Mendive. Revista de Educación, January-march 2020; 18(1): 64-75

Translated from the original in Spanish

Three perspectives for the analysis of economic management in primary schools


Tres perspectivas para el análisis de la gestión económica en las escuelas primarias


Três perspectivas para a análise da gestão económica nas escolas primárias


Nancy María Puentes Alciaga1, Inidia Rubio Vargas2, Juan Silvio Cabrera Albert3

1Provincial Directorate of Education of Havana. Cuba. ORCID: Email: nancyma
2Institute of Pharmacy and Food of the University of Havana. Cuba. ORCID: Email:

3University of Havana. Cuba. ORCID: Email:


Received: September 28th, 2019.
Accepted: November 27th, 2019.



Result of a research process that takes place within the framework of inter-institutional academic-research relations between the University of Havana and the University of Pedagogical Sciences Enrique José Varona in the field Economy of the Education, addresses a primary concept of this discipline, the economic management, singling out the same to the educational management when considering the analysis of this concept from the perspective of the educational quality and the formation of the economic culture of the schoolchildren in the case of the level of primary education. Its objective is to argue three perspectives of analysis on economic management in primary schools and for this purpose analysis-synthesis, induction - deduction, abstraction - generalization were used as methods. It is based on the analysis of the definition of economic management and contextualizes the educational activity that takes place in primary schools as a reference for the argument of the three dimensions identified; the relationship between them is also relieved. In general, it is concluded that economic management is a process and is the basis for identifying its dimensions of analysis, and arguing a theoretical response to the debate regarding the conception of educational activity as an economic activity, which generates two aggregate values of its processes, educational quality and formation of economic culture in schoolchildren.

Keywords: economic management; educational quality; Economic culture.


Resultado de un proceso de investigación que se desarrolla en el marco de las relaciones interinstitucionales de carácter académico-investigativo entre la Universidad de la Habana y la Universidad de Ciencias Pedagógicas "Enrique José Varona", en el ámbito de la Economía de la Educación, este trabajo aborda un concepto primario de esta disciplina, la gestión económica, singularizando la misma a la gestión educativa, al considerar el análisis de este concepto desde la perspectiva de la calidad educativa y de la formación de la cultura económica de los escolares para el caso del nivel de enseñanza primaria. Su objetivo es argumentar tres perspectivas de análisis sobre la gestión económica en las escuelas primarias; para ello se utilizaron como métodos el análisis-síntesis, inducción-deducción, abstracción-generalización. Se parte del análisis de la definición de gestión económica y se contextualiza a la actividad educacional que se desarrolla en las escuelas primarias como referente para la argumentación de las tres dimensiones identificadas, se releva además la relación entre ellas. De manera general, se concluye que la gestión económica es un proceso y es base para identificar sus dimensiones de análisis, y argumentar una respuesta teórica al debate relativo a la concepción de la actividad educacional como una actividad económica, que genera dos valores agregados de sus procesos: calidad educativa y formación de la cultura económica en los escolares.

Palabras clave: gestión económica; calidad educativa; cultura económica.


Este trabalho é o resultado de um processo de pesquisa desenvolvido no âmbito das relações interinstitucionais de caráter acadêmico-pesquisador entre a Universidade de Havana e a Universidade de Ciências Pedagógicas "Enrique José Varona", no campo da Economia da Educação. Aborda um conceito primário desta disciplina, a gestão econômica, tornando a gestão da educação única ao considerar a análise deste conceito desde a perspectiva da qualidade educacional e a formação da cultura econômica das crianças em idade escolar, no caso do nível do ensino fundamental. Seu objetivo é argumentar três perspectivas de análise da gestão econômica nas escolas primárias; para isso, os métodos utilizados são análise-síntese, indução-dedução e abstração-generalização. Parte-se de uma análise da definição de gestão económica e contextualiza-se a atividade educativa desenvolvida nas escolas primárias como referência para o argumento das três dimensões identificadas. Em geral, conclui-se que a gestão econômica é um processo e é a base para identificar suas dimensões de análise e para argumentar uma resposta teórica ao debate sobre a concepção da atividade educacional como atividade econômica que gera dois valores agregados de seus processos: a qualidade da educação e a formação da cultura econômica nos formandos.

