Graphic Novels in Honors Classes

This isn’t about projects per se, but is in keeping with the broader theme of dumbing down education.  From the Chicago Tribune:

In honors English class at Alan B. Shepard High School, sophomores are analyzing Truman Capote’s “In Cold Blood” with the help of another book filled with drawings and dialogue that appears in bubbles above characters’ heads.

“Capote in Kansas” is what generations of kids would recognize as a comic book, though it has a fancier name — a graphic novel.

That honors students at the Palos Heights high school are using it illustrates how far the controversial comic-strip novels have come in gaining acceptance in the school curriculum, educators say.

Once aimed at helping struggling readers, English language learners and disabled students, graphic novels are moving into honors and college-level Advanced Placement classrooms and attracting students at all levels.

. . .

“You’re always going to have the traditionalists say comic books aren’t real literature, and I guess to a certain extent they have a point,” he said. “But my point is that it is different literature. It is visual literature, and I’d be failing my kids if I didn’t train them for all the visual reading they do today.”

Um, kids in honors classes should already be able to read comic books. They don’t need to go to school for that.

Where do teacher get the idea that they need to “prepare” or “train” kids to do something that 1) is a waste of time, and that 2) the kids are already better at than the teachers? What’s next, a class on text messaging or how to play Guitar Hero?

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