The basic bibliography: essential means in the subjects Elements of Economy and Labor Legislation

Mendive. Revista de Educación, April-june 2020; 18(2):315-325

Translated from the original in Spanish

The basic bibliography: essential means in the subjects Elements of Economy and Labor Legislation


La bibliografía básica: medio esencial en la asignatura Elementos de Economía y Legislación Laboral


A bibliografia básica: meio essencial na disciplina Elementos de Economia e Legislação laboral


Juan Alberto Mena Lorenzo1, Marionel Acosta Rodríguez2, Adolfo Ricardo Lazo Lorente1

1 Universidad de Pinar del Río "Hermanos Saíz Montes de Oca". Cuba. ORCID: Correo electrónico:
2 Centro Politécnico 1ro de mayo. Pinar del Río. Cuba. ORCID: Correo electrónico:


Recibido: 20 de diciembre 2019
Aceptado: 23 de marzo 2020



The knowledge about economy and labor legislation play an important role in the acting of any professional of half level. These contents have been incorporate to the plans of study of the industrial specialties during the last 10 years; however, the bibliographical support that exists for the work of the educational ones and the study of the students is not enough and it has caused affectations in the teaching-learning process. According to it, the objective of this article is the one of characterizing the state of the basic bibliography of the subject Elements of Economy and Labor Legislation of the industrial branch, so it allows to make decisions to the professors and specialists of the companies that work these contents, in function of improving the information of the students during the teaching-learning process. The search of information was possible with the use of methods of the empiric level as: revision of documents; interviews to teachers, survey to students and observation of educational activities. As a result a characterization was obtained that allows to know the situation in which this important means of teaching is in the process of teaching-learning of the subject Elements of Economy and Labor Legislation of the industrial branch in the industrial specialties in Pinar del Rio.

Keywords: Economy and Labor Legislation Elements; means of teaching; half technician.


Los conocimientos sobre economía y legislación laboral juegan un papel importante en el desempeño de cualquier profesional de nivel medio. Estos contenidos han sido incorporados a los planes de estudio de las especialidades industriales durante los últimos 10 años; sin embargo, el soporte bibliográfico que existe para el trabajo de los docentes y el estudio de los alumnos no es suficiente, lo que ha provocado afectaciones en el proceso de enseñanza aprendizaje. Atendiendo a ello, el objetivo de este artículo fue caracterizar el estado de la bibliografía básica de la asignatura Elementos de Economía y Legislación Laboral de la rama industrial, de modo que permita tomar decisiones a los profesores y especialistas de las empresas que trabajan estos contenidos, en función de mejorar la información de los estudiantes durante el proceso de enseñanza-aprendizaje. La búsqueda de información fue posible con la utilización de métodos del nivel empírico como: revisión de documentos, entrevistas a docentes, encuestas a estudiantes y observación de actividades docentes. Como resultado se obtuvo una caracterización que permite conocer la situación en que se encuentra este importante medio de enseñanza en el proceso de enseñanza-aprendizaje de la asignatura Elementos de Economía y Legislación Laboral, de la rama industrial, en las especialidades industriales en Pinar del Río.

Palabras clave: bibliografía; Elementos de Economía y Legislación Laboral; medio de enseñanza; técnico medio.


Os conhecimentos sobre economía e legislação laboral têm um importante papel no desenvolvimento de qualquer professional do nível meio. Estes conteúdos terem sido incorporados aos planos de estudo das especialidades industriais durante os últimos 10 anos; não entanto; o suporte bibliográfico que existe para o trabalho dos professores e o estudo dos alunos não é suficiente, o que ter provocado afeções no processo de ensino aprendizagem. Mesmo assim, o objetivo deste artigo foi caracterizar o estado da bibliografia básica da disciplina Elementos de Economia e Legislação Laboral da especialidade industrial, permitindo aos professores especialistas das empresas que trabalham com esses conteúdos decidir em função de melhorar a informação dos estudantes durante o processo de ensino-aprendizagem. A pesquisa da informação foi possível com o emprego dos métodos do nível empírico como: revisão de documentos, questionário a professores, questões a estudantes e observação das atividades docentes. Como resultado obtive se uma caracterização que permite conhecer a situação na que encontra se este importante meio no processo de ensino-aprendizagem da disciplina Elementos de Economia e Legislação Laboral, no âmbito industrial nas especialidades industriais em Pinar del Río.

Palavras chave: bibliografia; Elementos de Economia e Legislação Laboral; meios de ensino; técnico meio.



The economic development of any country is linked primarily to two highly interrelated essential elements; on one hand, the improvement of the existing technical - material base, with the application and use of science and the creation of efficient, advanced and sustainable technologies, and, on the other hand, the development of the productive forces from the competent professionals in each specialty (Mena Lorenzo & Mena Lorenzo, 2019).

In this important relationship   Technical and vocational Education such as wider context of the process of training of workers, mainly mid - level: mid -level technicians and skilled workers have played plays and will play an irreplaceable role. Technical and Professional Education, therefore, is aimed at training working citizens, competent professionals with a comprehensive technical and professional general culture, with a humanistic, scientific, creative and productive thinking that allows it to adapt to changes in the context in which it develops and solve the socio-labor problems present there. In accordance with the above, they must maintain an ethic and a critical and responsible attitude towards the problems of the profession as established by the Ministry of Education (Mined, 2016). "Always think […] that we are training workers, workers, leaders; that we are making an investment for the scientific reserve and for the future of the country" (Díaz Canel Bermúdez, 2019).

For Aragon (as cited in Benítez and Mena, 2016), a competent mid-level professional must have four cultures: general, political, economic and technological. Specifically , the economic culture should provide him with insights on the rational use of resources such as labor, finances, time, materials, and equipment; be able to promote the quality of production or the services it provides knowing its production costs, profitability and economic efficiency, among other important elements. 

The Mid technician of any specialty, as part of his economic culture, must possess an adequate level of updating on the main economic, social, geographical features of the economy and society, so that he can characterize the Cuban economic model where he develops as a social being and future worker of the socialist society under construction (MINED, 2016, p. 179) .

This culture must be present as content of all specialties of mid technician. In this sense, the inclusion of the course Elements of Economics and Labor Legislation in the study plans (Alonso, Gato & