But a growing number of educators is turning to super heroes and graphic novels as a way to engage kids who don't seem to like reading, the NY Times reports today. Advocates say the students have fun while gaining needed skills.
"For kids who may be struggling and for kids who may be new to the English language, that visual sequence is a very powerful tool," said Michael Bitz, who founded the Comic Book Project as a graduate student and is now its director.
That message has resonated locally, too. Count Pasco County teacher Marla Spelman among the converts who has embraced comics, reasoning that "Reading is reading."
Doubters abound, though. They worry that it's just an opportunity to water down studies.
"If you're going to use comics in the classroom at all, which I have serious doubts about, it should be only as a motivational tool," Diane Ravitch, an education professor at New York University, told the NY Times.