Pedagogical challenges of the Pedagogical counseling professor in the current generational context


Pedagogical challenges of the Pedagogical counseling professor in the current generational context

Desafíos pedagógicos del profesor guía en el contexto generacional actual



Elizabeth Leal García1*
Nancy Rodríguez Fernández1
Silvia Magalys Cueto Domínguez1
Jesús Yasoda Endo Milan1


1Villa Clara University of Medical Sciences. Academic Vice-rectorate. Cuba.


*Author for correspondence. E-mail:




The spaces of comprehensive training of future professionals in the medical sciences are the health services themselves, through in-service training as an organizational teaching form. The Pedagogical counseling professor in the Cuban university, and in particular in higher medical education, plays a fundamental role in this process. To achieve this purpose, it must fulfill its functions, and this requires taking into account the historical context in which young people develop and their generational characteristics. The objective of these authors is to analyze some current characterizing elements that define the new generations of university students, which should be taken into account in their responsibility. Just that way, they can take on the challenges that are imposed to their educational work.

MeSH: students; faculty; young adult; education, medical.


Los escenarios de formación integral de los futuros profesionales de las ciencias médicas son los propios servicios de salud, a través de la educación en el trabajo como forma organizativa de la enseñanza. El profesor guía en la universidad cubana, y en particular en la educación médica superior, desempeña un rol fundamental en este proceso. Para lograrlo debe cumplir con sus funciones, y ello reclama tener en cuenta el contexto histórico en que se desarrollan los jóvenes y sus características generacionales. El objetivo de estos autores es analizar algunos elementos caracterizadores actuales que definen las nuevas generaciones de estudiantes universitarios, los cuales deben ser tenidos en cuenta en su responsabilidad. Solo así, podrá asumir los desafíos que se imponen en su labor educativa.

DeSC: estudiantes; docentes; adulto joven; educación médica.



Submitted: 14/02/2019
Accepted: 02/09/2019



The comprehensive formation of future health professionals has the particularity that, unlike other universities, they have their own health services as a training space. From the first years of the degree they are prepared through the in-service training, the main organizational teaching form. This implies complexity and strength, given the simultaneity of the teaching-educational, medical care, researching and extension functions that are developed in the medical care units and the pedagogical preparation of their teachers.(1) Hence the value of guiding the students group by the Pedagogical counseling professor, academic figure with certain qualities to develop the educational work from its preparation and consecration, in order to graduate professionals with high scientific-technical, ethical, humanistic and committed to society and human betterment.

The current context and the characteristics of the new generation impose on the Pedagogical counseling professor important challenges in its daily work. But what is a Pedagogical counseling professor? Socarrás Sánchez et al.(2) analyzed a series of definitions given by different authors, from which the following characterizing elements are inferred:

  • It is the main organizer of educational work.
  • It combines the educational efforts of teachers, family, student and social organizations.
  • It has an essential involvement in the ideological, political and moral development of its students.
  • It coordinates guides and controls the teaching-educational attention of the group.
  • It is a teacher with additional functions, special responsibility, which requires a more developed level of qualities, pedagogical abilities and in particular those that allow them to be a successful guide, capable of directing, organizing, cohering and turning it into a true group .
  • It has academic and educational leadership, favors the formation of a comprehensive general culture in students, attends them permanently individually and collectively, and ensures the strengthening of emotional ties in a proper spiritual atmosphere.

Castro Ruz,(3) historical leader of the Cuban Revolution said: "... all teachers have the responsibility to influence the training of students; but the Pedagogical counseling professor has the important mission of coordinating the system of unified influences on the particular group of students".

To these characterizing elements can be added several educational agents that complicate the work of this teacher:

  • The cultural traditions that go from generation to generation.
  • The idiosyncrasies and historical roots of the people.
  • The level of instruction and school education.
  • Family education.
  • Ideas, beliefs, convictions.
  • Values scale.
  • Life projects.
  • Influences of other youth groups.
  • Experiential references of each student.
  • The historical-social context.
  • Generational characteristics.

The historical context in which Cuban youth has grown today is very contradictory in itself, which indiscriminately influences the new generation of university students; processes and phenomena have occurred that are summarized in:

  • Exacerbation of global crises.
  • Intensification of the economic blockade.
  • Collapse of the socialist bloc.
  • Openness to tourism.
  • Increase in social differences.
  • Monetary duality.
  • High prices in the market.
  • Implementation of the Economic and Social Policy Guidelines.
  • Conceptualization of the economic and social development model.
  • Diversification of forms of employment and property.
  • Fluctuations in Cuba-United States relations.
  • Updating of the migration policy.
  • Retreat in Latin American revolutionary processes and strong media campaigns against them.
  • Subversive projects towards young people.
  • Culture of banality vs. national culture.
  • New technologies and communication platforms.
  • Coexistence of diverse tendencies and positions in Cuban political thought: Marxist, Marti´s followers, neo-Plattist, centrist, openly counterrevolutionary.
  • Openness to sexual and religious diversity.
  • The new Constitution of the Republic of Cuba.

