Mendive. Journal on Education, october-november 2021; 19(4):1038-1042

Translated from the original in Spanish


Forming competent modes of professional performance in times of social isolation: challenges of the University


Formar modos de actuación profesional competentes en tiempos de aislamiento social: desafíos de la Universidad


Formando modos competentes de atuação profissional em tempos de isolamento social: desafios da Universidade



Taymi Breijo Worosz1
María de los Ángeles Novo Cazorla1
Alicia María Gilimas Siles1

1University of Pinar del Río "Hermanos Saíz Montes de Oca". Cuba.


At present, Cuban Higher Education is immersed in maintaining its model of a modern, humanistic, universalized, scientific, technological, innovative university, integrated into society and deeply committed to the construction of a prosperous and sustainable socialism, in order to achieve a graduate who possesses personal qualities, culture and skills that allow him to perform with responsibility and social commitment, in addition to promoting an education for life (MES, 2016, 2020).

This constitutes the platform on which a strategic, inclusive and participatory projection is built with a long-term transformative vision, which generates the formation of a competent Higher Education graduate; which translates into having modes of action that are the expression of a more comprehensive culture, personal and professional qualities that allow them to perform with social responsibility and insert themselves in the processes of innovation and creation, to promote economic and social and environmental sustainability of the nation.

But this happens simultaneously with living in the current conditions that a pandemic has imposed on us, which does not have a similar background in contemporary Cuban society and, therefore, in Higher Education. In this context, resizing the conceptions that have characterized university education is an aspect in which we can contribute from our point of view. "Training" in this context becomes an opportunity to strengthen dialogue and challenges us to continue delving into the subject.

Isolation is an unexpected circumstance, to reflectively participate in the creation of alternatives that involve pedagogical changes in traditional ways, which we use in the training of competent professionals and their management. Distance work conditions to change the didactic scenario and resize the training processes of the University, namely: teaching, research and extension, due to the uniqueness of the moment. For this, it is necessary from the comprehensive diagnosis to identify the main limitations and potential of each of the subjects involved; consider that some of our teachers and students will not have a computer, a cell phone or lack a space at home to connect at home, or a good internet connection.

In addition, add that the motivations and interests of our students coexist at this time, to study or participate in a virtual class, with the needs and concerns that arise, when to take care of their health and that of their families, as well as participate in the creation of conditions that in many aspects are necessary to face the situation, it will bring anxiety, stress and depression. Acting in a traditional way may not be the option when it comes to an exceptional situation, which forces the search for new solutions to train university students who, from undergraduate, appropriate modes of action that are distinguished by their quality and adherence to social demands .

Several authors have investigated the issue of the formation and structure of the modes of action from different aristas. In this regard, Horruitiner (2006) makes strong emphasis on the importance of the mode of performance which determine organize and develop the training process, as it allows fully characterize the performance of graduates from this level.

While Addine (2006) refers that these constitute a generalization of the training methods, which allows acting on the different objects inherent to the profession, with logic such that it reflects that the graduate has apprehended the essential contents of science, but in interaction with the essential logic of the career he studied.

One can speak of the formation of modes of professional performance in university students, when it is demonstrated by the students in training, the full mastery of the logic of science and the logic of the performance scenarios in which it will be inserted. Thus, this mode of operation is set from potentiate the highest level of integration cores, skills and values of the subject areas in the solution of the problems in work objects, through which is he builds the object of the profession, in the student's transit through each of the years of his training process, expressing the logic with which he acts and configuring his identity as a future graduate of this area.

Thus, the results of the diagnostic process pedagogical constitute a starting point for determining, by the collective year, what professional problems is imperative that students master, what level of help they need, what actions could potentially run and the graduation and complexity must be designed , from one with  systemic conception, according to the objectives proposed in the model professional.

This will result from the operation of the methodological system of work of the career, enhancing critical and metacognitive reflection, working with technologies and multidisciplinary groups. Keep in mind that to teach at the University is not to transfer knowledge, but to create possibilities for the appropriation of content, which allow solving problems of the profession and transform their reality with social commitment. It is interesting that some authors, the conceptualizing mode of professional performance, identify competence as an inherent property of this.

However, are these theoretical conceptions about the mode of professional performance relevant in relation to the realities and needs of initial training of students upon graduation from universities?

