From the pedagogic thought of Fidel Castro Ruz: on purpose of a memorable speech


From the pedagogic thought of Fidel Castro Ruz: on purpose of a memorable speech


Del pensamiento pedagógico de Fidel Castro Ruz: a propósito de un discurso memorable



Francisco Iván Alfonso Tejeda, Carlos Benítez Pérez

Villa Clara University of Medical Sciences. Cuba.




The study and dissemination of the revolutionary pedagogical thought of all times, and especially that of the leader of the Cuban Revolution Fidel Castro Ruz, is a necessity, since it is a personality that succeeds in cementing in its ideology an interweaving between the revolutionary political project and the educational project for a developing nation. Fidel is a political figure linked to education from his position as a social educator. The authors are encouraged by the purpose of socializing some of his postulates about which education professional the Cuban society needs. It is in this sense that his thinking about education and the comprehensive formation of educators has to be more publicized and incorporated as an essential component of revolutionary culture and pedagogy.

MeSH: faculty, teaching, ethics, professional education, medical.


Constituyen una necesidad el estudio y divulgación del pensamiento pedagógico revolucionario de todos los tiempos, y en especial el del líder de la Revolución cubana Fidel Castro Ruz, toda vez que se trata de una personalidad que logra cimentar en su ideario una eficaz imbricación entre el proyecto político revolucionario y el proyecto educativo para una nación en vías de desarrollo. Fidel es una figura política vinculada a la educación desde su posición como educador social. A los autores les anima el propósito de socializar algunos de sus postulados acerca de qué profesional de la educación reclama la sociedad cubana. Es en tal sentido que su pensamiento sobre la educación y la formación integral de los educadores tiene que ser más divulgado e incorporado como componente esencial de la cultura y la pedagogía revolucionarias.

DeSC: docentes, enseñanza, ética profesional, educación médica.



More than 35 years elapsed since July 7, 1981, the leader of the Cuban Revolution, Fidel Castro Ruz, delivered a speech1 in the largest graduation of education professionals ever made in Cuba, in the heat of the revolutionary transformations that this branch implemented and the high demand of qualified resources for the colossal effort.

Aware that the new generation of teachers had to assume important responsibilities once incorporated into their professional training, Fidel included in his speech some essential ideas that the community of Cuban educators can never underestimate, because of its permanent validity for current and future times.

The proposal to reproduce and socialize some of these ideas in the health sciences teaching staffs is the objective of the work, since it would help to disseminate aspects of Fidel's pedagogical thought among the new generations of teachers, and incorporate it into the professional cultural heritage to apply it consistently in the training work of human resources for health.2,3

The way in which Fidel refers to teachers and professors has been respected, valid to synthesize them in the educators category, in the reproduction of the ideas of the aforementioned speech,1 which are listed.

1st idea. "The fundamental form of the teaching-learning process is the class. Therefore, we must devote the greatest attention to the class, to its results. The first responsibility of every teacher is to teach high quality classes".

The observance and conscious internalization of this idea acquires great importance for teaching in general and for the medical one in particular, since the transit through different study plans requires maintaining and overcoming its quality in all training sites, not only from the scientific-technical point of view but also in order to take advantage of the class to enhance the humanism and values inherent to the revolutionary professional. And to that class of high quality that Fidel calls only is accessed through a sustained methodological work, guarantor of the comprehensive preparation of professionals in the health branch, as expressed by the prestigious university professor Vela Valdés.4

2nd idea. "The educator should never feel satisfied with his knowledge. He must be a self-taught person who constantly improves his method of study".

The authors agree fully with this idea because the pedagogical work demands passion, dedication, and sacrifice; in addition, it has an individual character, regardless the fact that the organizational core is the subject, discipline or year teaching staff. But it is a requisite to be a good educator, like the one required for these times, the permanent intellectual restlessness to overcome the scientific-cultural heritage that is possessed, not to be satisfied with the dazzling discovery of knowledge or the work of his accumulated experience, but to incorporate it into the process of value formation in their students.

3rd idea. "The educator must be an activist of the revolutionary policy of our Party; it has to occupy the first places of the contemporary ideological struggle".

This idea is intertwined with the others and with those enunciated by Martín Sospedra et al.5 if it´s taken into account that educational institutions are not only responsible for the academic and scientific education of citizens, but also for general cultural education. And both ideopolitical training and education in values is part of culture as a social process, which can be achieved through a good class, taught by a well-prepared teacher, updated in the content that includes the subject taught and in terms of facts and relevant processes of national and international life to promote a developing learning and a revolutionary ideology.