Palavras-chave: gestão económica; qualidade educativa; cultura económica.



The economic view of educational management was imposed as an unavoidable need at the international level in the 1980s (Ruiz, R. 2010; Rubio, I, 2018); Educational Sciences researchers hardly considered the aspects that are now part of the knowledge system of the Education Economics discipline.

The improvement of educational systems has been focused on the training processes of students, teachers, managers and human capital in general , also venturing into issues related to institutional management from different sides (Puentes, N, Rubio, I, 2018), but this did not include economic management.

However, the impact of economic crises on educational systems and their basic links, educational institutions, was a trigger to begin studying and researching education, seeking answers to problems related to efficiency, effectiveness, the use of resources and many other concepts accrued from the business world.

Works by authors such as: Casassus, 1999; Vázquez J, A., 2018; Rubio 2018 and February, 2019, investigating viable, sustainable and optimal alternatives to maintain educational activity levels, their social relevance , access to education, among other aspects related to international policies for quality education for all, aimed at from UNESCO, and individuals from different countries.

Around 40 years later, in the circles of pedagogues and researchers there is some resistance to studies related to economic management. Among the causes, first, there are limitations in the conception of education as an economic activity, in which a social benefit is obtained.

In Cuba, education faces a challenge that has become the transformations generated by the process of updating the Cuban economic model as a synthesis of the economic battle; Institutional management is highly relevant to respond to this challenge and maximize the effectiveness of the set of influences that acts in the training of schoolchildren.

In the last decade, it has sought to raise the impact of institutional management on the formative quality of new generations, emphasizing the economic management and tasks of directors, teachers and workers, as shown in the topics discussed in the National Seminars of the Ministry of Education.

However, the search for bibliographic references on economic management within the framework of Education Sciences allows us to identify that there are few results contributed from research, being more limited in the case of primary school.

This problematic situation is expressed from two basic directions: the first, relative to the need for improvement of institutional management, seeking greater efficiency and effectiveness in the use of human and material resources that the state assigns from its budget to the system of education; the second has a greater strategic scope, it is about the limitation related to the formation of economic culture in the new generations.

As a response to the above problematic situations, the objective is identified: to argue three perspectives of analysis on economic management in primary schools: institutional management, educational quality and the process of formation of economic culture.



This article presents theoretical results applied to the field of social sciences from the socio-critical paradigm that characterizes this type of study in the field of management; The results are obtained from the systematization of the state to ctual of the economic management in the picture of the world of the Sciences of the Education to single out the economic management in the educational institutions of the primary level, using as methods and procedures:

Analysis-synthesis: for the decomposition of theoretical nuclei in parts, from the definitions used by the different authors consulted, considering both the superior concepts they use and the characteristics that distinguish them; as well as to characterize each one of these nuclei in a logical way when taking position with respect to the construct that is enriched as a result of this method.

Induction-deduction: from the analysis-synthesis as a logical basis, it is based on the characterization of the theoretical nuclei to establish inferences regarding the most relevant positions of economic management, quality management and the formation of economic culture in the context of primary education in Cuba.

Abstraction-generalization: on the inferential basis already established, the relationships between economic management, quality management and the formation of economic culture are identified and argued, as logical premises of the theoretical framework argumentation in the context of Primary teaching in Cuba.

Respect to work with the concepts underlying the information that is the subject of processing and enrichment, is used as a method comparison, considering basis: superior identifying concept, distinctive features that establish, comparison of commonalities and not common among different authors, establishing relationships between economic management, quality management and the formation of economic culture and, finally, the determination of the framework for the particular case of primary schools.



Economic management in primary schools from the perspective of institutional management

The word management comes from the Latin gestio, which means action and consequence of directing, administering or managing something; this corroborates that it is also linked to the meaning of doing errands and procedures for the execution of the institution's processes or for solving certain problems that affect the fulfillment of the objectives.

