Dr Woo Yen Yen


Dr Woo Yen Yen

Programme Leader, MA Arts Pedagogy and Practice
  • Doctor of Education, Teachers College, Columbia University, New York
  • Master of Education, Teachers College, Columbia University, New York
  • Postgraduate Diploma in Education, National Institute of Education, Nanyang Technological University
  • BA Arts (Honors), National University of Singapore

Woo Yen Yen is an innovative educator and cultural designer who adeptly bridges pedagogy and entrepreneurial creativity. She has worked professionally as an educator, filmmaker, publisher, tech founder and researcher, always striving to build a world more open to each other’s stories.

Dr Woo attained her doctorate from Teachers College, Columbia University, served as Associate Professor of Education at Long Island University, New York, and as Visiting Professor at National Central University, Taiwan.

Beyond her academic pursuits, she boasts a robust artistic and entrepreneurial portfolio. Her film accomplishments have been internationally lauded, earning her awards at prestigious venues such as the San Sebastian International Film Festival and Tokyo International Film Festival. Notably, her work has been licensed by platforms like HBO, Netflix and Singapore Airlines, and has reached audiences across film festivals in Asia, US and Europe.

She co-wrote and co-created a children’s comics series and mobile app Dim Sum Warriors and a stage musical Dim Sum Warriors The Musical, which toured 26 cities in China. Her innovative mindset and belief in the power of creative pedagogies also led her to found an education technology company that uses creative comics for bilingual learning. Her design of a Multimodal Learning Platform has been granted a patent, and selected for technology accelerator programmes like EduSpaze and Plug and Play.

After 25 years abroad, Dr. Woo is excited to return to Singapore where she is currently collaborating with faculty and students in LASALLE’s School of Creative Industries to cultivate impactful and scalable culture. Her aim is to create and disseminate culture that resonates not only with the elite but also drives change towards a more democratic and inclusive society.

Research and practice

Professional practice (select)

  • Founder, Yumcha Studios.
  • Granted patent in Taiwan, and US patent-pending for ‘Multimodal Learning Platform’.
  • Won Merit and Most Public Votes Awards (Established Designer Category) at the Singapore Creator Awards (2021).
  • Won Featured Pitch (Content/ Resources Category) at the Singapore Ministry of Education Student Learning System’s Pitch Day (2021).
  • Selected for EduSpaze Accelerator Programme (Singapore), GIA Plug and Play Accelerator Programme (Indonesia).
  • Founder, Singapore Dreaming: A Comics Competition for Young Creators (6-12) in partnership with the support of Children’s Museum of Singapore and Yeo’s, in partnership with Yumcha Studios, The Learning Grid, Difference Engine, Guild Asia (2023).
  • Curator, 30 comics making workshops for 10 museums as part of The Children’s Season 2023, in partnership with The Museum Roundtable.
  • Co-creator of Dim Sum Warriors, a comics series and app published by Scholastic Asia and Yumcha Studios.
  • Producer and co-writer, Dim Sum Warriors the Musical, in collaboration with Chinese theatre legend Stan Lai, Pulitzer prize-winner, Du Yun, and Mei Ann Teo, Director of New Work at Oregon Shakespeare Festival.
  • Produced, wrote, directed Singapore Dreaming, winner of the Montblanc New Screenwriters Award at the San Sebastian International Film Festival and the Best Asian/Middle Eastern Film Award at the Tokyo International Film Festival.
  • Artist-in-residence (2015–2016), University Settlement, New York City, New York.
  • Co-founded TalkingCock.com in Singapore.
  • Co-edited The Coxford Singlish Dictionary.

Research and teaching (select)

  • Visiting Professor, National Central University (Taiwan) – teaching focus: storytelling, new publishing, creative media lab.
  • Associate Prof of Education at Long Island University (New York) – teaching focus: curriculum development, social foundations of education, research methods.
  • Doctor of Education, Teachers College, Columbia University (New York) – awarded the Spencer Foundation Research Fellowship.
  • Published in Arts-Based Research in Education: Foundations for Practice; Education Researcher, Oxford Handbook of Methods for Public Scholarship, Teachers College Record, Asia-Pacific Journal of Education, Journal of Media Literacy Education.

Publications (select)

  • Woo, Y. Y., The Five Biggest Problems in Education that Southeast Asian Edtech Should be Solving (Plug and Play APAC) (2021).
  • Woo, Y. Y., Film as public scholarship, P. Leavy (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Methods for Public Scholarship (Oxford University Press) (2019).
  • Woo, Y. Y.,  Putting critical public pedagogy into practice: reorienting the career path of the teacher-artist-scholar, M. Cahnmann-Taylor & R. Siegesmund (ed.), Arts-Based Research in Education: Foundations for Practice (2nd edition)(pp.19–31) (New York: Routledge) (2017).
  • Woo. Y.Y. & Goh, C., A dream within a dream,  HK. Wee & Chia, J. (eds.), Singapore Dreaming: Managing Utopia (pp.214-230) (Singapore: Asian Urban Lab) (2016).
  • Woo, Y. Y., Choice, Teachers College Record. Retrieved from: http://www.tcrecord.org/Content.asp?ContentId=17174 (2013).
  • Woo, Y. Y. Getting past our inner censor: Collective storytelling as pedagogy in a polarised media environment. Journal of Media Literacy Education, 1(2), 231-136 (2010).
  • Woo, Y. Y. Engaging new audiences: Translating research into popular media. Educational Researcher, 37(6), 321-329 (2008).
  • Woo, Y. Y. & Simmons, J.,  Paved with good intentions: Images of textbook development in Afghanistan. Asian-Pacific Journal of Education, 28(3), 291-304 (2008).
  • Woo. Y, Y. & Goh, C.,  Curious Connections: TalkingCock.com and PM Goh, B. Welsh, J. Chin, A. Mahizhnan, T. H. Tan (eds.), Impressions: The Goh Years (pp. 451-458)  (National University of Singapore Press) (2008).
Research interests
  • Creative pedagogies
  • Bilingualism
  • Public pedagogy
  • Cultural imagination