How a teacher uses comics to teach social justice
As a social studies teacher who invests a lot of class time poring over comic books with students, its been gratifying to see the attitude about comics in education moving over the last decade approximately. Years ago, it wasnt unusual to get a little bit of side-eye when I discussed mentor with comics.
Ive invested about a years as the chair of the social studies department at Wissahickon High School, where I teach grades 9-12. I write instructor guides and curriculum for graphic novels for publishers like Macmillan and Scholastic, and I have a book about teaching with comics coming out this summer. I likewise deliver in-service learning for instructors, and nowadays Im most likely to hear appreciation than hesitation from teachers whose own instructors took their comic books away from them as trainees.
From a-ha to recognition
I compose instructor guides and curriculum for graphic novels for publishers like Macmillan and Scholastic, and I have a book about teaching with comics coming out this summer season. I also provide in-service learning for teachers, and these days Im more likely to hear appreciation than hesitation from educators whose own teachers took their comic books away from them as trainees.
Tim Smyth, Social Studies Teacher, Wissahickon High SchoolTim Smyth teaches social research studies at Wissahickon High School. He has actually composed teacher guides and curriculum for using comics in the class, is an author at PBS blogging about teaching with comics, and has a book forthcoming this summertime on the topic. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and @historycomics on Twitter and Instagram.
I knew I was on to something when I started putting this research study, and my individual passion, to use in the classroom. In 2011, Miles Morales, a Black teenager, was introduced as Spiderman and our class discussed the methods which pop culture shows society. A Black trainee came up to me after class and we had this actually meaningful conversation in which he informed me that he was a lot more impressed that Spiderman was Black than that the president of the United States was at the time.
Even as a life-long avid reader, there were books that I just did not want to read when I was in school. I started doing research and wrote my thesis on using comics and pop culture in the classroom to increase engagement and confidence in readers.
He has actually written instructor guides and curriculum for utilizing comics in the class, is an author at PBS composing about teaching with comics, and has a book upcoming this summertime on the topic.
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