Management, as a concept, comes from the business world and concerns management. Different authors find some differentiation between the concepts of administration, management and management, considering both management and management administration more comprehensive than the other, depending on the point of view does; however, today there are no differences between them.

In the economic field, the term management is used more, from the paradigms that prevail in this so-called society of intangibles and their terminologies, among which are highlighted: quality management systems, process approach management, knowledge management, human capital management, risk management. In our country, the term in question is the most used both in our economic model and in the rest of the documents that mark the guidelines and development policies of Cuban society.

Many are the studious authors of management. These use the definitions as higher concepts: management function, process, set of activities, work process; when studying them, it is observed that this has to do, on the one hand, with the components of an organization in terms of its institutional arrangements, the articulation of resources, the objectives and, on the other hand, definitions are obtained that emphasize the interaction between persons.

It is based on the position of the classics of the 80s and 90s in the study of management and previous results published by the main author of this paper below, which defines it as "the disposition and organization of human, material and material resources. Financial statements of an entity to obtain the expected results "(Puentes, N, 2018, page 6).

A theoretical base for understanding the ideas of this work is the definition of economic management of Alpízar (2014), considering it as: "Those processes of planning, regulation, systematization, registration and control of human, material and financial resources, responsible of effectively carrying out all the activity of an organization efficiently and effectively with a view to the institution obtaining positive results. "

This author also reaffirms the point of view that economic management enables the social recognition of educational institutions from the quality of their services, which in the case in question are educational services and, therefore, reference is made to the educational quality.

Primary schools are educational institutions that belong to primary education, which has the social function of providing schoolchildren with the knowledge, experiences, skills, abilities, habits, norms and values essential for the future insertion of schoolchildren into social and productive life. that the country demands.

To fulfill its social role, the management of primary schools has a participatory, collaborative nature and with a marked contextual nature. In particular, for its economic management it is emphasized the need to establish alliances, strategies, where from the school it identifies the needs with a hierarchical ordering that serves as orientation and diagnostic information to the Municipal Directorate of Education (DME) for decision making in the different stages of planning, execution and control of the budget:

Economic management in primary schools from an educational quality perspective

Derived from the analysis of economic management in the educational field, it is inferred that considering education as an economic activity , its results are the social benefits that encompass the entire society as a whole, with its formative function, which is maximized in the current society of intangibles, where the most valued of all is knowledge. The school has inside its mission to prepare individuals for autonomous and creative learning.

To the extent that quality standards are increased in educational services, they have an impact on the quality of schoolchildren training.

Quality is understood as the degree to which a set of inherent characteristics of an object (process, service, person, and organization) meets the requirements (3.10.1) (3.6.1) (3.6.4). ISO 9000: 2015.

From this definition, the ISO 9000: 2015 standard is assumed as a relevant reference for its conception, which defines quality management as the coordinated activities to direct and control an organization in relation to quality.

Quality management focuses not only on the quality of process results or customer satisfaction, but also on the means to obtain it. Therefore, quality assurance and process control are used to obtain a more consistent result.

Education is closely linked to quality, which has been established at the international level, among other things, in the results of the quality evaluation carried out by the Latin American Laboratory for the Evaluation of the Quality of Education, attached to the Regional Office of Education for Latin America and the Caribbean, based in Santiago, Chile, whose background is established since the early 1990s.

From 1996 to date, Cuba begins to carry out the National Quality Evaluation Operations; after years of intense work, scientific results are shown referring to:

Considering the point of view of this work, the last of the aspects under evaluation, referring to educational institutions, is of interest. The following analysis is made from the relationship between quality and education as a social activity; This can be presented from a concept that has been used in several of the definitions assumed in this section, such as the definition of management and economic management: the concept of process starts from considering that processes are sets of related activities in a logical sequence that together generate value, crossing the organizational structure (Barril, F, 2015).

An interesting question is related to which values are generated in the processes of educational institutions. Figure 1 illustrates a contextualization of the process where the type of result of the activities carried out in the institutional management of schools is explained.

