Equitable learning opportunities are critical to the goals of science education. However, major curriculum standards are vague on how to achieve equity goals, and educators must often develop their own resources and strategies to achieve equity goals. This study examines how educators used a comic book series designed to interest youth in virology as a way to make science more broadly appealing to their diverse students.
We begin with the notion of Pedagogical Design Capacity, which describes a dynamic relationship between teachers and their tools and the ability for teachers to perceive and leverage affordances of artifacts as tools in their curriculum design. In a qualitative analysis of 18 interviews with educators, survey responses, instructional artifacts, and classroom observations, we describe the potential that educators saw in the comics and the strategies they used to take advantage of that potential to promote equitable science teaching. Notably, we observed how the comics enabled educators to incorporate multiple literacies and disciplinary lenses into their lessons, thereby expanding traditional views of science literacy. We documented the range of techniques by which they used comics and fictional narratives to support specific scientific practices, such as modeling. We also observed challenges that participants encountered in using comics, which included overcoming their own and their students’ attitudes and beliefs regarding the role of informal reading materials in science education.
By investigating how resourceful science educators use comic books, this study informs both researchers and educators on how innovative curriculum materials can broaden and diversify participation in science. Findings have implications for the design of similar curriculum materials and instructional approaches, as well as professional development to support equitable science teaching.
This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.
Buy single article
Instant access to the full article PDF.
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.
Subscribe to journal
Immediate online access to all issues from 2019. Subscription will auto renew annually.
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.
Acher, A., Arcà, M., & Sanmartí, N. (2007). Modeling as a teaching learning process for understanding materials: a case study in primary education. Science Education, 91(3), 398–418.
Af Geijerstam, Å. (2006). Att skriva i naturorienterande ämnen i skolan [Writing in natural sciences in school] Studia Linguistica Upsalensia 3. Uppsala, Sweden: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis.
Alaba, S. O. (2007). The use of educational cartoons and comics in enhancing creativity in primary school pupils in Ile-ife, Osun State, Nigeria. Journal of Applied Sciences Research, 3(10), 913–920.
Aleixo, P. A., & Sumner, K. (2017). Memory for biopsychology material presented in comic book format. Journal of Graphic Novels and Comics, 8(1), 79–88.
Ames, C. (1992). Classrooms: goals, structures, and student motivation. Journal of Educational Psychology, 84(3), 261–271.
Arias, A. M., Bismack, A. S., Davis, E. A., & Palincsar, A. S. (2016). Interacting with a suite of educative features: elementary science teachers’ use of educative curriculum materials. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 53(3), 422–449.
Asowayan, A. A., Ashreef, S. Y., & Omar, S. H. (2017). A systematic review: the next generation science standards and the increased cultural diversity. English Language Teaching, 10(10), 63.
Banks, J. A. (2015). Cultural diversity and education. Routledge.
Banks, J. A., Au, K. H., Ball, A. F., Bell, P., Gordon, E. W., Gutiérrez, K., Heath, S. B., Lee, C. D., Lee, Y., Mahiri, J., Nasir, N. S., Valdes, G., & Zhou, M. (2007). Learning in and out of school in diverse environments: lifelong, life-wide, life-deep. Seattle: Center for Multicultural Education, University of Washington.
Bell, P., Bricker, L., Tzou, C., & Baines, A. D. (2012). Learning in diversities of structures of social practice. Human Development, 55, 269–284.
Brown, B. A. (2006). “It isn’t no slang that can be said about this stuff”: language, identity, and appropriating science discourse. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 43(1), 96–126.
Brown, J. C. (2017). A metasynthesis of the complementarity of culturally responsive and inquiry-based science education in K-12 settings: implications for advancing equitable science teaching and learning. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 54(9), 1143–1173.
Brown, M. W. (2009). The teacher-tool relationship. Mathematics Teachers at Work: Connecting Curriculum Materials and Classroom Instruction, 17–36.
