Cognitive Comics

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

*The faces of minors have been obscured in the following photos.

Above is an exhibit of selected works where students followed the process of teaching sequential art in the free .pdf eBook that you can download at THIS LINK.


Cognitive Comics, taught from an exploratory Constructivist approach, proved to be very engaging to students with Special Needs. Capitalizing on the innate quality of using different learning styles, sequential art opens several doors to learning higher order thinking skills. In the case of the photos above and below, I choose a work of art by Kerry James Marshall entitled HEROES FOR A NEW AMERICA for the basis of the lesson. Cognitive Comics uses an interdisciplinary approach to art by relating Marshall's sequential art to this Social Studies class studying Civil Rights. This in light of the recent election of President Barak Obama created a lively environment for critique. The Content, Context and Form of the sequential art under study all combined to enable students to draw their own evaluations of the artwork and it's meaning.

My prior experience in research, development, teaching and assessment of comics in the classroom started in 2003  when I owned my company Teaching English Comprehension Comix: Interactive Edu-tainment. Below are some photos of students who won contests my company held for writing and illustrating original comics. During that time I used to write a bi-weekly column called TEC Talk - Comics in Education. Hosted by, I interviewed both educators and professionals in the comics field about this medium intersecting with education. You can read a sample interview at THIS LINK.


 The use of technology continues to expand in the world of sequential art narratives, offering new ways to tell stories. As a teacher of sequential art, one should make an effort to follow these advances and ready students for evaluating and optimizing new technologies.

Teaching sequential art for grades 3 to 12, I have to have diversified strategies that work within the different stages of development. Depending on what school I am visiting or what program I am teaching, I manage my time to be sure that students learn their precious American heritage of comic book illustration. Teaching Artistic Literacy means teaching  for understanding of the Context, Content and Form of sequential art. The challenge of sequential art teachers will be overcoming "the Japanese Invasion"; the flooding of American markets with Manga. There is a segment entitled The Japanese Invasion in my eBook, you can download it at THIS LINK.