ERIC Number: EJ1054154
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015-Mar
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 17
Telling It Like It Is--And Like It Is Not: Fiction in the Service of Science in Jay Hosler's "The Sandwalk Adventures"
Children's Literature in Education, v46 n1 p1-21 Mar 2015
Biologist and graphic novelist Jay Hosler has long been introducing young readers to biological subjects through entertaining narratives combining strongly fictional elements with nonfictional ones. Extensive application of fiction to nonfictional subject matter is uncommon, even in graphic novels, but Hosler's "The Sandwalk Adventures" (2003) makes an illuminating case study in the pedagogical benefits of entwining fact and fiction. The book, an introduction to the basic concepts of evolutionary theory, revolves around conversations between Darwin and a pair of young follicle mites residing in his eyebrow. Two competing tales of origins, theistic and scientific, emerge in the telling. In the first section of the paper, I show how Hosler deploys their rivalry to cast doubt on the factuality of received "facts" and to cultivate openness to verifiable ones. In the second and third sections, I analyze the functions of "Sandwalk's" literary form, a simulation of conversational storytelling: it helps Hosler illustrate selection pressures and processes, and engage readers in a scientific mode of thought.
Descriptors: Authors, Scientists, Biology, Cartoons, Novels, Case Studies, Nonfiction, Fiction, Childrens Literature, Teaching Methods, Evolution, Story Telling, Thinking Skills, Science Education, Entomology
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
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