Comic strips approach in Physics

Educator's Corner Opinion

Physics is often perceived as difficult, irrelevant and boring. I have noticed that when I ask my students in Applied Physics to describe the subject a term they often use is, “hard”. Especially that they have encountered the subject in their lower grade levels. I was challenged then to make this elective subject under the Special Science Program easier for my students. Physics is a major part of our everyday experience.

I conducted an action research involving one teaching approach—the use of comic strips. My study seeks to find out the relative effectiveness of the comic strip approach in increasing the academic performance of Grade Ten Science Class students. The control group used textbook as reference while the experimental group used the textbook and comic strips as an enrichment tool during the experimental period. Achievement test was administered to determine the academic performance and effectiveness of the variables. Gathered data were analyzed by using mean and t-test for significant difference.

A rationale for using comic strips as a pedagogical strategy is most children and young adults love comic strips. Research supports the fact that students enjoy reading comics and that comic strips have a potential motivational value; comic strips and cartoons are also extremely flexible for the needs, experiences, and level of content knowledge of a large number of students; unlike the more formal textbook, comic strips are more casual and consumable: they can be cut apart, drawn on, and colored with more freedom. Also, because of their informality, students do not perceive them as a threat, or that reading materials is forced on them by the teacher. (González, 2003).

As shown in the results and discussion of my study, I have concluded that the academic performance of grade ten students in terms of pretest is that they did not meet expectations; while there is no significant difference in the academic performance in terms of posttest between the control group who used textbook as reference and the experimental group who used comic strips as an enrichment tool which means the use of textbook as a reference is as effective as the use of textbook aided by comics strips as an enrichment tool.

Based on the conclusions drawn, the following are recommended: 1. Pre-assessment be done to discover what students know about a topic prior to teaching in order to design the lesson based on that knowledge, 2. Comic strip approach be conducted also to the regular classes, lower grade level and other learning areas to test its effectiveness, 3. Use the textbook as a resource for students, but not the only resource. Varied textbooks as reference materials should be used in teaching Science, 4. Teachers use supplementary materials with pictures in a comic strip reinforcing the concepts. Outline concepts in a form of a hand out and add comic illustrations if necessary.

Students may gain positive and active performance toward understanding better the critical concepts of the lesson by adopting and developing various strategies in teaching Science. JEANNE R. DACALCAP, Pines City National High School