In this context, the characteristics of the current generation, in which young university students meet, according to Claudia Castilla, researcher of the Youth Studies Group of the Center for Psychological and Sociological Research, in her article "Cuban youth: diversity and current complexity", referenced in Somos Jovenes on September 22, 2016:

  • They are willing / open subjects to receive knowledge, affection and to interact with others.
  • They have a high level of education and intellectual capacity.
  • They are carriers of the traditional values of the Cuban people, even when they are not rationally incorporated.
  • They are not conformist.
  • They express a certain uncritical vision.
  • They have difficulties to identify and rank their values.
  • They have short term projects, lack of long-term projection.
  • They have increased critical positions towards the functioning of youth organizations.
  • They identify in their universities an environment that satisfies them and helps to actively link them; however, sometimes they build a notion of limited participation.
  • They are influenced by the existence of a national identity, stable and mobilizing, which mainstream the formation of their generational identity.
  • Their individual interests and social goals conflict.
  • They show aspirations for improvement as a guarantee of a better level of material life.
  • The levels of remuneration in relation to the effort and the sacrifice that the labor activity demands are factors that acquire more importance in relation to previous periods.

In this complex panorama, what pedagogical alternatives exist for the educational work of the Pedagogical counseling professor?

Continue the traditional actions for their demonstrated effectiveness:

  • Know and work with individual differences.
  • Be affectionate with its students.
  • Establish with them the best relationships based on mutual respect and understanding.
  • Offer levels of support through educational management with the rest of the pedagogical staff that interacts with them.
  • Coordinate the educational influences in the group or student´s brigade with all the educational actors that intervene.
  • Work together with student´s organizations.

Turn to other ways of educating:

  • Accentuate individual and collective responsibility by assigning well-argued tasks.
  • Understand the new communication codes of young people given to the management of new technologies, support their correct use.
  • Apply in a creative and personalized way the diversity of existing educational methods for their work.
  • Carry out more casuistic analysis of their modes of action.
  • Do not impose criteria.
  • Do not make unnecessary comparisons: all are worth, they are young.
  • Do not judge them: work for their human betterment.
  • Open its mind to generational changes without losing the limits of permissibility and demand. The teacher is always the teacher no matter the space.
  • Encourage ways to feel that they build, recreate, enrich and that they are within this model of society; that their individualities find space in it.
  • Questions such as: who creates the spaces ?, how are they created ?, what are they created for ?, what is taken into account to create them, what characterizes them ?, what do they seek to satisfy in them ?, these are elements to take into account for decision making and favor their conscious and effective participation.
  • More consensual youthful management and direction.
  • The greatest challenge is to achieve a generational dynamic of dialogue that favors cooperative action-articulated in the construction of an inclusive society.

This is in order to achieve greater quality of the educational process and in correspondence with the words of the President of Cuba, Díaz-Canel Bermúdez: "To seek in university the essential interrelation among quality, efficiency, rationality and relevance. To give the country confidence in our educational system ...", expressed in his speech at the Round Table on Higher Education, in September 2010.

As Our National Hero would say: "Education must provide the means to solve the problems life has to present."(4)



1. Puga García A, Madiedo Albolatrah M, Ramos Palmero RM, Puga Madiedo GM. Organización metodológica y didáctica de la clase en la asignatura Metabolismo-Nutrición. Gac Med Espirit [Internet]. 2018 [citado 20/04/2018];20(1):[aprox. 12 p.]. Disponible en:

2. Socarrás Sánchez S, Díaz Flores M, Sáez Palmero A. El profesor guía: máximo orientador del trabajo educativo en la educación médica superior cubana. Rev Hum Med [Internet]. 2012 [citado 18/04/2018];12(3):[aprox. 19 p.]. Disponible en:

3. Castro Ruz F. Discurso pronunciado en el acto de graduación de 10 658 egresados del Destacamento Pedagógico Universitario "Manuel Ascunce Domenech", en el polígono de Ciudad Libertad: La Habana: Consejo de Estado; 7 de julio de 1981.

4. Martí J. Obras Completas. T 13. La Habana: Editorial Nacional de Cuba; 1963.



Declaration of interest

The authors declare no conflict of interest.



Contribution of the authors

Elizabeth Leal García and Nancy Rodríguez Fernández: They analyzed the topic, contributed with their experiences and formed the article.
Silvia Magalys Cueto Domínguez and Jesús Yasoda Endo Milan: they carried out the bibliographical searches and limited them to Vancouver.



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