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Laura Cruz López

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Instructor in the area of Theory and History of Education, of the Faculty of Education. My central teaching and research interest is socio-educational action with vulnerable groups, specifically unprotected children and adolescents, people deprived of their liberty, and those in situations of prostitution and homelessness.  


Throughout my career, a concern for a lack of a critical educational perspective and an inclusive pedagogical model in these contexts has been a constant, as this lack contributes to the reproduction of social discrimination, through an education reduced to control and adaptation. This reality connects with the main line of research of ECIGAL, in the interest of promoting an active and critical global citizenship through education, also with vulnerable groups.  


The projects in which I have participated have this approach n common, as well as participatory action research as a methodological framework from which to understand reality in order to transform it. It is a conscious commitment to place social justice as the central axis, engaging all those involved in the reflection and questioning of reality and educational practices, in order to promote people's empowerment and autonomy.

About me

I trained as a social educator and pedagogue at the University of Santiago de Compostela, where I received my doctorate in 2010 with a thesis entitled "Childhood and social education: socio-educational practices in residential protection contexts in Galicia," which earned an extraordinary doctoral award.  


As a social educator I worked in a drug addiction prevention program (UMAD, 2007) and in the family education coordination team of Galicia, developing a participatory action research process with the professionals involved to develop the program framework (Tecendo Redes, 2008-2009).  


At the teaching level, I have taught the subject Socio-educational action with minorities and vulnerable groups on the undergraduate degree in Social Education since 2011. This subject has brought me closer to three realities of social exclusion (deprivation of liberty, homelessness and prostitution) and also to inclusive methodologies such as service-learning, theater of the oppressed, philosophy for children and social cartography (around which we have developed various day-long and summer courses). Working with students from the perspective of service learning and applying social cartography has earned me two awards for educational innovation (2019 and 2021).  


Throughout my research career I have formed part of three research groups. First, of Social Pedagogy and Environmental Education ( SEPA-interea ) of the University of Santiago de Compostela, working mainly in two lines of study: educational and social time organization and municipal cultural action. In 2010, at the University of A Coruña, I joined the group Educational Policy, History and Society (PEHS), through which I participated in projects on effective intervention strategies with adolescents and young people at risk of social exclusion (in collaboration with UNED and four social entities: ISOS Foundation, Trébol Foundation, Option 3 SC and Igaxés3). I also participated in successful socio-educational actions for overcoming poverty (led by Rosa Valls of the research group  CREATE from the University of Barcelona) and Sociocultural animation in prison (in collaboration with SEPA-Interea and the association Aliad-Ultreia). Since 2017 I have participated in development education projects funded by the Xunta de Galicia, in partnership with Architecture without Borders (for the formation of multiplier agents in the dissemination of the right to habitat) and with Galician International Solidarity (mapping experiences of global citizenship education in Galician schools). Since 2020, as a member of the ECIGAL research group, I continue to work on previously initiated lines of study, mainly in the field of GCE in regulated education and prison-based social education. In relation to all these topics of study I have made contributions to conferences and publications in journals and books.  


In the field of management and collaboration with other entities, I was coordinator for the Social Education degree program from the 2013/2014 to 2000/2021 academic years; I have been a member of the UDC's Research and Teaching Ethics Committee (CEID-UDC) since 2017; and I actively participate with the College of Educators and Social Educators of Galicia (collegiate nº 3010), first as a governing board member (2003-2015) and later participating in two working groups (prison and ethics committees). I am also a member of the Ibero-American Society of Social Pedagogy (SIPS). 


Faculty of Education

University of A Coruña 

Elviña Campus 15071. A Coruña

981 167000 ext. 4694 

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