectives of the lesson.
The characters and texts in the comics to be used in science education must be related
to daily life.
Comics should be prepared within a fiction and should have some basic characteristics
such as place, time, and character support.
It is preferred that the comics to be used in science education are short and consist of 3
to 5 frames.
In order to reveal whether students have acquired the desired scientific knowledge or
not, a discussion environment where opinions can be expressed freely should be created
and questions should be asked where opinions can be evaluated (Cantek, 2016; Kireççi,
2008; Özdemir, 2010).
In Figure 9, three separate sections of comics prepared with drawing for science lesson are
Figure 9. Three separate sections of comics prepared with drawing for science lesson
When looking at the sample sections in Figure 9, it is seen that different science concepts
and events are discussed (Volcanoes, importance of forests, and weather events). It is
understood that the comics were created by combining the texts and images effectively,
reflecting the emotion of the characters through body language, drawing speech or imagination
bubbles, and reflecting the relevant scientific subject correctly.
In general, studies on the use of comics in science education show that comics are an
exciting tool to increase the interaction with science (Farinella, 2018a; Shurkin, 2015). In these
studies, although the effect of comics in science teaching is mentioned, the quantitative effects
of comics have not been explored to a large extent (Farinella, 2018b). From a more general
International Online Journal of Education and Teaching (IOJET) 2020, 7(4), 1550-1570.
perspective, the common result of those studies on the use of comics in science education is
that science is important and worth introducing through comics (Tatalovic, 2009).
2.3. Educational Comic Book Examples Which Can Be Used in Science Education
In this section, examples of comics that can be used as alternative teaching materials in
science education will be introduced.
2.3.1. Fen Öyküleri (Science Stories)
In the relevant book, the author presents his science stories to the reader in single-page
comic sections. Figure 10 contains three examples of comics in the book.
Figure 10. Fen Öyküleri (Science Stories) (Özdemir, 2006)
Figure 10 shows examples of comics under the titles 'Solar Eclipse', 'Nuclear Energy' and
'Myopia'. A striking point in the book is that the science stories are selected from concepts and
events related to daily life. It is thought that the objective of establishing a connection with
science concepts in daily life and explaining this with comics is to reveal the fun aspects of
science and to make readers realize how much it is in our lives.
2.3.2. Robotik ile Bilim Çizgi Roman Serisi (Science Comics Series with Robotics)
This series, which consists of 8 books, examines magnets, energy, force and motion in our
bodies, matter, volcanoes, and weather events and recycling, and focuses on the stories of two
brothers who are interested in science and discovering science in real and daily life. Figure 11
contains a 3-page section of the "energy" book.
Figure 11. A three-page section from the book entitled Robotik ile bilim çizgi roman
serisi-2 enerji (Science Comics Series with Robotics-2 Energy) (Öncü, 2020)
In the comic book in Figure 11, the combination of text and visual elements stands out. In
this book, which makes it easier for readers to find something from themselves with the
selection of child characters, science concepts which are perceived as difficult are also reflected
in an entertaining way.
2.3.3. Bilimin Çizgi Romanı (Comics of Science)
There is a total of 26 books in this comics series, and in this way, it is aimed for children to
grasp the basics of Science and to explore the world of science in a fun way. When we look at
the subjects discussed in this series, it is seen that they are selected from a wide range of
subjects from electricity to heat, from magnetism to gravity, and from systems to life cycles.
Figure 12 contains sections of the comics in three separate books in the series.
Figure 12. Sample sections in three separate books in Bilimin Çizgi Romanı (Comics of
Science) (Midthun & Hiti, 2016a; 2016b; 2017)
In Figure 12, there are one-page sample sections from "matter and properties", "structure
and classification of plants" and "sound" books, respectively. In each book, a main character
is determined in relation to the subject, and the story is given over that character. Every concept
mentioned by this main character in the story is explained in the glossary section at the end of
the book.
