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Author ORCID Identifier


Open Access Dissertation

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Program


Year Degree Awarded


Month Degree Awarded


First Advisor

Michael P. Krezmien

Second Advisor

Michelle Hosp

Third Advisor

Sangeeta Kamat

Subject Categories

Bilingual, Multilingual, and Multicultural Education | Disability and Equity in Education | Educational Assessment, Evaluation, and Research | International and Comparative Education | Special Education and Teaching


Despite earlier attempts to arrive at unified theories or conceptualizations, the international literature on inclusive education has increasingly documented the proliferation of operationalizations of inclusion in and even within single instances of policy, research, and practice, and called for further scholarly attention to such subjectivity. Specifically, there is a dearth of international research linking definitions to perceptions to practices within special and/or inclusive education, and findings on the efficacy of interventions to promote inclusive education practices in Spanish-speaking contexts or literature are similarly sparse. This study investigates how Latinx educators in K-12 schools conceptualize and practice inclusion with respect to special education needs (SEN) in Chile, the locus of one of the most segregated, free-market education systems in vi the world. It is the first linking educator definitions, perceptions and pedagogical knowledge of inclusion as well as SEN in Chile, validating a comparative special education research instrument for Spanish-speaking education stakeholders interested in how schools and educators approach enacting inclusive praxis. This convergent mixed methods crossectional survey study used the International Survey of Inclusion in Education to gather qualitative and quantitative responses from educators across Chile about their definitions and perceptions of inclusion and special education needs, as well as practical strategy knowledge. A total of 660 individuals accessed the self-administered online survey; based on consent and completion of items, the Likert scale responses from 476 participants were retained in the quantitative analysis, while 468 participants’ definitions of inclusion were reviewed in the qualitative analysis. The findings suggest that in Chile, definitions of inclusion reflect the wide range of influences on educator practice: national legal policy, national grassroots civil rights activism led by student movements for quality, equitable access to free public schooling, and international economic and social hegemony authored by imperial world powers. Educators have a generally positive perception of inclusion and special education needs, but this is inversely related to their self-appraised strategy knowledge related to special education needs—particularly in the case of special educators. The implications for equity-based, intersectional inclusive education within and beyond the territory of Chile are discussed.


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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 4.0 License.