These criteria, according to the authors, do not contemplate so enough the particularities of initial training where pre students  present logical gaps in the knowledge base (knowledge,  abilities, values), which will limit the development of modes being to identify themselves by efficiency and quality  of their performance, and can be described as competent. 

In the foregoing it is add that diagnostic studies done reveal that during initial training, pre students present modes of action that are not distinguished precisely by being competent and characterize their performance, as they are lacking in mastery of essential content of their science and their profession; limitations to act on the different objects inherent to its work content, which includes the use of technologies; ignorance of the methods for their professional performance; inability to efficiently, innovatively and creatively transform the object of the profession and inadequacies and / or barriers to working in groups; as well as to make an objective assessment of their knowledge, skills and values; all in correspondence with the social demands in general and of the career, in particular.

In keeping with the above, this article assumes a substantial reference to define the Competent Professional Mode of Action (MAPC) to training by competencies, assuming the conceptions of Bogoya (1999), which relate competencies to the solution of professional problems, seen as proper to their object, which are manifested in the context of action that corresponds to them and constitute a challenge for this graduate, since they will put their performance, creativity and personal potentialities to the test to perform in the context of work performance.

Working with problems, as a method, is highly effective, because it reveals the contradictory nature of knowledge and stimulates the involvement of the subject actively in their own learning process, which presupposes protagonism. Thus, the professional problem is constituted in the basic cell of the process, where all the didactic categories are specified, in a harmonious relationship from their protagonists.

From this perspective, it is considered that, frequently, the modes of professional performance that distinguish the management of students during initial or undergraduate training do not show an efficient approach that leads to the innovative and creative solution of the professional problems inherent to their functions.

It means, then, to grant a leading role in the process of professionalization of the student, to the progressive approach from the academic, labor, research and extension components to these problems, which, in dynamic and enriching interaction with practical activity, will allow the "appropriation"Of the essence of his profession, from the different existing trends where individual and group reflection is promoted.

The current demands of the university training process determine the need to distinguish the stage of undergraduate training as a platform for "learning with a professional approach" to lay the foundations for future performance. All the previous analysis allows us to assume the criterion of conceptualizing the competent modes of action at this stage, such as the set of algorithmic actions aimed at solving professional problems in an innovative and creative way, where students gradually acquire, during training initial knowledge, skills and values of labor management. This enhances the appropriation of the methods for their work exercise, in favor of an efficient performance in relation to the demands of the socially constructed professional performance model (Breijo, 2010, 2020).

What does it mean to solve problems in an innovative and creative way?

The student, during his initial training, in his performance, faces a series of professional problems of various kinds, with a variety of causal and intervening factors; Therefore, being competent demands that the future graduate assume the actions that make up a MAPC, away from all rigidity, with creativity, innovation and with the knowledge, skills, methods, values and experiences to design solutions, alternatives and their own strategies of intervention.

It also means being able to integrate systems of knowledge, skills and more general values of the object of science and the profession in solving problems and with this, being able to transform, from personal reflection and group work, the work context into the one they develop, as well as the ways of conceiving pedagogically and didactically this process and intending the work of academic groups around said solution with social commitment.   



Addine, F. (2006) El modo de actuación profesional pedagógico. Apuntes para una sistematización. Soporte digital.

Breijo, T. (2010). Concepción pedagógica del proceso de profesionalización para los estudiantes en la formación inicial. Tesis en opción al grado científico de Doctor en Ciencias Pedagógicas.

Breijo, T.; Cala, T (2020). La formación de profesionales competentes desde una perspectiva desarrolladora y contextualizada. Curso pre-evento. Universidad 2020. Memorias del Congreso.

Bogoya, D. (1999) Hacia una cultura de la evaluación para el siglo XXI. Taller sobre competencias básicas, Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Bogotá

Horruitiner, P (2006). La Universidad Cubana: el modelo de formación. Editorial Félix Varela. Ciudad de La Habana. P: 3-4; .4; 96.

MES. (2016). Documento base para el diseño del Planes de Estudio E.

MES. (2020). Carta a los expertos de la Comisión Asesora para la Educación de Pregrado.


This work is under a licencia de Creative Commons Reconocimiento-NoComercial 4.0 Internacional
Copyright (c) Taymi Breijo Worosz,
María de los Ángeles Novo Cazorla