2.3.4. Dünyaya Yön Verenler Serisi (Those Shaping the World’ Series)
This series consists of 5 books including scientists such as Issac Newton, Albert Einstein
and Aziz Sancar. In each book, a short journey is made to the lives of scientists covered in that
book. Figure 13 contains a sample section from the book "Albert Einstein".
Figure 13. A sample section from the book ‘Albert Einstein’ (Akgül, 2017)
Figure 13 shows that an entertaining narrative style was adopted in the comic book named
Albert Einstein. In this comic book drawn by the author, scientific subjects such as space-time
International Online Journal of Education and Teaching (IOJET) 2020, 7(4), 1550-1570.
relationship, photoelectric effect, Brownian motion and energy are presented in a simple but
understandable language from Einstein's mouth.
3. Conclusion and Recommendation
In the 21st century, educational comics have become a trend again with its power to guide
students to acquire concepts in the education and training process. The complex combination
of image and text and the harmony they reveal create a new context with the story they tell. In
this respect, it is thought that educational comics go one step ahead of traditional textbooks.
The integration of comics with teaching activities will open a new window to students'
imagination and thus contribute to their creative thinking processes. In addition, these visually
enriched teaching materials are considered to be important in developing children's visual
perception skills and preparing them for the future world. For this reason, it is thought that the
relationships students establish with comics should not be ignored.
In science classes there are huge number of concepts that are abstract and difficult to
conceptualize for students and real challenges for teachers to teach. However, today, teachers,
experts, academics and even parents discover numerous ways to make the educational process
fruitful, joyful, interactive and memorable for the learners. Educational comics are among the
most easily accessible and affordable resources to use in the classes for teaching any subject
effectively. Therefore, educational comics that enable students to be interested in an academic
subject can also be used easily in science education. While using educational comics in science
education, special attention should be paid to the blending of entertainment or excitement
elements with scientific knowledge. In these comics, it is absolutely necessary to adhere to the
gains in the curriculum. From this perspective, it is thought that transferring scientific
knowledge to students in an interesting way will be effective in terms of students' perception
of science subjects, with which they often have a difficulty, with a clearer meaning in a more
interesting way.
Choosing the topics of educational comics to be used in science education from daily life
will enable students to find a harmony between their life activities and school experiences. By
combining visual information with verbal explanations, the permanence of the information
acquired by students will increase, and they will participate more actively in science lessons
with this interesting teaching tool. This will affect students' science learning and contribute to
their learning more meaningfully. In this way, it is thought that possible misconceptions that
may occur in students can be prevented. At the same time, including information on social
problems including science and technology in educational comics will increase students'
science literacy. Considering their contribution to the education and training process, it is
recommended to include educational comics in different courses, especially in science.
In this study, various samples and ideas are presented to increase awareness about how
comics can be made use of in science education. The documents presented shows comics can
easily be used for entertaining and educating purposes in science classes. In some documents
this feature of comics makes them true edutainment tools to consider as alternative education
tools. Researchers, teachers and academics may conduct deeper and wider researches on the
types of comics, adopting them in to educational settings in relation with different educational
theories and practices.
4. Conflict of Interest
The author declares that there is no conflict of interest.
5. Ethics Committee Approval
The author confirms that the study does not need ethics committee approval according to
the research integrity rules in their country.
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... Regarding the final design, three elements are considered to be key in these educational visual narrative formats: characters, concepts, and themes (Akcanca, 2020;Friesen et al., 2018). In our case, we chose four women as the main characters. ...
... In this visual format, these concepts were focused on the most relevant elements of entrepreneurship and needed to be concise and explanatory (Friesen et al., 2018). Considering themes, these help connect students to the story and further strengthen learning goals (Akcanca, 2020). In our case, the themes covered in the graphic novel focused on two aspects. ...
