Friday, November 22, 2013
Monday, November 18, 2013
I Oppose the Common Core State Standards and Urge Publishers of Comics and Those Who Study Them To Do the Same
Sure, publishers stand to make a lot of money marketing CCSS materials to teachers, students, parents, and even colleges. Sure, some believe comics still need justification as education-worthy materials. Yes, the CCSS does mention graphic novels as a type of text with which students should be familiar, making them the first standards to do so on the national scale.
But, I urge the comics community not to use the CCSS to justify the use of comics in the classroom. Or at the very least, not to do so exclusively. Look to the 1996 NCTE/IRA standards as well.
Why do I oppose the CCSS, even though at one time I supported their creation? I can't articulate the reasons better than Anthony Cody, who wrote these two articles:
"Common Core Standards: Ten Colossal Errors" and its follow-up, "The Door We Open When We Defeat the Common Core".
Also must-reading is Diane Ravitch's Reign of Error: The Hoax of the Privatization Movement and the Danger to America's Public Schools.
Stephen Krashen, long-time comics-and-literacy advocate (search his name as a keyword on this blog), Susan Ohanian, and Peter Smagorinsky have spoken out against the CCSS/current education reform movement as well.
Public education is not a perfect system and needs improvement, but the CCSS and the stakes of their implementation undermine public education as a democratic right. If you believe, as so many of us do, that comics is a democratic medium, please use your resources to resist, even when your products might stand to gain from being aligned to these standards.
Wednesday, September 18, 2013
Gilbert Hernandez Wins PEN Center Award!
here for all the awesome details! Well-deserved, Beto! In other news, brother Jaime was honored with another PENny Century award. ;)
Seriously, though, it's great to see this American Maestro get the attention he deserves.
Tuesday, September 17, 2013
Art Spiegelman on NPR: Co-Mix-in it Up.
Wednesday, August 28, 2013
CBLDF Announces Japanese Ban on *Barefoot Gen* Lifted!
'Tis a happy day in the Land of the Rising Sun and for all advocates of free choice when it comes to reading in public schools! Click here for more details.
Tuesday, August 20, 2013
BAREFOOT GEN Pulled from Japanese Primary, Middle School System
I wrote the rationale for this graphic novel's use in classrooms for the Teaching Rationales for Graphic Novels ebook/CD-rom project published through Maupin House. I feel strongly that Barefoot Gen is an important text worthy of study and which should be accessible to all readers. I hope the school officials reconsider their decision, which was based on the book's portrayal of Japanese troops, apparently.
I was approached by a Japanese public television show to do an interview on the importance of this text and using it in classes. I couldn't commit due to my move to Washington, but now I wish I could have found the time.
Tuesday, May 14, 2013
CFP-A-Palooza!: Calls for Papers for Collections, Journals Focusing on Comics
At any rate, the issue we're working on is entitled "Comics and Post-Secondary Education," so we're seeking articles about teaching comics in community colleges, universities, prisons, adult literacy programs, etc. Learn more about the project and submit something by the July 2013 deadline by visiting here.
Secondly, SANEjournal:sequential art narrative in education has announced its next themed issue. The deadline for this one looms less largely, though. "The Singularity Plurality" issue asks, "How can the writing or writings of one scholar inform how we teach comics or teach with them, or how we should do those things?" For example, what does the work of Louise Rosenblatt suggest about how we should read or teach comics?Paulo Freire? Click here to read the CFP.
As well, I am co-editing a collection with Derek Parker Royal about comics' presence in the American Southwest and Borderlands. We hope the collection does for the Southwest and Border region what Costello and Whitted’s Comics and the U.S. South did for that region and Southern studies via mining, creating, and illuminating the intersections of comics scholarship and established academic writing on the Southwestern United States, the U.S-Mexico border, and their literatures, identities, and cultures.
here for contact details and general information about how we're conceiving the project currently.
Finally, I'd like to inform you about "The Conversations Project: Interdisciplinary Conversations About Comics, Literacy, and Scholarship," an edited collection in which I've asked scholars and teachers in humanities disciplines to pair with someone in the social sciences/education to talk about comics scholarship and comics teaching. The official CFP asked for abstracts by January 2013, but the first set of pairs will be getting me their essays around June 20. After that set, I'll send out more invitations, so if you're interested in comics scholarship and/or comics-and-literacy, maybe consider finding an informed buddy in a field other than your own and starting what we hope will be an innovative, gap-bridging conversation in a book which plans to be full of them. Some major players in comics scholarship and the comics-and-literacy movement have already signed on. Maybe you'll do so too. To learn more about the initial call, click here.
Labels: adult education, border, CFP, Conversations project, edited collections, Freire, imagetext, journals, Najwa Al-tabaa, post-secondary education, Rosenblatt, SANE journal, Southwest, University of Florida
Dave Roman's *Astronaut Academy: Re-entry Day* is Out Now!
I first learned about Dave Roman through his hilarious and quirky Teen Boat. He has another series geared toward upper elementary and middle schoolers, though, and the second of the Astronaut Academy line debuts TODAY!
Having met Dave at ALAN 2012, I can attest to his good character. Having read his work, I can attest to just how much you're going to love his books!
Click here to see a video trailer for this latest release.
CBLDF Reports on Recent Attempt, Failure to Censure THE KILLING JOKE
According to the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund:
The book is currently shelved in the young adult section of the library with several other graphic novels. Ellyson notes that the review board consistently denies material challenges posed in the community, ensuring the availability of materials for patrons.
While this case is a victory for free speech, Batman: The Killing Joke can now be added to the list of Alan Moore’s books that have been challenged in libraries. Watchmen, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, and most recently Neonomicon have all been challenged.
Chalk up a win against censorship, and give the opus of Alan Moore another notoriety upgrade!