Fig. 1 - Contextualization of the process definition to the educational activity

As can be seen in Figure 1, the two types of values generated by the processes have a high significance from the relationship economic management and quality management. The two have a double conditioning relationship; Without the benefits that increase and represent in the scheme, the increase in quality is a utopia, the first being human capital, the most important of all since it is the bearer of the set of knowledge, methodological experiences and professional practices that in Its improvement impacts quality.

A limitation in schools is that sometimes the appropriate use is not given to the technological infrastructure that supports the school training process, causing unsatisfactory results in the quality evaluations carried out at the level of primary education.

Economic management in primary schools from the perspective of the process or formation of economic culture

The economic culture is part of the culture that contributes to form the school, understood this term as "set of distinctive, spiritual and material, intellectual and affective features of society or social group. It encompasses not only the arts and letters, but also ways of life, human rights, values, traditions and beliefs "(Ruiz, R 2010).

From the individual level, having an economic culture means understanding the efforts, assessing the impact of the use of resources, providing for the domestic (family) economy, as well as the social one, being aware that it is not possible to spend more than you enter and that things do not come from nothing; it is to have the conviction that only from work emerges richness; is to know how the world economy moves, in short, is to be aware of everything that affects the economic welfare of society.

From the above, it is unquestionable that the educational system of the country corresponds to a preponderant role in the formation and development of the economic culture of new generations and society in general.

In primary schools and other educational institutions, principals and teachers are the main actors for the formation of economic culture in students, so it is essential that, above all, they reach the sufficient level of preparation and improvement that allows them successfully conduct this training purpose.

Economic preparation constitutes a vital need for all directors, who must know the economic processes of their institution, contributing to the formation of an economic culture of all workers, as well as keeping up to date on the international economic situation in which the Cuban economy develops.

The level of primary education constitutes one of the fundamental stages in terms of training and development of potential of schoolchildren, both in the intellectual and emotional- motivational areas; these are important premises to consolidate in later stages.

The above elements are the basis for arguing the relevance of the formation of economic culture in these schoolchildren. There are two ministerial documents that are based on the previous ones: "Strengthening the economic culture of students" (MINED, 2011) and National Preparation Seminar 2011-2012, which are contextualized in this work for the case of primary education regarding the development of the economic height in primary school children, based on the possibilities offered by current plans and programs of study, as well as attending to the basic ideas of the current improvement of the Cuban educational system.

The set of references discussed so far allows identifying the following aspects regarding the development of economic culture in the process of primary school education:

a. The components of the economic culture to be inserted in the curricular dynamics and extra-curricular activities:

b. The concepts to introduce to familiarize schoolchildren attending the moments of development, as a basis for the formation of a responsible economic attitude:

c. The components of economic awareness:

d. The ways to form and strengthen the economic culture in schoolchildren:

e. The methods to form and strengthen the economic culture in schoolchildren:



In order to argue economic management as one of the processes of educational activity, it is necessary to consider the relationship between the theoretical nuclei addressed in the results. The analysis requires a broad sense of economic management, the most important logical operation being the contextualization of the process definition as shown in Figure 1; this definition contains its first unit of analysis, it reveals three elements that on the first level constitute arguments related to the uniqueness of economic management in education:

The entries: the set of initial elements on which it operates, those that in the educational context have a typification from its institutional functions, those of an educational nature being relevant; to this belong the students with their multiple particularities, resources and possibilities, all internal and external actors who are mediators in the training activity; those of the organizational type, managers and administrative, methodological officials, leaders of the organizations, as well as the structures themselves; Finally, there are entries related to environmental, educational, material, among others. The entrances also indicate those of the intangible type such as the knowledge and experiences that constitute part of the organizational culture based on this type of learning from the individual to the educational institution.

The activities and their interrelations: regardless of the areas of the institution and its specific functions, the activities of the training process condition the rest of the activities whose interactions are complemented, support and generate added values to this process; Within these, they are very significant due to economic management, which is a support activity but with an exit to the training process due to its direct impact on quality and from its educational dimension in terms of the formation of economic culture.