... The argument supporting this result is that previous entrepreneurial experience grants students increased ability to interpret the environment by, for instance, perceiving the underutilisation of resources, recognising market needs, or identifying technology patterns and trends (Hills & Shrader, 1998). In this sense, visual narrative formats enable the reproduction of entrepreneurial environments through different themes (Short & Payne, 2012) and visual elements (Akcanca, 2020), which prove to be particularly useful for students with previous experience in entrepreneurship when they are identifying opportunities. Regarding entrepreneurial intention (H3), the findings showed that visual narrative formats enhance students' attitudes and perceived behaviour, especially their entrepreneurial intentionality, after they have completed a teaching programme. ...
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... The assignment objective was for these teaching candidates to highlight an issue elementary learners were facing during the ongoing pandemic by designing a short comic strip narrative; students were encouraged to consider needs of specific groups of learners, particularly those to whom they might relate, have observed, or directly worked with in the field. The art professor suggested comic strips as a fruitful medium for this project given its accessibility to a wide variety of artists and readers (Akcanca, 2020). Also, comic strips offered the students a unique opportunity to creatively present and construct narratives through visuals and words, utilizing "panels to express the passage of time" (Eisner, 2008, p. 25) between pre-COVID and pandemic times. ...
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Supporting the 21st-century learners’ instructional needs is a trend of today’s educational system. This educational design research aimed to develop a Digital Interactive Math Comics (DIMaC) as an instructional material envisioned to meet these learners’ needs to a better understanding of Mathematics concepts. This employed the ADDIE framework for instructional material development design. There were 425 randomly chosen students who took the validated and acceptable with 0.7888 Cronbach’s alpha researcher-made General Mathematics Competency Test. This was done to identify the least learned skills and be the basis for design and development. The initial storyline with the Mathematics contents integrated were validated by the set of experts before the electronic illustrations and coding took place. The initial outputs of the DIMaC were revalidated for comments and suggestions before distribution for classroom use. These experts also evaluated the final version of DIMaC as very acceptable. The DIMaC was then implemented in a classroom and found to have high usability as rated by the students. Also, the app draws positive feedback for classroom use because of its interesting nature and uniqueness. Thus, this study adds to the body of literature on helpful instructional materials for utilization to these tech-savvy learners.
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Bu çalışma Sosyal Bilgiler dersinde eğitici çizgi roman kullanımının öğrencilerin başarısı ve derse karşı tutumu üzerindeki etkilerini belirlemek amacıyla hazırlanmıştır. Bu amaç doğrultusunda çalışma ön test-son test kontrol gruplu yarı deneysel desene (ÖSDK) uygun olarak hazırlanmıştır. 2017-2018 eğitim-öğretim yılında Antalya ilinde yer alan bir ortaokulda 25'i deney 25'i kontrol grubunda olmak üzere 50 adet beşinci sınıf öğrencisinin katılımıyla gerçekleştirilen çalışmada nicel veri toplama yöntemleri kullanılmıştır. Uygulama kapsamında beşinci sınıf sosyal bilgiler dersi konularından olan "Haritayı Tanıyorum" ve "İklim ve Yaşamım" konuları, deney grubuna çizgi romanlarla destekli programa dayalı uygulama yapılırken; kontrol grubuna ise sadece programın öngördüğü şekilde uygulama yapılmıştır. Uygulama sonucunda elde edilen veriler uygun analiz yöntemleriyle analiz edilmiş ve yorumlanmıştır. Araştırma verilerinin analizi sonucunda sosyal bilgiler dersinde çizgi roman kullanımının öğrencilerin başarısı üzerinde olumlu bir etkiye sahip olduğu, bununla birlikte Sosyal Bilgiler dersinde eğitici çizgi roman kullanımının öğrencilerin derse yönelik tutumları üzerinde bir etkisinin olmadığı sonucuna ulaşılmıştır. Çalışma sonucunda ulaşılan sonuçlar ilgili çalışmaların sonuçları ile karşılaştırılmış son olarak ise araştırmacılara ve uygulayıcılara yönelik önerilerde bulunulmuştur. Abstract The present study aims to find out the effects of using educational comics in Social Studies course on students' success and attitudes towards the course. To attain this goal, it is designed in accordance with pretest-post control group technique of quasi-experimental design. The study, which is conducted with 50 5th grade students (25 experimental-25 control) of a middle school in the province of Antalya during 2017-2018 academic year, adopts quantitative data collection techniques. Within the context of treatment, the subjects "I'm learning the map" and "Climate and my life" of 5th grade social studies course are taught to the experimental group by using the educational comics developed by the researcher but they are taught to the control group in conformity with the existing curriculum. The collected data are analysed and interpreted through appropriate analysis techniques. The research results reveal that the use of educational comics in Social Studies course has a positive impact on students' success; on the other hand, it does not have a significant effect on their attitudes towards the course. The results of the research are also compared to the results of the related studies and recommendations for researchers and practitioners are put forth.
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New educational resources are being implemented as an initiative to foster learning. In order to contribute to the toolkit of innovative educational resources, we developed a microbiology comic book. The aim of this comic is to provide educators with a fun, accessible, and rigorous way to generate awareness of the invisible world that surrounds us and that inhabits us. Bacteria have a reputation as harmful and disgusting entities. Mass media, with advertisements of disinfectants, soaps, and house cleaning products, are sending a distorted message about microbes. We must debunk these misconceptions and emphasize the importance of microorganisms, and particularly bacteria, in the environment and our lives. Education is the means to this end, and therefore this comic is intended to help educators teach microbiology in an attractive, accurate, and straightforward way. Here, we present this educational tool and give some tips on the different themes that can be addressed in the classroom using this resource.
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Introduction: This study presents the results of a year-long project focused on analysis and reflection on working with comics by students in the preschool teacher training programme. Methods: This study presents the use of comics to help pre-literacy children understand certain physical phenomena. The study is based on observations of changing perception of phenomena by children as a result of the use of comics accompanied by concept maps. Results: Comics are proven to be a modern pedagogical strategy, which is starting to gain its popularity in teaching about nature study. It is used in research-oriented teaching within the psycho-didactic concept of instruction. Conclusions: Comics can be very helpful in making science concepts interesting and comprehensible for a preschool child.
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Visual narratives, such as comics and animations, are becoming increasingly popular as a tool for science education and communication. Combining the benefits of visualization with powerful metaphors and character-driven narratives, comics have the potential to make scientific subjects more accessible and engaging for a wider audience. While many authors have experimented with this medium, empirical research on the effects of visual narratives in science communication remains scarce. This review summarizes the available evidence across disciplines, highlighting the cognitive mechanisms that may underlie the effects of visual narratives.
This article explores the value and application of using comic images to teach difficult political texts. We presented either visual or textual portions of the Constitution to 71 American 18- to 22-year-olds using Survey Monkey Audience, measuring and comparing their knowledge of the Constitution before and after viewing. Respondents viewing the comic of congressional duties experienced statistically significant gains in pretest to posttest mean knowledge scores. Respondents viewing the text also experienced an increase in mean scores pretest to posttest; however, these changes were smaller and not statistically significant. This indicates that students may better comprehend content from visual depictions of difficult texts. We conclude by providing an example of one way that we use comics of political texts as a tool for student learning in an international civics exchange program.
Objectives The authors investigated student satisfaction with the use of comics as an educational tool in clinical medical education. Methods Students on a Psychiatry clinical clerkship reviewed educational comics at the time of orientation. End of clerkship surveys were utilized to assess students’ perceptions about the usefulness of comics for their learning during the clerkship. Students’ responses were qualitatively and quantitatively analyzed. Results Eighty-four percent of students indicated that comics helped improve their understanding of clinical concepts, while approximately 80% felt that reviewing comics prior to each clerkship rotation helped ease transition into their assigned clinical service. Almost three quarters of all responders (74%) indicated that they were more likely to review preparatory material in comic form, as compared to other formats. Students found the comics easy to read, fun, and appreciated the concise presentation of information within them. Students also highlighted the limited amount of information presented as a relative weakness of the program. Conclusions Comics may be utilized as an acceptable educational tool in clinical medical education.