4th idea. "Being a teacher means, above all, being one in all the aspects of life. The linking of the word with the action, of convictions with behavior is the base of the moral prestige of the educator. Only the one who is an example can educate".

Undoubtedly, personal example is the most effective way to educate; perhaps instructing can be achieved from a different position, but educating is a difficult task if it´s taken into account that it involves molding temperament and character of the personality from the academy's stages. And Fidel places the personal example of the educator as the cornerstone of the professional behavior of education, to fulfill the assigned mission of forming convictions that are expressed in the desired models of citizen behavior, which could not be achieved if the viewpoints and knowledge of the teacher do not agree with his way of life, projecting a social image that contradicts the meaning of the profession he has chosen to serve society.

5th idea. "In the conditions of the contemporary scientific-technical revolution it is not conceived a professor with traditional methods of work, but as an active researcher, as a revolutionary intellectual who proposes solutions from the point of view of science and our class interests".

After 35 years of this idea, it is urgent to develop and deepen it in all teaching sites; in which at present, in spite of the economic and technological limitations, the process of computerization of teaching is developed. The previous idea creates new possibilities for the production, distribution and access to knowledge, as well as its objectification in educational technologies based on the integrality of the graduate, coinciding with the study carried out by González Rodríguez et al.6

Fidel's visionary mind knew about the risks of professional stagnation, at a time when the resources and current technological aids were not part of the academic context as teaching and researching aids.

6th idea. "We must aspire that our teachers be trained to carry out pedagogical research, to consider the solution of problems through the pedagogical science".

Certainly an educator without a high researching spirit is not conceived in the field of pedagogical knowledge, since this is the objective possibility of perfecting the plans and programs of study, in addition to the constant self-improvement of the teacher, who has to take care of mastering, not only the subject matter but the processes that allow them to be efficient in their work of teaching and forming values, as the pedagogical investigation discovers what aspects of the work don´t match with the new realities; and therefore, must be overcome or complemented with pedagogical strategies that correspond to the constant dialectic of science and social processes.

7th idea. "Grading must respond to a systematic and consistent work of the entire pedagogical staff in the struggle for quality. In no way may the application of evaluation standards imply concessions that are detrimental to academic rigor".

Something as important as the final result of the educational teaching work has been constant in interventions, speeches and reflections of the leader of the Revolution in which he has referred to the problems of education. He places the professional pedagogical honesty as the irreplaceable category of the ethic of the educator when promoting and considering that the student has managed to overcome the objectives demanded by the curriculum and the program of the discipline and/or subject

It´s up to the consideration of the community of Cuban educators, the necessary re-reading of these reflections, which increase their validity as Cuban society enters a process of safe and necessary improvement of their educational processes.


Declaration of interests

The authors declare no conflict of interest.



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

2. Vargas Izquierdo J, Garrido Amable O, Garrido Amable G, Fernández Dopico RM, López Palomino MB. Influencia del pensamiento pedagógico de Fidel en la formación de valores éticos en los profesionales de la salud. Rev Ciencias Médicas de Pinar del Río [Internet]. 2015 [citado 4 Feb 2017];19(2):[aprox. 12 p.]. Disponible en:

3. Cárdenas González CZ, Secada Cárdenas E, Secada Cárdenas L, Martell Díaz M, Escobar Blanco L. Vigencia del pensamiento de Fidel Castro Ruz en la salud pública cubana. Rev Med Electrón [Internet]. 2013 [citado 20 Feb 2017];35(4):[aprox. 9 p.]. Disponible en:

4. Vela Valdés J. Regulaciones e importancia del trabajo metodológico en la Educación Médica. Educ Med Super [Internet]. 2015 [citado 20 Feb 2017];29(4):[aprox. 2 p.]. Disponible en:

5. Martín Sospedra DR. Herrera Rodríguez JI. La formación de los docentes universitarios para potenciar el aprendizaje desarrollador. Gaceta Médica Espirituana [Internet]. 2014 [citado 20 Feb 2017];16(2):[aprox. 9 p.]. Disponible en:

6. González Rodríguez R, Cardentey García J, Labrador Falero D. Las tecnologías educativas en el proceso formativo de valores en estudiantes universitarios. Rev Ciencias Médicas de Pinar del Río [Internet]. 2015 [citado 20 Feb 2017];19(5):[aprox. 10 p.]. Disponible en:



Submitted: March, 13 2017.
Accepted: May, 30 2017.



Francisco Iván Alfonso Tejeda. Villa Clara University of Medical Sciences. Cuba. E-mail:

Copyright (c) 2018 EDUMECENTRO