The FaSMEd project invited us to work with children at George Stephenson High School in Killingworth, Newcastle upon Tyne, as part of their larger European research project. Their team is investigating Raising Achievement through Formative Assessment in Science and Mathematics Education – working with teachers on new-style maths and science lessons.
What does all that have to do with comics? We set up a lunchtime comics club, making comics as a way to reflect on these new-style lessons. Each child planned and made their own one-page comic, presented as part of an anthology with more information on what FaSMEd is about.
Here’s what the FaSMEd team wrote about this mini project in their newsletter:
“Research at its very best is all about trying out new ideas and the team at Newcastle University have been trialling an innovative approach to eliciting the views of students who take part in research projects. Over a period of 4 months eight students, who had taken part in FaSMEd maths lessons, worked with the Newcastle team and Lydia Wysocki, researcher, and founder of Applied Comics Etc. During weekly lunchtime sessions the students learnt about comic making and then used this knowledge to create their own individual comic strip. They were asked to choose an aspect of their FaSMEd maths lessons that they had found interesting and enjoyable and use this as the focus for their work. The final comic strips were then put together in one comic which also included contextualising information i.e. examples of the maths activities, images of the comic making process as well as quotes from the students about their views of the FaSMEd activities.
On Tuesday 21st June 2016 the printed comics were presented to the students, their maths teacher Jen Heslop and the Deputy Head Teacher Tracey Anderson. The delight and pride of the students at seeing their work published was clear to see and they all took the opportunity to take home several copies to show their families.”