Bobek, E., & Tversky, B. (2016). Creating visual explanations improves learning. Cognitive Research: Principles and Implications, 1(1), 27. https://doi.org/10.1186/s41235-016-0031-6
Cervetti, G. N., Bravo, M. A., Hiebert, E. H., Pearson, P. D., & Jaynes, C. A. (2009). Text genre and science content: ease of reading, comprehension, and reader preference. Reading Psychology, 30(6), 487–511.
Chad, J. (2016). Science comics: Volcanoes: Fire and life. First Second.
Clark, J. S. (2013). “Your credibility could be shot”: preservice teachers’ thinking about nonfiction graphic novels, curriculum decision making, and professional acceptance. The Social Studies, 104(1), 38–45.
Clement, J. (2000). Model based learning as a key research area for science education. International Journal of Science Education, 22(9), 1041–1053.
Danielsson, K. (2010). Learning chemistry. Text use and text talk in a Finland-Swedish chemistry classroom. IARTEM e-Journal, 3(2), 1–28.
Dark, M. L. (2005). Using science fiction movies in introductory physics. The Physics Teacher, 43, 463–465.
Davis, E. A., & Krajcik, J. S. (2005). Designing educative curriculum materials to promote teacher learning. Educational Researcher, 34(3), 3–14.
Davis, E. A., Palincsar, A. S., Smith, P. S., Arias, A. M., & Kademian, S. M. (2017). Educative curriculum materials: uptake, impact, and implications for research and design. Educational Researcher 0013189X17727502.
Diamond, J., Jee, B., Matuk, C., McQuillan, J., Spiegel, A. N., & Uttal, D. (2015). Museum monsters and victorious viruses: improving public understanding of emerging biomedical research. Curator: the Museum Journal, 58(3), 299–311.
Diamond, J., Powell, M., Fox, A., & Downer-Hazell, A. (2012). World of viruses. University of Nebraska Press.
Duke, N. K., Pearson, P D., Strachan, S. L., & Billman, A. K. (2011). Essential elements of fostering and teaching reading comprehension. In S. J. Samuel & A. E. Farstrup (Eds.), What research has to say about reading instruction (4 ed., pp. 286–314). Newark: International Reading Association.
Driscoll, M. P., Moallem, M., Dick, W., & Kirby, E. (1994). How does the textbook contribute to learning in a middle school science class? Contemporary Educational Psychology, 19(1), 79–100.
Duschl, R. (2008). Science education in three-part harmony: balancing conceptual, epistemic, and social learning goals. Review of Research in Education, 32(1), 268–291.
Edens, K. M., & Potter, E. (2003). Using descriptive drawings as a conceptual change strategy in elementary science. School Science and Mathematics, 103(3), 135–144.c.
Fang, Z., & Wei, Y. (2010). Improving middle school students’ science literacy through reading infusion. The Journal of Educational Research, 103(4), 262–273.
Finn, J. D. (1989). Withdrawing from school. Review of Educational Research, 59(2), 117–142.
Frankel, F. (2005). Translating science into pictures: A powerful learning tool. In Invention and impact: building excellence in undergraduate science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education (pp. 155–158). Washington, DC: AAAS.
Gavigan, K. W. (2014). Shedding new light on graphic novel collections: a circulation and collection analysis study in six middle school libraries. School Libraries Worldwide, 20(1), 97.
Gay, G. (2013). Teaching to and through cultural diversity. Curriculum Inquiry, 43, 48–70. https://doi.org/10.1111/curi.12002.
Geier, R., Blumenfeld, P. C., Marx, R. W., Krajcik, J. S., Fishman, B., Soloway, E., & Clay-Chambers, J. (2008). Standardized test outcomes for students engaged in inquiry-based science curricula in the context of urban reform. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 45(8), 922–939.
Glaser, B., & Strauss, A. (1967). The Discovery of Grounded Theory. Hawthorne, NY: Aldine Publishing Company.
Gobert, J. D., & Buckley, B. C. (2000). Introduction to model-based teaching and learning in science education. International Journal of Science Education, 22(9), 891–894.
