1. TheLeonard112
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    TheLeonard112 Sūpākūru Senpai

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    Graphic Novels In The School System

    Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by TheLeonard112, Oct 30, 2012.

    Could someone tell me a good reason why graphic novels aren't accepted in the school system? They don't allow you to use them for book reports, they don't have them in the school library, and during reading time you can't read them. I mean I don't know if all teachers see graphic novels as SpiderMan swinging off buildings or Batman beating on criminals, but come on. Graphic novels do not get enough respect. Even for the graphic novels that are about superheroes they should be allowed. Must people think all graphic novels are to violent, but what about books like The Hunger Games and what about the original Grimm Tales? Is it because they have pictures? Well you know what they say, a picture says a thousand words. They think they're too goofy? Well a lot of graphic novels can have a more compelling story than some books, that could be flat out dumb. Is it because they think they don't have enough words? In some cases this might be true but in others not so. I can garuntee there are some graphic novels that have more words than books. And even if not, SO WHAT? I mean if the story is still considered a story and it is still suitable to sit down and read. What's the problem? People need to understand, graphic novels/comic books aren't 50 cent little thin books anymore. They have evolved to an art form, that should be respected as such AN ART FORM.
     
  2. steve119
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    steve119 Senior Member

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    I absolutely agree with you Graphic Novels are an art form and some are fantastic literary pieces such as V for Vendetta. but I guess the answer to your question is simply that of Bias by the school system think they are just comic books.
     
  3. GHarrison
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    GHarrison Senior Member

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    There is enough content out there to justify a survey class on GN's... and there probably are a few out there. But making a GN is a real production, involving Art and writing departments working together, kind of like film making, so its a bit advanced for a public school class...
     
  4. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    I agree with steve119 about the comic book thing. Honestly, I can't tell them apart (but I haven't read much of either one, so that might explain it). Someone is going to have to explain the difference to me.

    I don't see the graphic novel being read and discussed in a classroom setting anytime soon. There's already a bias towards reading literary fiction in most schools. I'm actually not even sure if any colleges offer courses on graphic novels.
     
  5. steve119
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    steve119 Senior Member

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    there's not really any difference between comic books and graphic novels as 99% of graphic novels are taking a long running story line in a comic book series and puting al those issues together in one book. still great fiction though
     
  6. peachalulu
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    peachalulu Contributing Member Reviewer Contributor

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    I understand your anger. When I was in school I couldn't read Archie comics - which I loved, but I could read Sweet Valley High
    which in my opinion were pretty much the same thing. Lol.

    All I can suggest is maybe start a petition ...or dazzle your teacher with a well written book report on a graphic novel to show him
    you take them seriously - especially if you attack the book report with the same insight you'd give to George Orwell.
    Even if you don't change everyone's thinking on the subject, you might impress a few.
     
  7. Kingtype
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    Kingtype Always writing or thinking things XD Staff Role Play Moderator Contributor

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    I agree but I used to read comics and graphic novels in school (Before I started home schooling)
     
  8. TheLeonard112
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    TheLeonard112 Sūpākūru Senpai

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    That is only because our teachers were very generous. Even at first they were hesitant, but it's not like they would let us do a book report on it.
     
  9. TheLeonard112
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    TheLeonard112 Sūpākūru Senpai

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    That is only because our teachers were very generous. Even at first they were hesitant, but it's not like they would let us do a book report on it.
     
  10. Kingtype
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    Kingtype Always writing or thinking things XD Staff Role Play Moderator Contributor

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    Point taken. But I never asked if I could do a book report on a comic
     
  11. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Schools ghave specific teaching objectives. Graphic novels are excluded from book reports for the same reasons movies and TV shows are excluded. The point of the exercise is reading fiction, expressed in words, for comprehension.

    There may well be a good case for proposing a class to study the graphic novel. However, it would have to be an elective, because it does not meet the objectives for any state's educational curriculum. Perhaps an art appreciation class (which are hard enough to get funding for these days.

    You will still be required to meet the requirements set forth for what is considered academic competence.
     
  12. Selbbin
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    Selbbin I hate you Contributor

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    Graphic novels are not the same as novels. They use images and words to create a story. As Cogito said: schoolclass english is about reading comprehension, using language only and not images with language. Simple.
     
  13. Agreen
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    Agreen Faceless Man Contributor

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    I think they have a place in a classroom, but I'm not so sure that place is high school or middle school. At the higher levels, in college and university, there's a lot more room for broader media studies, and graphic novels can certainly be a part of that. No reason you can't start up a club in middle or high school for them though.
     
  14. littleshoe
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    littleshoe Member

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    Hi,

    Here, the country I live now, they are trying to improve the educational system. They made a study (specialist from many countries), and after one year they had the “perfect curriculum”. It was a complete failure. They had no teachers. Ask your teachers how many graphic novels they know.

