Owen Lo


Associate Professor
ECPS Graduate Advisor for Student Affairs

Accepting MA, MEd, PhD students for 2025-26 (to start 2025 Sep).



Office: Scarfe Library Block 284

Special Education

High Ability Studies Area Coordinator

Dr. Owen Lo joined the Department of Educational and Counselling Psychology, & Special Education in 2014 as an Assistant Professor in High Ability Studies. Dr. Lo received his PhD in High Ability Studies at UBC and completed his MA (Gifted Education) and BA (Special Education, minor in Geography) in Taiwan. In his dissertation work, Owen put dual focus on theorizing and has published theoretical models in grounded theory method and educational labeling. To date, his research interests involve social constructs of intelligence, creativity, multiculturalism, and socio-emotionality; moreover, he demonstrates a scholarly penchant for validity issues in qualitative research and the doing of Grounded Theory studies.

Owen is currently working on a research series, “Labeling & Knowing”, that examines the complexity of the labeling phenomenon, especially with regards to how labeling triggers the formation of self-knowledge. Rooted in positive psychology and social constructivism, Labeling and Knowing is set out to explore some “enabling” aspects of the labeling mechanism. Presently, he is also leading a research project named “Landscape of the BC Gifted Education” that involves socio-culturally layered social mapping, examining the paradigm shifts and multiculturalism in the BC gifted education context, synthesizing available resources, and exerting influence on policy making.

In the past, Owen has worked as a resource teacher in the Taiwanese K-12 system, a military platoon leader, and has practiced some entrepreneurship in a Latin American country. Besides research and teaching, he enjoys being curious and creative and explores his livelihood through travels, food, and social & ecological goodwill.

Scholarly Interests:

Children and Youth with Special NeedsGifted EducationGiftednessHigh AbilityMentoringMulticulturalismProblem SolvingProgram EvaluationQualitative ResearchQualitative Research MethodsResearch MethodologiesSociocultural Approaches to Learning and TeachingTeacher Development

Theoretical Orientation:

Social Constructivism

Positive Psycholgoy

Critical Realism

Ontological Pluralism

Community Engagement

Media presentations and public engagement

The Tyee (2021, Nov 1). Is Vancouver’s program for ‘gifted’ children unfair? URL: https://thetyee.ca/News/2021/11/01/Is-Vancouver-Program-Gifted-Children-Unfair/

The Globe and Mail (2021, Jul 17). Changes to Vancouver school program for gifted students draw concern. URL: https://www.theglobeandmail.com/canada/british-columbia/article-vancouvers-school-program-changes-draw-concern/

Ubyssey (2021, Jul 16). University Transition Program alumni call for improvements to curriculum. URL: https://www.ubyssey.ca/news/university-transition-program-call-for-change/?ref=frontpage

The College Fix (2021, Jun 26). Another school district ditches honors classes in the name of ‘equity and inclusion. URL: https://www.thecollegefix.com/another-school-district-ditches-honors-classes-in-the-name-of-equity-and-inclusion/

The Globe and Mail (2021, Jun 16). Vancouver School Board phases out honours programs in high schools. URL: https://www.theglobeandmail.com/canada/british-columbia/article-vancouver-school-board-phases-out-honours-programs-in-high-schools/

The Globe and Mail (2021, Jun 16). Western Canada: Vancouver School Board phases out honours programs amid equity and inclusion debate. URL: https://www.theglobeandmail.com/canada/british-columbia/article-western-canada-vancouver-school-board-phases-out-honours-programs-amid/

The Globe and Mail (2017, Nov 21). Toronto school board’s draft proposal to ‘reform’ gifted program has parents worried (newspaper article, Reporter: Ms. Caroline Alphonso). URL: https://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/toronto/tdsbs-draft-proposal-to-reform-gifted-program-has-parents-worried/article37036583/

The Vancouver Sun (2015, Jun 5). Gifted students not being identified in B.C. (newspaper article, Reporter: Mr. Jason Payne). URL:  http://www.vancouversun.com/health/Gifted+students+being+identified/10698076/story.html

