Show Your Disney Side Monday: “Fairy Tales: The Origin and Evolution of Princess Stories”

February 10, 2014

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“Fairy Tales: The Origin and Evolution of Princess Stories” an online course brought to you by the University of South Florida is currently open for sign up. Recently a friend shared a post about a free online class on,  and the title grabbed me. Then I realized the teacher was Dr. Kevin Yee, and that this was the class I had heard so many positive things about last year, so I ran to sign up.  Kevin has  PhD is in German literature, and in the course of that degree, he learned much about fairy tales from one of his professors. The professor taught a version of a fairy tale class, but it had no Disney in it. That was many years ago. Kevin has taught a fairy tales class – always with Disney in it – for more than a dozen years at a few institutions now.
This class is absolutely free. If you are interested in participating all you have to do is create a free account and then enroll in the class at is a massive open online course (MOOC), that allows up to 10,000 people or more to register for the class.  Kevin has taught this class in the MOOC environment once before, with 1200 people in.


When I asked Kevin how “Disney” princess story line focused the class was versus say the original Anderson and Grimm’s Brother versions of the stories we all know and love he explained  that “there is a massive world of difference between the Disney princess merchandise line and the original stories, especially as they appear in the Grimms. It’s like comparing apples to orange-colored sports cars. Let’s just say the original stories were there to teach a lesson, usually about how harsh the world was”.


Now, I am sure you are all wondering, what is involved in taking this class?  Because the class is free, and not attached to a set curriculum,  there is no course credit or completion certificate, so the “requirements” are extremely small.  There are no papers to turn in. You can skip the tests and quizzes if you want to, even the discussion boards are optional. You can  literally just read the material provided and watch the videos for fun. Kevin added  “There is a competition – think like the “house cup” in Harry Potter. There are Easter Eggs throughout the course as well.”

The Weekly Course Topics are as follows:
Week 1 – Cinderella
Week 2 – Snow White and Sleeping Beauty
Week 3 – Rapunzel and Frog Princess
Week 4 – Little Mermaid and Beauty and the Beast
Here is the important part, the course started today, so week one is now open for reading and review but you still have time to sign up and join in on the fun! Tell your friends about it too and see if you can beat their scores in the quizzes and see where you rank in the leaderboards!! What a fun way to show your #DisneySide and learn from fun information about your favorite princesses.

kevinyee Dr. Kevin Yee is the Director of the Academy for Teaching and Learning Excellence at the University of South Florida. An affiliated faculty member with the World Languages department, Dr. Yee teaches courses on language, literature, and interdisciplinary honors courses. He has previously taught at the University of Central Florida, Duke University, University of Iowa, University of California-Irvine, and Pomona College. His main research interest focuses on emerging technology, Web 2.0 tools for teaching, and the pedagogy of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), particularly when combined with gamification. He is the author of  Walt Disney World Hidden History: Remnants of Former Attractions and Other Tributes; Your Day at the Magic Kingdom; Mouse Trap: Memoir of a Disneyland Cast Member; and The Original Grimms: Highlights of the 1810 Manuscript.


This class is absolutely free. If you are interested in participating all you have to do is create a free account and then enroll in the class at

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