Goldman, S. R., & Bisanz, G. L. (2002). Toward a functional analysis of scientific genres: Implications for understanding and learning processes. In J. Otero, J. A. León, & A. C. Graesser (Eds.), The psychology of science text comprehension (pp. 19–50). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
Goldschmidt, P., & Jung, H. (2011). Evaluation of seeds of science/roots of reading: effective tools for developing literacy through science in the early grades-light energy unit. CRESST report 781. National Center for Research on Evaluation, Standards, and Student Testing (CRESST).
González, N., Moll, L. C., & Amanti, C. (2005). Funds of knowledge: theorizing practices in households, communities, and classrooms. Mahwah, N.J.: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Publishers.
Guzzetti, B. J., & Bang, E. (2010). The influence of literacy-based science instruction on adolescents' interest, participation, and achievement in science. Literacy Research and Instruction, 50(1), 44–67.
Hall, V. C., Bailey, J., & Tillman, C. (1997). Can student-generated illustrations be worth ten thousand words? Journal of Educational Psychology, 89(4), 677–681.
Hand, B. M., Alvermann, D. E., Gee, J., Guzzetti, B. J., Norris, S. P., Phillips, L. M., Prain, V., & Yore, L. D. (2003). Message from the “island group”: what is literacy in science literacy? Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 40(7), 607–615.
Harwood, W. S., & McMahon, M. M. (1997). Effects of integrated video media on student achievement and attitudes in high school chemistry. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 34(6), 617–631.
Henriksen, D., Mishra, P., & Fisser, P. (2016). Infusing creativity and technology in 21st century education: a systemic view for change. Journal of Educational Technology & Society, 19(3), 27.
Hicks, D. (1995/1996). Discourse, learning, and teaching. In M.W. Apple (Ed.), Review of research in education (Vol. 21, pp. 49–95). Washington, DC: American Educational Research Association.
Hosler, J., & Boomer, K. B. (2011). Are comic books an effective way to engage nonmajors in learning and appreciating science? 1. CBE-Life Sciences Education, 10(3), 309–317.
Hosler, J. S. (2000). Clan apis. Active Synapse.
Hosler, J. S. (2008). Optical allusions. Active Synapse.
Hutchinson, K. H. (1949). An experiment in the use of comics as instructional material. The Journal of Educational Sociology, 23(4), 236–245.
Jacobs, D. (2007). More than words: comics as a means of teaching multiple literacies. English Journal, 96(3), 19. https://doi.org/10.2307/30047289.
Jacobs, V. (2008). Adolescent literacy: putting the crisis in context. Harvard Educational Review, 78(1), 7–39.
Januszyk, R., Lee, O., & Miller, E. (2015). Chapter 4: charges of the NGSS diversity and equity team. In O. Lee, E. Miller, & R. Januszyk (Eds.), NGSS for all students. National Science Teachers Association.
Januszyk, R., Miller, E. C., & Lee, O. (2016). Addressing student diversity and equity. Science and Children, 53(8), 28.
Jee, B. D., & Anggoro, F. K. (2012). Comic cognition: Exploring the potential cognitive impacts of science comics. Journal of Cognitive Education and Psychology, 11(2), 196–208.
Jennings, K. A., Rule, A. C., & Vander Zanden, S. M. (2014). Fifth graders’ enjoyment, interest, and comprehension of graphic novels compared to heavily-illustrated and traditional novels. International Electronic Journal of Elementary Education, 6(2), 257.
Johnson, C. C. (2011). The road to culturally relevant science: exploring how teachers navigate change in pedagogy. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 48(2), 170–198.
Jonassen, D. H., & Hernandez-Serrano, J. (2002). Case-based reasoning and instructional design: using stories to support problem solving. Educational Technology Research and Development, 50(2), 65–77.
Koch, F. (2017). Science comics: plagues: the microscopic battlefield. First Second.
Krajcik, J., Blumenfeld, P.C., Marx, R.W., Bass, K.M., & Fredricks, J. (1998). Inquiry in project-based science classrooms: Initial attempts by middle school students. Journal of the Learning Sciences, 7, 313–350.
Kress, G., Jewitt, C., Ogborn, J., & Tsatsarelis, C. (2001). Multimodal teaching and learning: the rhetorics of the science classroom. London: Continuum.
