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Revista Brasileira de Educação Médica

versión impresa ISSN 0100-5502versión On-line ISSN 1981-5271


MACHADO, Clarisse Daminelli Borges  y  SCHROEDER, Edson. Learning to learn in Medical Education: reflections based on contributions from the Historical-Cultural Theory. Rev. Bras. Educ. Med. [online]. 2021, vol.45, n.3, e188.  Epub 16-Ago-2021. ISSN 1981-5271.


The term learning how to learn, initially developed as a counterpoint to the Traditional School, aiming at a greater emancipation of the students in relation to the construction of knowledge in the classroom, as well as an incentive to their democracy and civil autonomy, started to be used recurrently as a neoliberal slogan in medical schools. Incorporated by the market as a synonym for the American term “do it yourself”, the concept of learning how to learn has become the meaning of a naturalistic constructivism, assuming that students construct their own concepts, skills, and values in an appropriate and satisfactory manner.


In Medical Education, especially, the term learning to learn appears as a recurrent pedagogical-methodological proposal. It should be noted that the presence of the term, by itself, should not be conceived as harmful to Medical Education, but rather the pedagogical context in which it is inserted. There is, therefore, an emptying of the teaching role as regulator of the relationship established between the student and the world. We present three theoretical premises, from the cultural-historical perspective, to reflect on and problematize the nature and meanings associated with the slogan “learning how to learn”, with a focus on student learning and development, highlighting the importance of the medical professor in this process.


Both the teaching and the study activities need to become conscious activities by their protagonists, paying attention to the unity of meaning creation/learning leading to development, as a central dialectic principle and as an indispensable condition for what we understand as human development. Only in activity does the universality of the human subject and the constitution of the (medical) personality become visible. Thus, we assert that medical professors are fundamental for medical students to be guided to act in terms of overcoming and changing.

Palabras clave : Learning; Human Development; Medical Education; Health Culture.

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