Reading comics has a number of benefits as it provides both written and visual stimulation while delivering a narrative for a child to interpret. In his Masters in Communication Studies, Dr Ġorġ Mallia (1994), the local expert on the comic book medium and lecturer at the University of Malta, decided to research the effectiveness of comics as an educational tool. He argued that comics’ language can be an effective cognitive tool for educational purposes, just as good as other image/text-based methods of instruction.
Dr Mallia’s research showed that comics had the same effects when it came to conveying information for a reader to understand as an illustrated textbook. However, it was noticed that comics offer the advantage of being “attention grabbers”. The presence of the comics raised the level of interest of students that would usually have been reluctant to participate in school exercises. Dr Mallia’s exploratory study, and subsequent, published follow-ups, showed that the comics medium can be very useful in an educational system and also that it can work within the cognitive domain as an instructional tool.
Dr Mallia’s dissertation, titled, Comics as illustrators : the use of comics in instruction can be found at the University of Malta Library at the Melitensia Section.