Ladson-Billings, G. (2014). Culturally relevant pedagogy 2.0: a.k.a. the remix. Harvard Educational Review, 84, 74–84.
Ladson-Billings, G. (1995a). Toward a theory of culturally relevant pedagogy. American Educational Research Journal, 32(3), 465–491.
Ladson-Billings, G. (1995b). But that’s just good teaching! The case for culturally relevant pedagogy. Theory Into Practice, 34(3), 159–165.
Lansing, K. M. (1981). The effect of drawing on the development of mental representations. Studies in Art Education, 22(3), 15–23.
Lansing, K. M. (1984). The effect of drawing on the development of mental representations: a continuing study. Studies in Art Education, 25(3), 167–175.
Lapp, D., Wolsey, T. D., Fisher, D., & Frey, N. (2011). Graphic novels: What elementary teachers think about their instructional value. Journal of Education, 23–35.
Laprise, S., & Winrich, C. (2010). The impact of science fiction films on student interest in science. Journal of College Science Teaching, 40(2), 45.
Laughter, J. C., & Adams, A. D. (2012). Culturally relevant science teaching in middle school. Urban Education, 47(6), 1106–1134.
Lee, O. (2002). Chapter 2: promoting scientific inquiry with elementary students from diverse cultures and languages. Review of Research in Education, 26(1), 23–69.
Lee, O. (2004). Teacher change in beliefs and practices in science and literacy instruction with English language learners. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 41(1), 65–93.
Lee, O., & Fradd, S. H. (1998). Science for all, including students from non-English language backgrounds. Educational Researcher, 27, 1–10.
Lee, O., Miller, E. C., & Januszyk, R. (2014). Next generation science standards: all standards, all students. Journal of Science Teacher Education, 25(2), 223–233.
Lee, C. D., & Spratley, A. (2010). Reading in the disciplines: the challenges of adolescent literacy. New York, NY: Carnegie Corporation of New York.
Lehrer, R., & Schauble, L. (2006). Cultivating model-based reasoning in science education. In R. K. Sawyer (Ed.), The Cambridge handbook of: the learning sciences (pp. 371–387). New York: Cambridge University Press.
Lemke, J.L. (1990). Talking science: Language, learning, and values. Norwood, NJ: Ablex.
Lesh, R., & Doerr, H. M. (2000). Symbolizing, communicating, and mathematizing: key components of models and modeling. In P. Cobb, E. Yackel, & K. McClain (Eds.), Symbolizing and communicating in mathematics classrooms: perspectives on discourse, tools, and instructional design (pp. 361–383). Mahwah: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
Lin, C. H. (2002). Literature circles. ERIC Digest.
Lin, K. (2014). Effects of science fiction films on junior high school students’ creative processes and products. Thinking Skills and Creativity, 14, 87–97.
Lyons, T. (2006). Different countries, same science classes: Students’ experiences of school science in their own words. International Journal of Science Education, 28(6), 591–613.
Mar, R. A., Oatley, K., Hirsh, J., dela Paz, J., & Peterson, J. B. (2006). Bookworms versus nerds: EXPOSURE to fiction versus non-fiction, divergent associations with social ability, and the simulation of fictional social worlds. Journal of Research in Personality, 40(5), 694–712.
Mar, R. A., Oatley, K., & Peterson, J. B. (2009). Exploring the link between reading fiction and empathy: ruling out individual differences and examining outcomes. Communications, 34(4), 407–428.
Matuk, C. F., Diamond, J., & Uttal, D. H. (2009). Heroes, villains and viruses: How graphic narratives teach science. In International Visual Literacy Association (IVLA2009). Chicago: IL.
McCloud, S. (1993). Understanding comics: The invisible art. Mass: Northampton.
Miles, M. B., Huberman, A. M., & Saldana, J. (2014). Qualitative data analysis: A methods sourcebook. 3rd edition. Chicago: SAGE.
Millard, E., & Marsh, J. (2001). Sending Minnie the Minx home: comics and reading choices. Cambridge Journal of Education, 31(1), 25–38.
Ministry of Education and Research. (2006). Kunnskapsløftet [The knowledge promotion reform]. Oslo, Norway: Author. Retrieved June 15, 2014, from http://www.udir.no/Lareplaner/.
Moje, E. B., Collazo, T., Carrillo, R., & Marx, R. W. (2001). “Maestro, what is ‘quality’?”: language, literacy, and discourse in project-based science. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 38(4), 469–498.
Nam, Y., Roehrig, G. H., Kern, A., & Reynolds, B. (2012). Perceptions and practices of culturally relevant science teaching in American Indian classrooms. International Journal of Science and Mathematics Education, 11, 143–167.
National Governors Association Center for Best Practices & Council of Chief State School Officers. (2010). Common core state standards. Washington D.C.: National Governors Association Center for Best Practices, Council of Chief State School Officers.
National Research Council. (2009). Learning science in informal environments: people, places, and pursuits. Committee on learning science in informal environments. P. Bell, B. Lewenstein, A.W. Shouse, and M.A. Feder (Eds.). Board on Science Education, Center for Education. Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.
National Research Council. (2012). A framework for K-12 science education: practices, crosscutting concepts, and core ideas. National Academies Press.
NGSS Lead States. (2013). Next generation science standards: for states, by states. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.
NGSS Lead States. (2013). Next generation science standards: for states, by states. Appendix D: all standards, all students/case studies. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.
Nelson, J. (2006). Hur används läroboken av lärare och elever? [How is the textbook used by teachers and students?]. Nordic Studies in Science Education, 2(2), 16–27.
Nieto, S. (2000). Placing equity front and center: some thoughts on transforming teacher education for a new century. Journal of Teacher Education, 51(3), 180–187.
Norton, B. (2003). The motivating power of comic books: insights from Archie comic readers. The Reading Teacher, 57(2), 140–147.
Ogier, S., & Ghosh, K. (2017). Exploring student teachers’ capacity for creativity through the interdisciplinary use of comics in the primary classroom. Journal of Graphic Novels and Comics, 1–17.
Ogle, D. M. (1986). K-W-L: a teaching model that develops active reading of expository text. Reading Teacher, 39, 564–570.
Olson, J. C. (2008). The comic strip as a medium for promoting science literacy. Northridge, CA: California State University. URL: http://www.Csun.edu/jco69120/coursework/697/projects/OlsonActionResearchFinal.Pdf [accessed 5.
Oppenheimer, T. (2003). The flickering mind: the false promise of technology in the classroom, and how learning can be saved. New York: Random House.
Osborne, J., & Collins, S. (2001). Pupils’ views of the role and value of the science curriculum: a focus-group study. International Journal of Science Education, 23(5), 441–467.
Ottaviani, J. (2003). Dignifying science: stories about women scientists. Gt Labs.
Ottaviani, J., & Myrick, L. (2011). Feynman. Macmillan.
Özdemir, E. (2010). The effect of instructional comics on sixth grade students’ achievement in heat transfer. Unpublished Doctoral Dissertation, Middle East Technical University—Turkey.
Pappas, C. C. (2006). The information book genre: its role in integrated science literacy research and practice. Reading Research Quarterly, 41(2), 226–250.
Pearson, P. D., Moje, E., & Greenleaf, C. (2010). Literacy and science: each in the service of the other. Science, 328(5977), 459–463.
Pearson, M., & Somekh, B. (2006). Learning transformation with technology: a question of sociocultural contexts? International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education, 19(4), 519–539.
Pillsbury, R. T. (2008). Diagramming the never ending story: student-generated diagrammatic stories integrate and retain science concepts improving science literacy. Ann Arbor: The University of North Carolina at Charlotte.
Pintrich, P. R. (2000). An achievement goal theory perspective on issues in motivation terminology, theory, and research. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 25(1), 92–104.
Reed, M., & Flood, J. (2016). Science comics: dinosaurs: fossils and feathers. First Second.
Rodriguez, A. J. (2015). What about a dimension of engagement, equity, and diversity practices? A critique of the next generation science standards. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 52(7), 1031–1051.
