Cognitive Comics

A Constructivist Approach to Sequential Art - Research Fellowship Grant from State University of New York at Buffalo. Fellowship recipient and author,

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Welcome - Introduction to Cognitive Comics Research Fellowship

   Cognitive Comics presents works of sequential art for critical study in an art education setting. Each work of sequential art will be accompanied by a corresponding lesson plans in the printed version of this site (forthcoming). The lesson plans are designed to engage students in aesthetic inquiry, developing intellectual creativity and emotional intelligence. Lesson plans will comply with New York State Art Education Standards. This book will be the first of a series based on my hypothesis that sequential art can be a tool for developing higher order thinking skills. It's been proven elsewhere that the study of Art promotes cognitive and affective development, however sequential art is a particularly potent tool due to it's innate properties that make it unique among all mediums of art.

   This book is the culmination of my summer research fellowship awarded by the
State University of New York College at Buffalo Office of Undergraduate Research. This is a book intended for art educators however I hope people who enjoy art, literature and cognitive science will also find the book enjoyable. The book will have several short comics with lesson plans, the comics and lesson plans will be designed to facilitate cognitive development in Elementary, Middle and High School students. The lesson plans and overall pedagogy are based on Navigating the Teaching of Art (Siskar & Parks, 2009) co-authored by my mentor, Michael Parks, EdD. I will also be looking closely at and tying in the theories of neuroscientist Steven Lehar, PhD., former Professor of Cognitive Psychology at Salem State College. In the field of comics academia, the writings of Scott McCloud and Neil Cohn are important foundations on which this book is created.
About the Author

   DONALD JACKSON will be a New York State certified art teacher in January 2010, he holds a CELTA/RSA certificate for teaching English as a second language through Cambridge University and holds a bachelor's degree in Fine Art. Jackson studied Japanese art and culture at Kansai Foreign Studies University in Osaka, Japan. He taught English and studied Art and Kung fu in Taiwan for four years. Jackson owned and operated a company producing CD-ROM comics for literacy and has taught comics and graphic novel courses since 2003. He has designed and taught a graphic novel curriculum for the Arts in Education Institute of Western New York, a branch of the Lincoln Center for the Arts. He has worked as a freelance illustrator in comics since 2002.


Sequential Art refers to the sequence of words and images typically seen in graphic novels and

comic books and comic strips.

Constructivism is a psychological theory of knowledge which argues that humans generate

knowledge and meaning from their experiences.

Cognitive Comics is a term I'm using to describe sequential art that is designed to teach cognitive

development. The stage of development I am focusing on is high school.

Cognitive development is the construction of thought processes including memory, problem solving,

and decision-making, from childhood to adulthood.