Heutagogic approach to developing capable learners

Reem Rachel Abraham, Ramnarayan Komattil

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)


The twenty-first century higher education sector has come a long way after undergoing continuous metamorphosis from pedagogy to andragogy. Most of the educational approaches adopted in medical schools are directed towards developing more of competencies and less of capability, which is the ability to use competencies in novel contexts. Competencies alone are not sufficient to thrive in the present day work place as medical profession subsumes complex contexts; it is in this scenario that, medical educators are entrusted with the challenging task of developing “capable learners”. In the heutagogical approach, learners are required to decide upon what to learn and how to learn and therefore the control of the learning process is on the learner and the role of the teacher becomes that of a navigator. This paper highlights the current higher educational practices based on heutagogy, considers its application in the context of Problem-based learning and also discusses a few challenges in incorporating this approach in the existing undergraduate medical curriculum. The article proposes the use of social media in order to support learner autonomy, which in turn improves learners’ cognitive engagement with content and tasks, thereby assisting the development of attributes associated with capability.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)295-299
Number of pages5
JournalMedical Teacher
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 04-03-2017
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education


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