Mendive. Journal on Education, January-March 2023; 21(1): e3235

Translated from the original in Spanish


Teaching challenges in the face of the new directions of post-pandemic Higher Education


Desafíos docentes ante los nuevos rumbos de la Educación Superior postpandemia


Desafios do ensino diante dos novos rumos do Ensino Superior pós-pandemia


Tania Yakelyn Cala Peguero1

1 "Hermanos Saíz Montes de Oca" University. Pinar del Rio, Cuba


Cite as

Cala Peguero, T. (2023). Teaching challenges in the face of the new directions of post-pandemic Higher Education. Mendive. Revista de educación, 21(1), e3235.


The vertiginous development of the sciences is, without a doubt, a distinctive characteristic of the contemporary world. Its use for the solution of social practice problems, governmental decision-making and the generation of new knowledge are basic attributes, with their unavoidable implications in increasingly changing educational processes. In this context, nuanced by neoliberal policies, the search for equity and social justice, the recognition of diversity and its consequent ways of teaching and learning, among others, higher education institutions (HEIs) are erected engaged in the training of professionals. competent; capable of solving problems of the profession and practice, with social responsibility.

Recognizing the right to higher education (HE) as a public good, expresses the will of many to specify a humanist perspective of social justice, although not enough. More and more, lifelong learning for all is advocated, which constitutes more than a global aspiration, a philosophy of life. In this sense, objective 4 of the 2030 Agenda states the need to: Guarantee inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.

A quick look, however, at the goals and indicators proposed for their concretion, allow us to see that they are fundamentally aimed at the conception of student learning. It is valid to recognize that, regarding teachers, it is made explicit that it is necessary to substantially increase the supply of qualified teachers and although it is reported that it has not been explored, this indicator requires a higher level of development. It is the opinion of the writer of these lines that it might seem that the value of the teacher is discriminated against in this process, reducing it to his preparation, although it is recognized that this is a necessary condition for the sake of quality. Idea that is defended as early as 1998, in the UNESCO Declaration for the 20th century. (UNESCO, 1998)

Given this reality, it is appropriate to comment that a holistic and optimistic vision of assessment, around objective 4 and its indicators, suggests the role of the student as an active subject in their training, regardless of the type and level of education in question, the that does not escape postgraduate training, in general, and teacher training, in particular. The recognition of the need for properly trained and systematically trained teachers is one of the priorities for HE today.

For its part, in the Declaration of Córdova, 2018, when referring to this aspect, it recognizes that "although higher education criticizes the training of the students it receives, it does not fully assume its commitment, especially with regard to the quality of teacher training". (CRES, 2018, p. 5)

What, in our opinion, is an expression that the university professor is generally a successful professional in a certain area of knowledge, who teaches his science, without counting, in all cases, with the necessary pedagogical preparation; to teach it.

In this complex context, the pandemic generated by COVID-19 occurs, leaving not only health systems and governments without immediate solutions, but also educational systems and HEIs; who chose to change the modality from face-to-face to virtual classes, combining different forms that ranged from the total closure of institutions with classes only online to fully face-to-face, the latter to a lesser extent. The hybrid modality with a minimum of face-to-face was the most widespread, according to reports from countries and regions, as well as from international organizations, such as IESAL-UNESCO.

The reopening of HEIs in Latin America has been conditioned by the level of COVID-19 cases, the progress of vaccination and protocols defined by each country. Now, more than two years after the start of the pandemic, it is important to reflect on what has been the role of the teacher in this period? What lessons learned allow us to visualize a better future for HE? Where are we headed?

Without pretending to answer these questions apologetically, it is necessary to refer to how the process behaved in these more than two years. In this scenario, an increase in the use of technologies in training processes is perceived, increasing the access gaps. (Díaz and Barrón, 2020). Although not a few consider this the cause of the failures in terms of alternatives used, it became clear that it is a necessary but not sufficient condition and that the potential of these tools for educational work is not always taken advantage of. An idea that is complemented by Díaz Barriga's criteria, when pointing out that: ¨Curricular structures in particular, operate in our context in an inequitable, non-inclusive manner, contravening the precepts of social and curricular justice¨ (p.7).

