I had the opportunity last week to participate in a conference here at Mason: Innovations in Teaching and Learning. With co-presenter Julianna Miner, we presented to a group of peers on a topic we are both passionate about: helping our students identify and appreciate evidence-based arguments and texts. In other words: avoiding Fake News. Our presentation was titled: “Is it true? Helping Students Assess Information Credibility.”

I became interested in this topic, like so many people, during the debacle of 2016 news. I brought in a lesson plan for my students on Fake News, and to my surprise, it worked perfectly with the curriculum of Advanced Composition.

In our talk at ITL, we discussed the results of a recent study from Stanford, and how we used that to inform our instruction. I focused on giving students a lesson plan based on rhetorical analysis of online texts–a crucial skill we teach in Advanced Comp.

I’m sharing our presentation below. I hope you make use of it, and the data we reference! Our goal was to give our peers some useful tools to put into practice right away in their classrooms.


New Essay, “Baba Yaga in the Classroom”

So to Speak is a wonderful journal at George Mason University that publishes feminist writing and art. For their blog, I wanted to write a short essay about my experiences of bringing Feminism into my classroom. In the process, I dug into my own life, and also into folklore and Fairy Tale, where I have found so much inspiration and beauty. This essay means a lot to me, and I hope you’ll read and share.

Baba Yaga in the Classroom, by Psyche Z. Ready

Innovations in Teaching and Learning

This September, I’ll be co-presenting a 90-minute workshop at the George Mason University Innovations in Teaching and Learning Conference. Our workshop title: “Is it true? Helping students assess information credibility.”

Seeking out and recognizing evidence-based information online is very important to me, and I strive to create classroom situations wherein my Advanced Comp students may develop these skills.

It should be fun! Come by!

Transitioning: A Danish Folktale and the Contemporary Transgender Experience

Paper presented at the 2016 Conference for the American Folklore Society/International Society for Folk Narrative Research

The most well-known folktales of Denmark are, of course, the primarily literary tales of Hans Christian Anderson.  In the late nineteenth century, however, there were a handful of Danish folklorists collecting and compiling local folk tales, ballads, and legends.  Evald Tang Kristensen was a schoolteacher and folktale collector who grew up listening to the folktales of the poor villagers of Jutland—the western, continental portion of Denmark.  Unlike other Danish folktale collectors, Kristensen believed in collecting stories first-hand, and he travelled across Jutland doing so.  He strove to record them accurately, maintaining the speech patterns and dialects of the storytellers, with which he was intimately familiar.  He published these carefully transcribed tales, in four large volumes, during the 1880’s (Kristensen 9).

Continue reading “Transitioning: A Danish Folktale and the Contemporary Transgender Experience”