Rosebery, A. S., Warren, B., & Conant, F. R. (1992). Appropriating scientific discourse: findings from language minority classrooms. The Journal of the Learning Sciences, 2(1), 61–94.
Rota, G., & Izquierdo, J. (2003). “Comics” as a tool for teaching biotechnology in primary schools. Electronic Journal of Biotechnology, 6(2), 85–89.
Santa, C.M., & Alvermann, D.E. (1991). Science learning: Processes and applications. Newark: DE: International Reading Association.
Schleppegrell, M. J. (2004). The language of schooling: a functional linguistics perspective. Routledge.
Schoerning E. (2018) The culture of classroom science: discourse, dialog, and language practices. In: Science culture, language, and education in America. Palgrave Macmillan, New York.
Schwarz, C. V., & White, B. Y. (2005). Metamodeling knowledge: developing students’ understanding of scientific modeling. Cognition and Instruction, 23(2), 165–205.
Schwarz, C. V., Reiser, B. J., Davis, E. A., Kenyon, L., Achér, A., Fortus, D., Shwartz, Y., Hug, B., & Krajcik, J. (2009). Developing a learning progression for scientific modeling: making scientific modeling accessible and meaningful for learners. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 46(6), 632–654.
Sherin, M. G., & Drake, C. (2009). Curriculum strategy framework: investigating patterns in teachers’ use of a reform-based elementary mathematics curriculum. Journal of Curriculum Studies, 41(4), 467–500.
Somekh, B. (2008). Factors affecting teachers’ pedagogical adoption of ICT. In International handbook of information technology in primary and secondary education (pp. 449–460). Springer, Boston, MA, Factors Affecting Teachers’ Pedagogical Adoption of ICT.
Sørvik, G. O., Blikstad-Balas, M., & Ødegaard, M. (2015). “Do books like these have authors?” New roles for text and new demands on students in integrated science-literacy instruction. Science Education, 99(1), 39–69.
Spiegel, A. N., McQuillan, J., Halpin, P., Matuk, C., & Diamond, J. (2013). Engaging teenagers with science through comics. Research in Science Education, 43(6), 2309–2326.
Stefanou, C. R., Perencevich, K. C., DiCintio, M., & Turner, J. C. (2004). Supporting autonomy in the classroom Ways teachers encourage student decision making and ownership. Educational Psychologist, 39(2), 97–110.
Stratford, S. J., Krajcik, J., & Soloway, E. (1998). Secondary students’ dynamic modeling processes: analyzing, reasoning about, synthesizing, and testing models of stream ecosystems. Journal of Science Education and Technology, 7(3), 215–234.
Tatalovic, M. (2009). Science comics as tools for science education and communication: a brief, exploratory study. Jcom, 8(4).
The White House. (2014). The Clinton-Gore administration: a record of progress. Retrieved from http://clinton5.nara.gov/WH/Accomplishments/eightyears-05.html.
Tong, F., Irby, B. J., Lara-Alecio, R., Guerrero, C., Fan, Y., & Huerta, M. (2014). A randomized study of a literacy-integrated science intervention for low-socio-economic status middle school students: findings from first-year implementation. International Journal of Science Education, 36(12), 2083–2109.
Unterhalter, E. (2009). What is equity in education? Reflections from the capability approach. Studies in Philosophy and Education, 28(5), 415–424.
Van Meter, P. (2001). Drawing construction as a strategy for learning from text. Journal of Educational Psychology, 93(1), 129–140.
Van Meter, P., Aleksic, M., Schwartz, A., & Garner, J. (2006). Learner-generated drawing as a strategy for learning from content area text. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 31(2), 142–166.
Warren, B., Ballenger, C., Ogonowski, M., Rosebery, A. S., & Hudicourt-Barnes, J. (2001). Rethinking diversity in learning science: the logic of everyday sense-making. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 38(5), 529–552.
Weitkamp, E., & Burnet, F. (2007). The Chemedian brings laughter to the chemistry classroom. International Journal of Science Education, 29(15), 1911–1929.