    In some educational systems, graphic novels are used. Mafalda (by Kino) was 20 years ago a recurrent topic in Spanish exams (as a foreigner language).To understand the meaning of the comments, you needed some background of the geopolitical situation of Spanish speaking countries (Mafalda is from Argentina, but her stories were sold in South America and Spain).
    When I was a kid, I had to move to a French school. My teacher forced me to give reports about Asterix (I still remember the problems I had with “La Serpe d’Or”… My teacher wanted me to understand their sense of humor. Otherwise, she told me, I would have problems adapting, and she was right.) In the same school, years later I had to give a report about “Nightmare in Elm Street”. Through the analysis of the movie, I learned the assassination of Kennedy took place in Elm Street. The teacher that forced us to watch the movie wanted to show us the logic of different literary analysis. The same logic can be applied to movies. Nonetheless, as teenagers rose in front of a television, we had a better visual memory. Her explanations were easier to understand (By the way, the forward and rewind buttons from the Betamax were very useful for the discussions)

    The first answer to your questions is ‘if you don’t have teachers, you don’t have courses’.
    The second answer is money. Anything that has graphics is more expensive. In addition, you will have more problems finding graphic novels that are royalty free than books.
    A third answer is prejudice. “If it has graphics then it is not serious “.
    A fourth answer is accumulation. It does not matter how good some graphic novels are, they cannot compete with the quality and variety accumulated by books (the technique for graphic novels is new when compared to the technique for writing).


    IMHO
     
  15. AltonReed
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    AltonReed Active Member

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    Because they're not books!

    During a book report, you'd probably describe the writing techniques, metaphors ect. It's a lot harder to do with a graphic novel.

    Although one of my friends did GCSE coursework on comparing the use of masks between V (for Vendetta) and Rorschach (Watchmen). I'm not sure how he did it or how it was accepted but there is a lot you can get from them.

    Graphic novels are as different to books as TV and film, as Cognito said. They're a different medium and while they tell amazing stories, they're not books.

    Although, the clever teachers are the ones who would suggest to a child who isn't reading much to pick up the graphic novel adaptation of Stormbreaker. It's still getting them to read.
     
  16. Prism
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    Prism Banned

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    I don't recall seeing any graphic novels/American comics in our school library, but amazingly enough we did actually have manga. I don't recall ever being called out on reading them in class, either.

    Mind, this was in high school. Teachers just generally cared less then. :p
     
  17. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    Sure, graphic novels are an art form, but you're not allowed to substitute a critique of a painting, a song, or a movie for a book report either.
     
  18. suddenly BANSHEES
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    suddenly BANSHEES Contributing Member

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    It would be nice if more schools taught graphic novels alongside traditional novels. I went to a small charter high school, and the American Lit teacher was able to convince the dean to let him assign Watchmen to our class, and Batman: Year One to the class before ours. But, he was already huge graphic novel fan, and so he could really get into the techniques and symbolism and all that. In the school I went to after that, my English teacher would lend me his graphic novels and let me write reflection papers on them for extra credit, because he knew that I was already into that stuff (and I think I was his favorite, but don't tell anyone ;D )

    I can totally understand why a teacher who doesn't "get" graphic novels would be iffy on teaching them to a class. Their storylines can be just as complex as any prose novel, but it's still a different medium, with different elements to it. But it would be great if more schools allowed instructors to choose to teach graphic novels if they felt up to it.
     
  19. creativevomit
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    creativevomit Member

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    They don't let you use them for book reports because they are not books. You could definitely write a very excellent report on a graphic novel, but it would not demonstrate the skills that the teachers are wanting you to demonstrate. It would be cool if a teacher gave out one fun assignment like this, but graphic novels use pictures in conjunction with words. The teachers want to test your reading comprehension, which is not being done with a graphic novel.

    They aren't provided at the library because they are not needed for any educational purposes. The school library is purposed for educational resources, not for entertainment.

    I don't see anything wrong with you reading your own graphic novels at school. My school would allow you to, and I don't see how your teachers could demand you stop reading your own comic you brought from home.
     
  20. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    I would tend to disagree with you on this one, though I may just be behind the times on what school libraries do. When I was a kid, the school library had plenty of novels that were just novels - just for pleasure reading. Now, I do realize that reading a novel has a more obvious educational benefit than reading a graphic novel, but I'd bet that any school has a number of students with low reading skills that would be more absorbed by a graphic novel than by an early-reader book.

    The early-reader book might have no more words than the graphic novel, and its plot and theme would be far less interesting to a student whose reading skills are behind his age.That student, if he is only behind in reading but has age appropriate understanding of plots and themes, would also have the opportunity to experience plots, characters, and other elements of literature, while he's trying to get his reading skills up.

    If schools no longer have the budget to buy books for pleasure reading, then that may be a different story--though I'm now convinced by my own argument about the value of graphic novels for struggling readers. :)
     
  21. creativevomit
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    creativevomit Member

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    That is a very good point. Considering what you said, I think it would be acceptable for a school library to have a small selection of graphic novels. I think the problem is that the majority of school have a very small selection of books and have prioritized widening that selection rather than invest in graphic novels.
     
  22. Danieru_X
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    Danieru_X New Member

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    I for one think they should be introduced for those interested in Art and English. I think there is a strong prejudice that all graphic novels are simply comics about super heroes, thus many are not interested.
     
  23. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    I don't think they should be specifically excluded from school libraries, but I can also see where choices may have to be made. The priority has to favor works that support the school curriculum, and because school library budgets are often shockingly limited (as are most scholastic budget categories), graphic novels are not likely to be selected for inclusion over, say, a new collection of works by African Americans. Also keep in mind that the shelf spaces is also limited.

    Furthermore, the library hardly needs to keep graphic novels to expose students to the form, with so many students owning and sharing their own collections.
     
  24. MilesTro
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    MilesTro Active Member

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    Maybe the schools should provide classes that teaches about the art form of graphic novels like art appreciation classes. The students learn about the story and write their own opinions about the art form. Graphic novels are art books, not fiction novels in the school system.
     
  25. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Good luck with that these days, when schools are struggling to find funding even for a basic education.
     

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