Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Master of Arts




Dr. Michael Kehler


Comics and, to a lesser extent, superhero fiction have been gaining popularity in schools over the past decade. However, the potential for these texts to improve literacy curriculum across education has been limited by lingering traditional notions of literacy and the implementation of these texts as resources for helping struggling and disinterested readers, namely boys. Based on the thoughts and experiences of six, high school English students in Ontario, Canada, this qualitative case study investigates how a broader, more inclusive focus on literacy pedagogy, which includes the use of comics and superhero fiction, can foster greater interest in literacy learning for boys and girls across academic levels. Due to the gendered focus on boys in current literacy discourse, this thesis is structured around a two-pronged framework that calls upon the work of multiliteracies scholars and social constructivist views of gender to more holistically address issues in literacy education.

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