Ms. Sarah got her PhD in Art Education from the Ohio State University (the Art Education program in OSU ranked #1 in USA). Her research focuses on critical art education pedagogy and creative thinking. As a member of the National Art Education Association, she presents frequently on the NAEA conferences. Ms. Sarah comes from a family of visual artists. Inspired and influenced by her father, Ms. Sarah began her training in painting and drawing when she was four years old. Her artwork won various awards in the national and international art competitions. Then she studied artistic design in Shanghai Jiao Tong University for undergraduate and Master’s degree.
Ms. Sarah has over 10 years teaching experiences. She started teaching studio art to students of all ages when she was 19 years old at her father’s art school. She was awarded the “Best Art Teacher” in China by the Art Education Committee, the Ministry of Education. Then she continued to pursue her PhD degree in Art Education because she loves teaching art. During her PhD study, she taught college level contemporary art and digital art courses for four years. Ms. Sarah founded Happy Valley Art School in 2014 and she also teaches digital art in Ohlone College.
Children have an inherent ability for creating art. Ms. Sarah looks at the children’s concerns, their interests, their creative play and imaginative collections, to make art lessons student-centered. Ms. Sarah believes that it is important to create an environment that, on the one hand, is stimulating and challenging enough to confront the student with new possibilities and concepts, and on the other hand, provides a secure enough place for the student to express their ideas in their work. By creating a unique educational experience for students, she encourages students to work with art materials, with images, with their hands in such a way that the inner self is reflected. In addition, she provides her students with the necessary technical skills and knowledge of materials. Students should gain an understanding of the full range of possibilities offered by the media covered by the class, together with a skill set of techniques for achieving their aesthetic goals. This aspect of her teaching addresses the concept of “craftsmanship”. As an art teacher trained in both China and USA, Ms. Sarah researches on the advantages and disadvantages of both countries’ teaching methods and seeks to develop a balanced teaching style between creativity and art-making skills.