Marilee Vergati reviews the documentary film Comic Book Literacy and wonders if comic books have a part to play in restoring American public schools:

The Comic Book Literacy movement believes graphic novels and comic books are an important educational resource. They could be part of a solution for at risk schools with higher dropout rates and lower test scores. Filmmaker Todd Kent’s award-winning documentary Comic Book Literacy, provides insight into using comic books and graphic novels for improving literacy. Hoping to encourage reading, dedicated educators are viewing Kent’s film to learn more.

I love comic books and, like Vergati, I believe they are an important educational resource.  They can introduce reluctant readers to literary concepts, effectively convey sequential information, and get students to think about the differences between media.  I have to admit, though, that the part they’ll play in saving failing schools is very, very small.  You can’t just put comics in a classroom and expect magic.  More than anything, you need a good teacher who knows how to teach.  Comics ought to be a part of her toolkit, but the driving force of change will be her skill.

Full article here.