Exploring student teachers’ capacity for creativity through the interdisciplinary use of comics in the primary classroom

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The place of arts within primary education is under constant pressure for a variety of reasons, but never more so than under the current political and educational climate in schools in England, where teachers must ensure that children are able to meet test criteria in ‘core’ subjects. Time in the curriculum for learning experiences that children enjoy, which enable them to develop their imagination and creative abilities, can be squeezed almost to non-existence in some English schools. Using materials such as comics, that are understood to be enjoyed by children but are essentially seen by adults as leisure pursuits, can be an innovative way to motivate and inspire children’s learning across the curriculum. For undergraduate student teachers on a Primary Initial Teacher Education course at a university in London, UK, the opportunity to experience children’s learning in and through arts subjects, alongside literacy, is seen as fundamental to their own self-development as creative teachers of the future. This article will explore the potential of comics as a medium for learning in art and literacy, and show how one group of student teachers developed confidence in their own creative capacity through devising and implementing a cross-curricular project based on comics.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)293-309
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Graphic Novels & Comics
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 3 May 2017

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