In light of my newfound interest in biochemistry, I decided to find some books to read so that I can learn more about the subject (namely to study for the MCAT). There are dozens of books on the subject, I’m sure, but I find that when it comes to chemistry, I need something more than an ordinary textbook. (The only exception to this is Dr. George Klein’s two-volume organic chemistry book series, “Organic Chemistry as a Second Language” and his organic chemistry textbook. I highly recommend these to all organic chemistry students; they are a life saver!)
I recently came across this manga guide series that features titles like “The Manga Guide to Physics” (wish I had this last semester!) and “The Manga Guide to Molecular Biology.” There are others as well, including “The Manga Guide to Biochemistry,” which particularly excited me! Naturally, I went and got my hands on a copy of this manga-style guide for the notoriously difficult subject of biochemistry. Not only does it introduce the reader to biochemistry in a slow and easy way, but it also covers the basics and leaves room for the knowledge-hungry student with enough starting material to search for more information and deepen their knowledge of the subject. (Like me!)
Once again, here is another topic of interest that relates to something I was exposed to in my university course, “Science in the Day of a Life,” which started this blog: using comics as a means of teaching children! With this manga guide series however, I believe this idea can be – or rather, it has already been – extended to older students who would like to (or should I say “have to?”) learn about subjects that are otherwise difficult. If learning can be made into something fun, then it becomes easier, right?
Here’s a sample page from “The Manga Guide to Biochemistry!”
I’ve already discussed how important it is that we find new ways to teach future generations of children, especially since the education paradigm is changing with the advent of increasingly social and information-laden technologies. Kids these days want to master these technologies for themselves, so why not take advantage of this interest in technology and make it a learning tool in classrooms everywhere? There, these technologies can encourage these kids to learn important skills and be able to apply them in the innovative ways that future employers will be looking for. Although comic books have been around for ages, it wasn’t until recently that the graphic novel or manga was introduced to the Western world. As a result, kids are growing up reading manga volumes (like me!). Why not use this passion for reading stories within manga and help kids learn and have fun while learning?
I have been interested in manga for quite some time, and have enjoyed many different series since I started reading them. I also love learning, and since it is my dream to become a successful physician, what better way to learn those tough subjects than a manga that is not only informational, but fun to read? What a great idea! (I’m on my way to mastering carbohydrate structure and naming! Woohoo!)
If you’re interested in learning more about how comics can be used as a teaching tool (not just for science, but for any subject!), check out these resources!
- Science comics as tools for science education and communication: a brief, exploratory study
- Using Comics in the Classroom: A Pedagogical Tool
- Teaching Visual Literacy: Using Comic Books, Graphic Novels, Anime, Cartoons, and More to Develop Comprehension and Thinking Skills by Nancy Frey and Douglas Fisher (Book)
- Superhero History: Using Comic Books to Teach U.S. History
- Narratives in Pencil: Using Graphic Novels to Teach Israeli-Palestinian Relations
- Comic Books That Teach Mathematics
- Getting Graphic: Connecting with Students Using Graphic Novels
- Using Manga to Teach Superheroes: Implications for the Classroom