Courses Taught

EPSE 303

EPSE 516

EPSE 401


University of British Columbia, Canada, 2013, PhD

National Taiwan Normal University, Taiwan, 2007, MA

National Changhua University of Education, Taiwan, 1999, BA

Research Projects
Current Research Projects
Re-envisioning gifted education: A policy analysis in the context of a new curriculum in BC (PI) – SSHRC Insight Development Grant
Superkids 2: Navigating change, fulfilling potential – Learning from the life trajectories of our most able students (Co-I) – SSHRC Insight Grant

Past Research Projects
Self-knowledge as a potential tool for inclusive education: Using a case study to explore self-including strategies (PI) – SSHRC Explore Grant
Supporting teachers’ design and implementation of theories-framed, reform-based pedagogies: Case of teacher professional development for science teachers in BC (Co-I) – SSHRC Insight Development Grant
A historical review on BC gifted education policy and practices (PI) – UBC-SPARC Bridge Funding
Media production as community engagement: A curriculum integration of ethics and practices integrating community engagement through media production and flexible learning (Co-I) – UBC Teaching and Learning Enhancement Fund
Situating inclusive education in the shifting paradigms of gifted education: Understanding history, themes, and possible refinements of inclusion in gifted education (PI) – SSHRC Explore Grant
Labeling and knowing: An enabling perspective (PI) – UBC Teaching and Learning Enhancement Fund
Selected Publications


Lo, C. O., Lin-Yang, R. C., & Chrostowski, M. (2022). Giftedness as a framework of inclusive education. Gifted Education International, 38(3), 431-437. https://doi.org/10.1177/02614294211049157

Lo, C. O., Hu, S., Sungur, H., Lin, C. (2022). Giftedness, gender Identities, and self-acceptance: A retrospective study on LGBTQ+ postsecondary students. Gifted Child Quarterly, 66(3), 171-187. https://doi.org/10.1177/00169862211029681

Kanevsky, L., Lo, C. O., & Marghelis, V. (2022). Individual or collaborative projects? An exploration of considerations influencing the preferences of students with high reasoning ability and others their age. High Ability Studies, 33(1), 87-119. https://doi.org/10.1080/13598139.2021.1903842

Lin, C., J. Chen, Lin, S., & Lo, C. O. (2022). The effects of college student experience on degree aspirations for graduate education. Sage Open. Advanced Online Publication. https://doi.org/10.1177/21582440221117798

Chen, P., Lin, C., Lin, I., & Lo, C. O. (2022). The mediating effects of psychological capital and academic self-efficacy on learning outcomes of college freshmen. Psychological Reports. Advanced Online Publication. https://doi.org/10.1177/00332941221077026


Tan, Y. S. M., Lo, C. O., & Alharbi, M. (2021). Promoting student learning through diasporic foodways: Community-oriented pedagogy through films. Teaching in Higher Education. Advanced Online Publication. https://doi.org/10.1080/13562517.2020.1830366

Alharbi, M., Tan, Y. S. M.,& Lo, C. O. (2020). Foodways, community, and film-making: A case study of funds of knowledge in higher education. Higher Education Pedagogies, 5(1), 310-323.  https://doi.org/10.1080/23752696.2020.1841569


Lo, C. O., & Feng, L. (2020). Teaching higher order thinking skills to gifted students: A meta-analysis. Gifted Education International, 36(2), 196-217. https://doi.org/10.1177/0261429420917854

Killas, H., Lo, C. O., Porath, M., Tan, Y. S. M., Hsieh, C., & Ralph, R. (2020). Learning from the voices and life trajectories of our most able students: A Listening Guide analysis. Gifted Education International36(1), 26-49. https://doi.org/10.1177/0261429419878710