The outputs and the results: the social benefits of education are manifested both in the short, medium and long term, the latter being the most relevant, since they support the concept of education as an investment for social progress and sustainable human development, taking care that today's schoolchildren are the actors in the future of the institutions of the Cuban socioeconomic system. It is significant the analysis of economic management from and for the fulfillment of the social mission of the school.

The elementary school also has a responsibility and functions in the formation of the economic culture of schoolchildren; it needs to identify the teaching and learning tasks for each cycle to consider the age of these schoolchildren and their characteristics to structure the teaching activities.

The relationship between the quality and economic management nuclei makes it possible to generalize that the quality assessment processes in the case of primary education are distinctive within the Cuban educational system; These are only implemented at this level, the associated elements being a direct connector between economic management and educational quality, in terms of the creation of the technological, logistics and material infrastructure to support learning.

From the discussion of the results presented so far it is generalized that, to argue economic management in the context of the management of the educational institution constitutes an aspect of emergent analysis in the framework of disciplines of the Sciences of Education and, in particular, of the Economics of Education, since the educational activity is an economic activity where human, material and financial resources are used to obtain one of the most valuable results today: the formation of new generations to meet the social challenges of sustainable development. On the educational level, economic management is particularized from two conceptual nuclei or dimensions of analysis: economic culture and educational quality, which have a connotation for primary education and must be addressed.



Alpízar, M. (2014), Bases para el Diseño de un Sistema de Gestión del Conocimiento en el Centro de Estudios Avanzados de Cuba. La Habana: MES, p.20.

Alpízar, M. (2017). Bases Generales de Perfeccionamiento Empresarial. Estructura de la Gestión Económica. Cuba. (p.36)

Barril, F. (2015) El enfoque de procesos en la gestión institucional, hacia un nuevo paradigma de gestión. Facultad de Ingeniería del Instituto Superior Politécnico José A. Echevarría. Soporte digital.

Casassus, J. (1999). Marcos conceptuales para el análisis de los cambios en la gestión de los sistemas educativos. En: La Gestión: en busca del sujeto. Santiago de Chile: UNESCO.

Febrero, J., Rubio, I. (2018). Los modelos de gestión institucional en el contexto educativo actual y su articulación en las escuelas de idiomas. Revista Órbita Científica. Universidad Enrique José Varona.. No 105, Volumen 24, bimestre nov dic. ISSN: 1027-4472, RNPS: 1805, folio 2 tomo III.

Puentes, N.; Rubio, I; (2019a). Formas de organización de las actividades de superación para la gestión económica de los directores de escuelas primarias. Libro de investigación: Educación y Pedagogía 2019. Sello editorial (95857440), New York - Cali, Colombia. ISBN 978-1-945570-98-8

Puentes, N., Rubio, I.; Ruiz, R. (2019b): La gestión económica y su impacto en la calidad educativa de la enseñanza primaria. Simposio Internacional de Educación y Pedagogía. Libro de investigación. Sello editorial REDIPE: ISBN: 978-1-945570-98-8

Rubio, I., Abreu J, Hernández, M. (2019). El enfoque de procesos, su concreción en un manual de gestión institucional. Libro de investigación. Educación y Pedagogía Cuba. Parte V. Sello editorial REDIPE: ISBN: 978-1-945570-74-2. Pág. 3

Ruiz, R., Rubio, I. (2010). Aproximación inicial a los fundamentos pedagógicos, para la gestión académico-metodológica de la Misión Educativa Cubana en Venezuela. Revista científico-pedagógica Mendive, 8(32). ISSN:1815-7696.

Vázquez, J. A. (2015). Nuevos escenarios y tendencias universitarias. Revista de Investigación Educativa España. 33(1): 3-26. Disponible en: [Consulta 8 abril de 2019]


Conflict of interest:

Authors declare not to have any conflict of interest.


Authors´ Contribution:

Authors participated in the writting process of this article and in the analysis of documents.


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

Copyright (c) Nancy María Puentes Alciaga, Inidia Rubio Vargas, Juan Silvio Cabrera Albert