Fang Xu, Ph.D.
Phone: (509) 865-8623
Dr. Xu (She/Her/Hers) holds the position of Assistant Professor within the Teacher Preparation in Special Education Program at Heritage University. She pursued her undergraduate studies in Medical Laboratory Science at Shandong First Medical University in China, where she earned her Bachelor of Medicine degree.
Dr. Xu's journey into the field of special education began after gaining valuable experience as an intern student at Qingdao Women and Children’s Hospital and as a medical laboratory technologist in her hometown. During the time, she encountered children with 21-trisomy syndrome and phenylketonuria, which led her to the realization that there was a significant need for improved services to support the development of children with disabilities.
In 2014, she made the decision to transition to the field of special education. She embarked on a three-year master's program at Zhejiang Normal University, during which she served as a teaching assistant and intern student in three special education schools. She received the Master of Education (M.Ed.) in Special Education at Zhejiang Normal University in 2017. Subsequently, Dr. Xu took on the role of coordinator at Zhejiang Special Education Teacher Training Center, Zhejiang Kindergarten Principal Training Center, and Zhejiang Kindergarten Teacher Training Center. She also served as an assistant researcher at Hailiang Development Institute – Hailiang Special Education Center in 2018.
In August 2023, Dr. Xu earned her Doctor of Philosophy in Special Education with a concentration in Early Childhood Studies from the University of Florida. In addition to her academic pursuits, Dr. Xu worked as a volunteer supporting families who have children with disabilities for over three years. Her research interests encompass several areas, including (a) providing professional development to enhance practitioners' competency and capacity, as well as improve their implementation evidence-based practices to reduce challenging behaviors and teach developmental skills for children with or at risk of disabilities, (b) developing a direct observational coding system to measure student behaviors, (c) supporting practitioners’ implementation of evidence-based practices with fidelity, both at the program and intervention levels.
Her commitment to service revolves around supporting practitioners who work with children who have special needs. She aspires to improve the quality of children's lives during their learning journey in the classroom by training both preservice and in-service teachers. To read and understand, to help and save, to guide and lead, to support and construct, this is what she is persistently pursuing.