Wellington, J., & Osborne, J. (2001). Language and literacy in science education. McGraw-Hill Education (UK).
Wilensky, U., & Reisman, K. (2006). Thinking like a wolf, a sheep, or a firefly: learning biology through constructing and testing computational theories—an embodied modeling approach. Cognition and Instruction, 24(2), 171–209.
Wilgus, A., & Brooks, M. G. (2017). Science comics. New York: First Second, an imprint of Roaring Brook Press.
Wilson, C. D., Taylor, J. A., Kowalski, S. M., & Carlson, J. (2010). The relative effects and equity of inquiry-based and commonplace science teaching on students’ knowledge, reasoning, and argumentation. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 47(3), 276–301.
Windschitl, M., Thompson, J., & Braaten, M. (2008). Beyond the scientific method: model-based inquiry as a new paradigm of preference for school science investigations. Science Education, 92(5), 941–967.
Wu, H. K., & Krajcik, J. S. (2006). Inscriptional practices in two inquiry-based classrooms: a case study of seventh graders’ use of data tables and graphs. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 43(1), 63–95. https://doi.org/10.1002/tea.20092.
Yore, L. D. (1991). Secondary science teachers’ attitudes toward and beliefs about science reading and science textbooks. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 28(1), 55–72.
Yore, L. D., Bisanz, G. L., & Hand, B. M. (2003). Examining the literacy component of science literacy: 25 years of language arts and science research. International Journal of Science Education, 25(6), 689–725.
Yore, L. D., Hand, B., Goldman, S. R., Hildebrand, G. M., Osborne, J. F., Treagust, D. F., et al. (2004). New directions in language and science education research. Reading Research Quarterly, 39(3), 347–352.
Zimmer, C. (2015). A planet of viruses. University of Chicago Press.
Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.
BioHuman Deliverable Evaluation Study
[review consent and provide written copy]
How familiar are you with these materials? (bring materials to show interviewee)
Print: WoV comics, Microbe Maniacs Sticker Books, Planet of Viruses book,
Online: Occupied! comic, WoV apps, BioHuman/WoV website
How did you first learn about these materials?
What motivated you to request them?
Which of these materials have you used with students?
If using materials:
How have you used these materials? (Ask for each material)
As part of a curricular unit? Which? Why does it fit here?
Across the curriculum?
How many total hours per week/weeks per year?
In-class? Whole class or small groups or individuals?
If not using as part of a class, how are they are they made available to students? Assigned reading or as an “extra”?
What other materials/ resources do you use with these?
What scaffolding do you use?
Why have you chosen to use these? Motivation/engagement?
What was student response to these materials?
Are certain types of students more responsive to these materials? Which? How do you know?
How similar to and different from other kinds of add-in resources that you use in your classroom?
How, if at all, have these materials influenced student motivation & engagement?
What have been the strengths/benefits of using these materials?
What have been limitations or issues you experienced?
How do you plan to use them in the future?
Have you recommended these to your colleagues would you recommend them (not just to support science, but also reading)?
Would you be willing to allow me to observe you using these materials with students? (describe research goals, set up tentative time; provide parental notifications)
Who else should I talk to in your building about these comics? Have others used them?
If not using materials:
Are materials made available to students? How?
Why did you decide not to use them? What barriers, if any, prevented you from using them?
What would encourage/enable you to use the materials? What supports are needed?
Are you interested in attending a Flex session (professional development)? If so, when would be a good time? Are you interested in presenting? What would be the goals of your presentation?
All formal reports will have data reported anonymously, but I may include your name in providing some specific information to the project PI for professional development follow-up. I can ensure that any or all information that you do not want associated with your name can be reported anonymously. Is there anything that you have shared with me that is sensitive and that you do not want associated with your name when shared with the project PI and staff?
Teacher Demographic/Attitudinal Survey Items
About this article
Cite this article
Matuk, C., Hurwich, T., Spiegel, A. et al. How Do Teachers Use Comics to Promote Engagement, Equity, and Diversity in Science Classrooms?. Res Sci Educ (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11165-018-9814-8
- Comic books
- Instructional strategies
- Science education