An ULE Group researches knowledge management by university students
Cristina G. Pedraz/DICYT The Didactic Excellence, Innovation, and Quality Research Group of the Universidad de León (ULE), which is attached to the Department of General and Specific Didactics and Education Theory and led by Professor Isabel Cantón Mayo, is working on a line of research concentrating on knowledge management by university students.
As Cantón Mayo explained to DiCYT, knowledge management is a powerful tool for getting to know the learning and knowledge model itself. “We believe that knowledge has four basic components: data, information, people, and context. Knowledge Management processes the vision of management differently, accepting that knowledge cannot be managed like other resources; specific skills are needed”, she specifies.
In the same way it can be inferred that students “know more than they think they do” but “do not always use their knowledge well”.
The research of the Didactic Excellence, Innovation, and Quality Group of the ULE concentrates on how to manage knowledge with the ultimate aim of optimising this management. “We all manage our knowledge, for better or for worse, but in order to improve we need to know how we do this”, the expert emphasises.
There are various types of knowledge such as acquired, stored, shared, or hidden knowledge, with which we aim to achieve the proposed objectives. It is a case of using the explicit and implicit knowledge that each individual possesses and acquires to the best advantage.
“For example, the aim of a teacher training student is to pass his competitive examination. In order to do so he sets many resources in motion to enable him to exploit to the full what he has learnt during the degree course: the student revises his books and notes, compares them against the official syllabus of the examination, decides whether he can prepare it on his own or whether he needs the help of an academy and a tutor, prepares himself by doing exercises from previous examinations, takes further courses that count towards the competitive examination marks, etc., and all this will lead him to a pass which is the end being pursued”, Cantón Mayo explains.
The management of teacher training students
One of the specific fields that the group is researching is knowledge management by teacher training students. The latter must manage a large amount of knowledge in their lives, firstly as pupils and then as teachers. Moreover, in their stage as teachers they must teach their students to manage knowledge.
“The more they are capable of storing, searching for, using, and exploiting both what they know and what they may come to know, their greater their professional and personal success”, affirms the researcher, who details some of the results obtained by this line of research.
“We found that most students do not manage their own knowledge well. Men do this better than women but the difference is not statistically significant. Likewise, the management model used is that based on the storage of information rather than on its transformation and assimilation”, she concludes.
Project of the Ministry of the Economy and Competitiveness
Between 2011 and 2014 Isabel Cantón was part of the five-person team that carried out a project of the Ministry of the Economy and Competitiveness on this subject, which was led by the Professor of the Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona Joaquín Gairín Sallan. The financing for the project was 84,700 euros and the work of the ULE researcher concentrated on knowledge creation and management in communities of professional practice.
The Didactic Innovation and Quality Research Group of the ULE was recognised by the Regional Government of Castilla y León as a Group of Excellence in a Resolution of 15th November 2007. The Group currently has five permanent members and another three members who are also part of other groups.
Cantón Mayo, I. y Ferrero de Lucas, E. (2014): “La gestión del conocimiento en estudiantes de magisterio”, Tendencias Pedagógicas, Núm 24 de Julio de 2014, pp. 307-326 ISSN. 1989-8614.