We are in the presence of a complex and multifactorial process, which does not depend solely on teacher training and access to technological tools. Without forgetting that this is a point that points to the recognition of critical incidents in this space, generated around the representations about the professional role and conceptions about teaching and learning, the representations about teaching strategies and about the feelings associated with the teaching (Monereo, 2010); which can constitute the object of deepening, for future investigations.

Considering the opinion of teachers, as protagonists of the new proposals, requires recognizing the persistence of traditional teaching practices, beyond the media and the redefinition of their tasks and training.

More, many and diverse were the good practices resulting from the creativity of the university professors for the sake of their preparation and continuity of the process in new conditions. Undoubtedly, this period opened up opportunities for the dissemination of knowledge, as well as innovative ways to generate international spaces and support intercultural exchange, and generated opportunities for innovation, particularly in the field of mobility and virtual collaboration. which include the increase in the participation of academic networks, in online courses, in the conception and application of solidarity classrooms, as well as in the preparation and participation in MooCs, among others, increasing the exchange, and pointing to new forms to do, they are here to stay.

Taking into account the history lived during the pandemic and in keeping with current demands makes us rethink the role of the teacher in the face of the challenges of HE and forces us to reflect on what type of university we want, what training future professionals require to help transform society, in a sustainable way.

It is important to consider that, parallel to the return to the classroom, a process of reflection on the future of HE was taking place, sponsored by UNESCO. In which the respondents express a preference for mixed educational systems, corresponding to the idea enunciated around the role given to technologies as an alternative that is here to stay in Higher Education. (Cala, 2021). Likewise, 22% of those surveyed claim the need for "Training good teachers" and a creative way of approaching education to make students protagonists of their own learning. (UNESCO, 2021)

Undoubtedly, the reality described reveals contradictions that have made it possible to generate changes in the conception and teaching work, and guide towards the need for continuous training of university teachers.

It is necessary to transform the prevailing educational models to match the social transformations. This inevitably demands a change in the conception of the teacher's work and their training, to face such a challenge. Combining teaching and research from the imprint of the development of science and learning during the pandemic demands, in harsh voices, the development of skills for working with technological tools, forms and channels of communication and accompaniment to the university student, from an attitude responsibility that favors the well-being of the planet, social and individual development and consequently the design of educational alternatives for all.

It is about a teacher who, making use of his science, combines innovative methods taking advantage of the potential of technologies in knowledge management, with a critical vision.

This vision recognizes teachers and students sharing a continuous training process, capable of understanding their reality in a creative and innovative way, for a sustainable future. His mediating role makes him a permanent apprentice to "teach" in correspondence.

I would not dare to give a definitive answer on what the future of the university teacher is, what is clear to me is that it aims to redimension its role as an agent of change, demanding its constant improvement and beyond that of a mediator of the learning of "others". ¨ is an active subject of his own learning. Hand in hand will go his vocation to teach and learn in order to face the new paths of HE.



Cala Peguero, T. (2021). Tecnologías en educación superior: necesidad e impronta ante la covid-19. Mendive. Revista de Educación, 19(1), 1-5.

CRES 2018, U. (2018). Declaración de la III Conferencia Regional de Educación Superior para América Latina y el Caribe. Integración Y Conocimiento, 7(2), 96105.

Díaz-Barriga, F. & Barrón-Tirado, M. C. (2020). Currículo y pandemia: Tiempo de crisis y oportunidad de innovación disrupción. Revista Electrónica Educare, 24(Suppl. 1), 7-11.

Monereo, C. (2010). La formación del profesorado: Una pauta para el análisis e intervención a través de incidentes críticos. Revista ibero-americana de educación, 52, 149- 178.

UNESCO (2021). Caminos hacia 2050 y más allá resultados de una consulta pública sobre los futuros de la educación superior. /pf0000379984?posInSet=15&queryId=N-937bec67-9cc7-4991-b584-0973e09433de

UNESCO (2018). Guía de indicadores para el ODS 4. Educación de calidad.


Conflict of interests:

The author declares that she has no conflicts of interest.


Contribution of the authors:

The author participated in the design and writing of the work, and analysis of the documents.


This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License

Copyright (c) Tania Yakelyn Cala Peguero