Framing Education : Doing Comics Literacy in the Classroom
Sammanfattning: Interest in comics as Swedish school material has risen in the last few years and the publication of comics for children and adolescents has also increased. Meanwhile, although research around new literacies has taken an interest in combinations of image and text, there is still little research on comics as a literacy material, especially as part of school practices. With comics’ rise in popularity, and their quality as examples of new literacies, this points to the relevance of exploring how meaning making with comics is done in schools. The purpose of this study is to contribute knowledge on how locally situated literacy practices are done, practices in which pupils and teachers make meaning with comics. The study combines literacy, comics and discursive psychology to investigate aspects of literacy not as individual, inner workings, but as part of participants’ social constructions, in line with New Literacy Studies. With this perspective, it is possible to investigate literary concepts such as narrative, and participants’ construction of story elements, through the way in which these aspects are utilized by participants to construct social action – what participants do with their utterances. To study this, video recordings have been made in one primary and one secondary school, in two different Swedish cities. The results of the study show constructions of a comics literacy, where participants engage with both visual and textual aspects of the material and negotiate focalization of narrative perspective and construction of narrative structure as well as narrative devices such as speech and thought bubbles. Furthermore, meaning making of comics literacy also includes the construction of discourses around comics as a specific type of story telling, either for material or literary reasons. The thesis discusses how participants construct classroom literature, and provides insight into how interaction around comics enables participants to construct and negotiate discourses around what comics literacy is and what it enables, as well as how to talk about, create, and read comics.
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