Constanza Andrea Cardenas Alarcon


Research title: Curriculum circles: a proposal for curriculum making in Chile

Research Summary

I am interested in how education can be built in a social justice and equity framework.

Specifically, I use the concept of inclusive education to name this aspiration connected

with a political and ethical project of dismantling exclusion. In that regard, and due to their

influence on educational change, I am particularly interested in teachers' work and how

they can change the educational experience for all students from the lens of curriculum

studies. Thus, I use a conceptualization of curriculum beyond the prescriptions and

standardization as an activity-oriented issue that involves the actors involved in it, such as

teachers, and the consideration of the context and the available resources for its


During these two years of my PhD, I have worked on the idea of inclusive curriculum-

making, intending to connect inclusive education as a political project with a broader idea

of curriculum as an ongoing phenomenon. I am especially interested in inclusive

curriculum-making at the school level. Namely, collective teachers work to reflect and act

on their practice, planning, and curriculum events and pedagogy in the classrooms.


Curriculum Circles

My study is participatory action research, and it is conducted in two public Chilean schools for an

academic semester using the vein of teacher enquiry. In that regard, my study considers

curriculum-making as a social practice involving different activities undertaken by many

actors (Priestley et al., 2021). Taking the work of Drew et al. (2016) my study design

involves three stages. Namely, focusing on where we will discuss exclusion situations,

identifying issues to change, interrupting in which we will create resources and

pedagogical materials to achieve these issues, and making sense to assess and reflect on

what we did.

The study involves weekly meetings with teachers have been called Curriculum Circles due to

Freire’s influence and inspiration as a space of dialogue and co-construction, highlighting

also the political sense of education connected with educational proposals.

The research methods include field notes, semi-structured interviews, focus groups and

teachers' journals.



Herrera-Seda, C., Cárdenas, C., Fernández, R. (2024). Hacia el corazón del liderazgo docente: Experiencias de Colaboración en tiempos de COVID-19. Perspectiva Educacional, 63(1), 165-189.

Cárdenas, C. A., Herrera-Seda, C. M., Fuentes Sepúlveda, J., & Torres-Contreras, H. (2023). “El contexto te lo requiere”: Pandemia, agencia docente e inclusión en Chile. Psicoperspectivas (Valparaiso), 22(2).

Cárdenas, C., Guerrero, S., Johnson-Mardones, D. (2021). Construir currículum desde abajo: avanzando en la documentación de una propuesta curricular en el contexto del COVID-19. Educación, 30(58), 34-58.

Guerrero Lacoste, S., & Cárdenas Alarcón, C. (2021). El quiebre en la autopista educativa: ¿un currículum para seguir sin parar o para cambiar de rumbo? Revista Enfoques Educacionales, 18(2), 144-165. https://doi:10.5354/2735-7279.2021.65053


Student Fieldwork Enhancement Grant awarded by the British Association of International and Comparative Education (BAICE) (2024)

BECAS CHILE Scholarship awared by National Agency of Innovation and Development (ANID) (2022)

Magíster Nacional Scholarship awared by National Comission of Technology and Scientific Research (CONICYT) (2019)


PhD tutor. University of Glasgow, the United Kindom (2023-2024)

School of Modern Languages and Cultures. Course: Spanish for non- beginners.

School of Education. Course: The Learner and the Curriculum


Part time teacher. University of Santiago of Chile, Chile (2019-2021) 

Courses: Special Educational Needs workshop

Design of learning experiences for diverse classrooms

Contributions of Universal Design of Learning for inclusive education

Language teaching from an inclusive perspective.