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Michael Bitz

Michael BitzProfessor of Teacher Education

Year Joined RCNJ: 2008

Contact Information

  • Phone: (201) 684-7369
  • Email:
  • Office: E-230
  • Office Hours: MR 12:30-1:30


  • Columbia University, Teachers College; New York, NY; Doctorate of Education; October, 1998.
  • Columbia University, Teachers College; New York, NY; Masters of Education; May, 1996.
  • Columbia University; Columbia College; New York, NY; Bachelor of the Arts; May, 1994.

Courses Offered:

  • Literacy Theory & Practice
  • Instructional Technology
  • Social Context of Education

Teaching Interests:

My teaching interests explore the connections between creativity, student engagement, and learning. I have expertise in the fields of literacy and technology. I believe that every student has an important voice and experience that must be incorporated into the curriculum. I am excited to teach our future teachers and to learn from them as well.

Recipient of the Fred and Florence Thomas Faculty Award, 2015


Research Interests:

I am an active scholar and action researcher in the field of education. In 2001, I launched a literacy initiative called the Comic Book Project, where youths write, design, and publish original comic books. Since then I have helped over 150,000 youths and educators to explore this and other non-traditional pathways to academic success. I am also interested in the impacts of technology and digital learning platforms for public schools in this twenty-first century.


Recent Publications:


Sturges, K., & Bitz, M. (Eds.) (in press). The Charter School Reader: Explorations of School Choice, Enterprise, and Community in US Education. Rotterdam: Sense Publishers.

Bitz, M. (2010). When Commas Meet Kryptonite: Classroom Lessons from the Comic Book Project. New York: Teachers College Press.

Bitz, M. (2009). Manga High: Literacy, Identity, and Coming of Age in an Urban High School. Cambridge, MA: Harvard Education Press.

  • Translated into Japanese and published in Japan by Iwanami Shoten Publishers.
  • Reviewed in Education Review, Journal of Youth and Adolescence, Education Update, ASCD Update, National Association of Art Educators, Rethinking Schools, and Edutopia.

Chapters in Edited Books:

Bitz, M. (2010). Foreword. In Reading With Pictures (pp. 4-5). Chicago: Reading With Pictures.

Bitz, M. (2009). The Tupac Effect: A case for socially relevant education. In Hagood, M. (Ed.). New Literacies Practices: Designing Literacy Learning (pp. 7-24). New York: Peter Lang.

Bitz, M. (2009). “Manga is my life”: Opportunities (and opportunities missed) for literacy development. In Chauncey, C. T., & Walser, N. (Eds.). Spotlight on Student Engagement, Motivation, and Achievement (pp. 103-110). Cambridge, MA: Harvard Education Press.

Bitz, M. (2008). The Comic Book Project: Literacy outside (and inside) the box. In Flood, J., Lapp, D., & Brice Heath, S. (Eds.). Handbook of Research on Teaching Literacy through the Communicative and Visual Arts, Volume II (pp. 229-236). Chicago: Erlbaum (with the International Reading Association).



*Peer reviewed

Coyne, B., Schudel, C., Bitz, M., & Hirschberg, J. (2011). Evaluating a Text-to-Scene Generation System as an Aid to Literacy. Conference Proceedings of the International Speech Communication Association Special Interest Group on Speech and Language Technology in Education (online):*

Bitz, M. (2010). Manga and the motivated high schoolers. Sequential Art and Narratives in Education (SANE) Journal, 1 (1), 1-22.*

Bitz, M. (2009) “Manga is my life”: Opportunities (and opportunities missed) for literacy development. Harvard Education Letter, 25 (4). Winner of the Distinguished Achievement Award for Best Editorial from the Association of Educational Publishers.

Bitz, M. (2009). Creativity in crisis: The “Brain Drain” in American Schools. Voices in Education (online):

Bitz, M. (2008). The Comic Book Project: Middle school studio lesson. SchoolArts, 108 (4), 23-25.

Bitz, M. (2008). A rare bridge: The Comic Book Project connects learning with life. Teachers & Writers, 39 (4), 2-13.

Bitz, M. (2008). Essay review: Comics go classic…again. Teachers College Record (online), ID 15206.

Bitz, M. (2007). Overcoming the creative crisis: Notes from The Comic Book Project. Afterschool Review, 2 (2), 14-21.

Bitz, M. (2006). The art of democracy / Democracy as art: Creative learning in afterschool comic book clubs. After-School Matters Occasional Papers Series, 7 (The Robert Bowne Foundation), 1-20.

Bitz, M. (2005). Making literacy connections: Comic books and the role of youth media. Teachers College Record Online, ID 11722.

Bitz, M. (2004). The Comic Book Project: Forging alternative pathways to literacy. Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy, 47 (7), 574-588.

Bitz, M. (2004). The Comic Book Project: The lives of urban youth. Art Education, 57 (2), 33-39.

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