Manga Guides & Comics in Education

This tweet from the IB World Magazine links to an interesting article:

It also reminded me of these Manga Guides to Physics, Statistics, Biochemistry, Mathematics by NoStarch, which were shared recently by Frank Noschese and Dr Tae. They’re translated from Japanese, and written in the Manga style by artists and experts in their field.

You can see some sample pages on Scribd:

They are funny, with some clear explainers and a narrative context for the content. You could recreate some of the situations or experiments in class, and use pages as a discussion (in a similar way to concept cartoons).

I do have some concern that the common thread through the books is of a young girl who doesn’t ‘get it’ and so needs the help of an “explaining male*” (typically nerdy, with glasses) to be able to understand – and the motivation seems to be to save grades or achieve romance. Does this reinforce gender stereotypes, or would high school students see through it as part of the narrative gimmick? Being in Japan, I often see my students and other young adults on trains reading comic books with similar artwork and, I assume, storylines. The style is commonplace here, but I do wonder how girls in other countries would react to the imagery.

I can see it being recommended as a supplement to differentiate the presentation of content for students who are into the comic book/ manga genres, rather than as a class text.

SampleQ from Manga Guide to Physics – similar to Concept Cartoons.


* Mother Jones article: the problem with men explaining things

About Stephen

Director of Learning & MYP Coordinator at Canadian Academy, Kobe, Japan. Formerly MYP HS Science & IBDP Bio teacher and missing it terribly. Twitterist (@sjtylr), dad and bloggerer.

Posted on November 24, 2012, in Differentiation, Fun, Silly and Funny, Physics. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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