Measuring the educational value of comic books from the school librarians’ perspective: A region-wide quantitative study in Taiwan
Comic books and their characters are an integral part of popular culture. However, comic books, as educational material, still remain controversial in certain education systems, as this medium is regarded by some as sheer entertainment – thereby hindering students’ motivation to seek out other more formal, text-based literature to read. For this study, a region-wide questionnaire survey was sent out to explore school librarians’ perceptions and attitudes towards the educational value of comic books in Taiwan. A total of 789 responses were collected for this questionnaire survey study. The regression model was used to identify the causal relationship between different genres of comic books and students’ voluntary reading and learning incentives in the context of the school library. Findings from this study suggest that comic books (1) carry the potential to attract more students to visit the school library after class, (2) facilitate students’ reading comprehension skills and (3) foster students’ interest in voluntary reading. Because of this medium’s visual-based and serialised narrative approach to storytelling, findings of this study also suggest that comic books could function as a reading motivational tool, particularly useful in helping their students learn about the subjects of History and Science.