Knowledge self-management: an unattainable goal?


Knowledge self-management: an unattainable goal?


La autogestión del conocimiento: ¿una meta inalcanzable?



María Elena Calcines Castillo1, José Ramón Valdés Utrera2, Roxana Monteagudo de la Guardia3

1 Villa Clara Medical Sciences University. Cuba. E-mail:
2 Villa Clara Medical Sciences University. Cuba. E-mail:
3 Villa Clara Medical Sciences University. Cuba. E-mail:


MeSH: knowledge Management, Programs of Study, education, medical, faculty.

DeCS: gestión del Conocimiento, programas de estudio, educación médica, docentes.



Dear editor:

The study plan "D", recently implemented, is a product of the improvement of medical studies and its main objective is to increase the quality of the graduate in accordance with the needs of society.

The novelty of this plan includes teaching methods capable of stimulating the initiative and the active participation of the students in the learning process with the consequent development of their cognitive independence. But in relation to this, the authors of the present letter have stated the following question that they intend to share with the readers; is the teaching staff fully prepared for the achievement of this objective in the educational process? Is this an unattainable goal?

Taking into account that the management of knowledge considers administering it with a critical sense of contextualization in society and with a sense of service to the community and that the educational renewal that is currently implemented requires radically different forms of teaching and assessment1, the authors invite the scientific community to argue about this issue that they consider of special significance in current medical education.

The educational model of this new curriculum is based on innovative elements of several contemporary pedagogical trends, within them the cultural historical approach prevails.2 This is a student-centered model that contributes to the development of self-learning and self-management of their knowledge, under the guidance of the teacher.

The authors have participated in numerous methodological activities in which experienced teachers have lectured on the subject and provided their recommendations on how best to approach this method. However, there is still a long way to go in this regard because the teaching staff and especially the students are rooted in traditional teaching methods.
Many circumstances are against the development of cognitive independence and the independent work of learners. The large volume of information given, for example, in the Morphology-physiology lectures, the students' access to a series of slides with the summarized teaching activities, the lack of systematic work by the teachers with the same group of students, among others have negatively influenced in the development of this capacity.

Independent work is an organizational form of teaching where the student reaches its level of independence, but it must be preceded by adequate guidance as an effective way for the development of its cognitive activity.3 Without pretending to be repetitive, the authors emphasize in the question posed at the beginning of this letter; are teachers prepared for the appropriate and relevant guidance required for the independent work?

In studies consulted4,5, it is observed that the work of teachers must guarantee the acquisition of basic knowledge or, core contents without them the success of the process continuity would be at risk, taking into account the large volumes of new scientific information that is generated every day, the teacher must teach the students to manage new knowledge, to critically evaluate the information obtained, making interpretations of it making use of new technologies and the printed literature existing in information centers which are a valuable source of knowledge.

It is necessary to discard the old tradition that "the one who teaches the most contents is the one who teaches the best". This concept should be replaced by "that which teaches more to think and give correct solution to problems is more useful".

One of the problems identified in the professional training processes is related to the difficulties of teachers to transcend their own subjects and to project towards a work that considers the subject who learns in a comprehensive sense, the authors agree with this opinion.2

The process for the development of knowledge self-management should be well oriented, in this respect, didactic guides, essential resources of learning, should not be sequences of questions and the suggested bibliography should be guiding without including too many specifications, so that the student be trained in the review and search of the different topics in different sources. The localization of the contents in a text, the finding of the main idea, the comparison of criteria, the elaboration of reports, etc. Culminate in the acquisition of new knowledge and the pleasure of having discovered them by themselves, although many others have already done so. It would be a great satisfaction for students to develop this ability which guaranty their continuous updating and independent professional development.

We hope that these considerations will be socialized and taken into account by all who participate in this complex process that is teaching and what is even more important to teach to learn.

The authors.


Declaration of interest

The authors declare no conflict of interest.



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Submitted: December 12 2016.
Accepted: January 15 2017.



María Elena Calcines Castillo.Villa Clara Medical Sciences University. Cuba. E-mail: