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Researching in education for development: a case study of the application of the project” (2013-2014)

PI: María Mar Rodríguez Romero 

Other members of the research team: Araceli Serantes Pazos, Dolores Cotelo Guerra,  José Luis Iglesias Salvado, Apolinar Graña Varela, María José Caride Delgado, Ana Lampón Gude 

Collaborating entity: Galicia International Solidarity

Funding body: Galician Cooperation (General Directorate of Foreign Relations and the European Union of the Xunta de Galicia) 

Amount of funding: 24,287.00 euros 

Foto 1 investigacion.jpg

The general objective was to investigate the Global Citizenship Education projects carried out by the NGDO Galician International Solidarity and to generate applicable knowledge that would permit improvement of the organization and transfer of the findings.  

The research was organized in two parts:  

The first part consisted of a diachronic study of the GCE projects implemented by the organization between 2002 and 2012 (a total of 11). Through a comparative analysis of these projects we developed timelines and other graphic representations showing the behavior of this organization throughout this time period in relation to aspects such as: themes, objectives, duration of the projects, recipients and funding. In this way, we studied the evolutionary process of the organization, its tendencies and challenges.  

In the second part of the investigation, a case study was carried out on the project "The Treasure of Acahualinca" which was implemented by the NGDO between August 2012 and June 2013 in 13 secondary schools in Galicia. Through semi-structured interviews conducted with teachers and groups of students from the 13 participating centers and the construction of 3 micro case studies, evidence was produced on how the Treasure of Acahualinca project was linked to the curriculum, the meaning it had for students and its influence on learning about issues related to Global Citizenship.  

Regarding the findings of the comparative analysis of GCE projects implemented by the NGDO, we identified trends such as the loyalty of the recipients, the different levels of complexity of the objectives depending on the issues addressed in the projects, and the existence of three major issues that were repeated over time: interculturality, millennium goals, and fair trade. Over time, we observed that the duration of the interventions increased and the number of schools where work was conducted decreased, showing that the organization gradually shifted to opting for more profound and intensive interventions over more widely dispersed and introductory ones. In addition, we identified a refinement of pedagogical approaches, moving towards interventions in line with more sophisticated DE perspectives that are committed to global citizenship.  

Among the findings of the second part of the research are the following:  

Projects were carried out in each school as situated practice rather than as a universal teaching unit, which gave rise to idiosyncratic processes characteristic of each institution, with each teacher, and for each group of students. This specificity is portrayed in the three micro case studies that reflect a specific footprint in the process of project development for each center: constancy (center 1), reflective capacity (center 2) and process support (center 3).  

The subjects involved in DE projects were usually Ethics and Citizenship Education, and in one case Religion. The contents were directly related to democratic education and the students' Human Rights. These are subjects areas that receive a relatively reduced percentage of teaching time, which makes it difficult to continue the interventions and limits their depth.  


The students who participated in the case study expressed both verbally and behaviorally, through the production of the videos, their preference for participatory, experiential and creative methodologies such as those implemented in the Treasure of Acahualinca project. However, these types of strategies are more linked to learning processes and skills and less to content, and also require modes of participation to which the students themselves are not accustomed, and which therefore require extra support and dedication from teachers. Time is one of the main factors that shape project implementation. The scarcity of hours devoted to related subjects makes proper development difficult. The micro case studies show that the Treasure of Acahualinca educational project, as a situated practice, has idiosyncratic characteristics related to teachers' relationship with the NGDO, their pedagogical styles, and the organizational and curricular conditions of the schools and subjects to which it is linked. There is a more or less intense struggle to link the project to the curricular and organizational dynamics of the school subjects. This conflict is resolved differently by each teacher and undoubtedly requires favorable conditions at the organizational level: for example, adecuate scheduling and availability for extra teacher work to support students. Teachers in turn need to be willing to get involved outside of school hours and to be willing and able to work collaboratively. Both requirements are complicated and are resolved productively when the teacher accompanies the work process beyond the school context. In summary, the study highlights four fundamental ideas that support the narrative histories of the two participating NGDO staff members: the commitment, creativity, trajectory and background of each (determined by personal and institutional experience) and experience in the project itself. 



Rodriguez Romero, Mar; Serantes Pazos, Araceli; Lampón Gude, Ana;  Iglesias Salvado, José Luis; Caride Delgado, Maria;  Paz Gutiérrez, María; and Graña Varela, Apolinar (2015). Investigar en Educación para el Desarrollo I.  Un análisis comparativo de proyectos ONGD  Solidaridad Internacional de Galicia. Gema Celorio y Alicia López de Munain (Eds.). Cambiar la educación para cambiar el mundo ... ¡Por una acción educativa emancipadora! Comunicaciones, pp. 274-281. Vitoria: HEGOA and University of the Basque Country.


Rodriguez, Mar; Zapico, Mª Helena; Graña, Apolinar;  Digón, Patricia;  Longueira, Silvana; 
Cotelo, Mª Dolores e  Pérez, Mª Cristina (2015). Estudio de caso del proyecto "O Tesouro de Acahualinca" de Solidaridad Internacional de Galicia. Gema Celorio y Alicia López de Munain (Eds.).
Cambiar la educación para cambiar el mundo ... ¡Por una acción educativa emancipadora! Comunicaciones, pp. 286-292. Vitoria: HEGOA and University of the Basque Country. 

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