Chang, C., Lo, C. O., & Chuang, S. (2020). Applying video modeling to promote the handwriting accuracy of students with low vision using mobile technology. Journal of Visual Impairment & Blindness, 114(4), 406-420. https://doi.org/10.1177/0145482X20953269


Lo, C. O., Porath, M., Yu, H., Chen, C., Tsai, K., & Wu, I. (2019). Giftedness in the making: A transactional perspective. Gifted Child Quarterly, 63(3), 172–184. https://doi.org/10.1177/0016986218812474

Lo, C. O., Tan, Y. M., Chrostowski, M., Hu, S., Chan, D., Sue, D. M., Wu, I., & Li, W. (2019). Re-envisioning gifted education in British Columbia: A qualitative research protocol of policy analysis in the context of a re-designed curriculum. International Journal of Qualitative Methods, 18, 1-9. https://doi.org/10.1177/1609406918822233

Wu, I., Lo, C. O., & Tsai, K. (2019). Learning experiences of highly able learners with ASD: Using a success case method. Journal for the Education of the Gifted, 42(3), 216-242. https://doi.org/10.1177/0162353219855681


Feng, L., Chen, N., Peng, H., & Lo, C. O. (2018). The development, implementation, and evaluation of iLoT—A cross-age interdisciplinary creativity curriculum based on the COCO model. Gifted Education Quarterly, 143, 23-38. https://doi.org/10.6218/GEQ.201706_(143).23-38


Lo, C. O., & Porath, M. (2017). Paradigm shifts in gifted education: An examination vis-à-vis its historical situatedness and pedagogical sensibilities. Gifted Child Quarterly, 61(4), 343–360. https://doi.org/10.1177/0016986217722840


Lo, C. O. (2016). Literature integration: An illustration of theoretical sensitivity in grounded theory studies. The Humanistic Psychologist44(2), 177–189. https://doi.org/10.1037/hum0000029

Hsieh, C., Tsai, K., Lo, C. O., & Chang, C. (2016). Talents and decision-making: Implications of talent rearing from the Harry Potter series. Yun-Chia Journal of Special Education, 23, 19–25. URL: http://www.airitilibrary.com/Publication/alDetailedMesh?DocID=18166938-201605-201806130007-201806130007-19-25

Hsieh, C., Chang, C., Tsai, K., Lo, C. O., & Su, S. (2016).The effects of mentorship on team creativity: Investigating into the coaching process in 2011 and 2012 First Lego League Championships. Annual Journal of Special Education105, 231–249. URL: http://www.airitilibrary.com/Publication/alDetailedMesh?DocID=a0000110-201611-201710200011-201710200011-231-249


Chung, M. Tsai, K., Lo, C. O., & Chang, C. (2015). A study on job-related stress, emotional management, and teaching efficacy among pre-school special education teachers. Journal of Understanding Individuals with Disabilities, 14, 49–74. https://doi.org/10.6513/TJUID.2015.14(1).3

Huang, S., Tsai, K., Lo, C. O., & Chang, C. (2015). Students’ perceptions toward a gifted science curriculum in Kaohsiung: A survey study. Annual Journal of Special Education, 104, 79–94. URL: http://www.airitilibrary.com/Publication/alDetailedMesh?DocID=a0000110-201511-201601300009-201601300009-79-94

Hsieh, C., Tsai, K., Lo, C. O., & Chang, C. (2015). The effects of early entrance to elementary schools in Kaohsiung: A meta-analysis. Annual Journal of Special Education, 104, 191–204. URL: http://www.airitilibrary.com/Publication/alDetailedMesh?DocID=a0000110-201511-201601300009-201601300009-191-204


Lo, C. O. (2014). Labeling and knowing: A reconciliation of implicit theory and explicit theory among students with exceptionalities. The Journal of Educational Research, 107(4), 281–298. https://doi.org/10.1080/00220671.2013.807490

Lo, C. O. (2014). Enhancing groundedness in realist grounded theory research. Qualitative Psychology, 1(1), 61–76. https://doi.org/10.1037/qup0000001