Fun Learning

There are many educational tools that can help children to become active in their construction process of their knowledge and one of them is the concept of cartoon.  Cartoon can be interpreted as a teaching approach that combines visual elements with textual information and then makes use of contextual clues like gestures, dialogues and animations to interpret a certain topic.  In a pedagogical perspective, cartoon entertains children in their learning process in a way that they do not even know they are learning.  It helps them to work out their imagination especially through the use of colourful characters, funny animations and proper music.  In short, the children are doing fun learning activities and at the same time building proper knowledge.  Moreover, Dabell (2004) postulates that concept cartoons helps students to question their thoughts, solve the problems they encounter in their everyday lives, broaden their horizons and provide different perspectives for the events.

The concept of cartoons can be used as a means to enhance and promote interest of children in a classroom.  Teacher can easily use cartoon as a motivational tool to capture the interest of learners and in this way, classroom management becomes easier to tackle.  Keogh and Naylor (1999) found that concept cartoon approach in teaching science enhances motivation, provides a purpose for practical work, minimizes classroom management problems by the focused discussion that keeps the pupils on task, enables finding out students’ ideas prior to teaching, and provides a manageable way to plan and carry out the teaching according to students’ ideas. Thereby researchers think that teaching via concept cartoon is effective in remedying misconceptions. Similar findings were also reported by other researchers (Keogh & Naylor, 1997a; 1997b; Keogh, Naylor, & Wilson, 1998).  

Cartoon learning can be helpful for initiating debate and focussed group discussions in a classroom among learners as it stimulates them to engage in critical thinking in order to assess and formulate their views and opinions.  Learners are given the opportunity to participate in classroom discussions to support their own ideas and knowledge as well as identifying others conceptions of a particular topic.  Kabapinar (2005) reported in her study that the concept cartoon teaching was effective in creating focused discussions where reasoning behind students’ misconceptions could be uncovered, especially via teachers’ thought-provoking questions. The results of these experiments indicated that teaching via concept cartoons was effective in remedying the misconceptions.  Balim et al. (2008) in their research used concept cartoons for 7th grade science classes and determined that concept cartoons have affected students’ enquiry learning skill perceptions by helping students to enquire new knowledge with their existing experiences. There are also researchers who claim that concept cartoons may be efficient tools in order to identify student misconceptions (Ingeç et al, 2006 cited in Ekici et al, 2007) and remedy them (Saka, et al, 2006 cited in Ekici et al, 2007).  Hence, the concept of cartoon can positively contribute to the learners existing knowledge and increase their participation in its process. 

The concept of cartoon helps students to learn concepts correctly as well as to recall them.  Children are very good observers and it is easy for them to remember gestures or even body languages of a character based on a particular topic rather than recalling texts from their books.  When any particular topic or chapter from the school curriculum is presented using cartoons, students can easily remember the scenes presented to them.  It is also hard, for small children to recall lengthy lines of text from their books, especially those who do not have great potential for learning or good recalling abilities.  In this way, cartoon based learning can be helpful to the young learners to formulate better understanding of the instructional topic as well as help teachers’ supported ideas becomes more explicit to them