Comic LearningPosted: October 3, 2007
The ToI today ran an article titled Comic Relief in History Classes for Mumbai School. A very nice article, and it displays a unique way of learning. When I was thinking of a title for this post, I was choosing between Comic Learning, and Comic Teaching, and I think the apt title was learning. As you can see from the article, this is more of a pull, rather than a push. Traditional teaching has been kind of a broadcast mode, with the teacher broadcasting thoughts to the students, and stopping to take feedback from time to time. And that has not been very interesting. There are not many dates I remember from my History class, except for 1526 (for some reason, I remember the year for the Second Battle of Panipat), and of course, 1857, and the dates related to the Freedom Struggle.
In fact, comics seem to be coming back in a new and reinvented form, as can be seen from the comic about the Ramayana. This just goes to show that the art of telling stories has not died out, and that even today, stories appeal to people, whether children, or elders. Coming from a generation when tv was a novelty, and the staple fare was Amar Chitra Katha, and Phantom and Mandrake were the norm, I think comics are a very powerful way of teaching. And this experiment in teaching History with comics, and the reaction of children to this is indeed heartening.
If we were to say that we are, at a level, grown up children, the fact is, comics, and what they stand for, a story in a non-threatening environment, in an environment which is comfortable, promote learning. This would imply that the art of storytelling can play a major role in the learning process, and there are tools which can add to the richness of the story, and enhance the learning experience.