Could Cartoons Have Been The Answer All Along? by David Pellow

Cartoons are often seen as not much more than a distraction from reality. Kids shows, or  films are good for plonking the kids in front of while the adults go about the necessary day to day tasks. People graduate up from cartoon films to ‘real’ films and children are encouraged to move away from comics and graphic novels so that they can appreciate ‘real’ literature.

Enjoyment is not a factor when it comes to doing things the ‘right’ way. Silence is ‘right’. Sitting still is ‘right’. Anything that might provide energy or vibrancy is treated with suspicion and uncertainty and this means those who might benefit most from a different perspective and style are being left to struggle in a system that doesn’t want to adapt.

But it doesn’t have to be like this.

Classrooms could be a place where sharing and discussion become normal tools of engagement. Lessons could become full of zany characters and wacky adventures that encourage children to learn while also entertaining and involving them in the process. This is the future that Dekko Comics feels is a reality.

The concept is simple. Take lessons and subjects from text-books, find the important educational aspects and then reframe it in a comic story. An example is a lesson about learning to tell the time becomes a story where our hero needs to say the correct self-destruct code (or time) to defeat the evil Count Clockface. This is just one example from the already available comics which cover topics including English, French, Geography, PSE and many more.

  Timbot making learning the time a more visual experience

Timbot making learning the time a more visual experience

Lessons are presented in two page, easily digestible chunks with the size of panels and speech bubbles meaning that a reader isn’t overwhelmed with a vast amount of information. The lessons are also visually supported by the pictures, helping to draw the reader into the world and making it easier to focus on the current topic. 

It’s not all about educating though. The characters are fun and the stories are enjoyable in their own right. Dekko Comics read and feel like exactly what they are – comics, with the focus being put on them being entertaining as well as being educational.

They provide a space where the reader can learn at their own pace and in their own way – offering material for them to emotionally connect with and respond to without feeling judged. Due to the fact they are suitable for everyone, a child with ADHD can share the experience with someone who maybe isn’t, without it feeling like they’re holding their friend back or being given special treatment.

  Students hard at work creating their own comics

Students hard at work creating their own comics

We feel that by the very nature of the comic and by being something that people want to do and something that they can do in a way that they want to do it, we can take education and make it a more enjoyable and inclusive experience for everyone.

Learning is never boring but how it is presented usually is. We ask: what if it wasn’t?

 This article was first posted on the website ADDers.org and can be found by clicking  here .

This article was first posted on the website ADDers.org and can be found by clicking here.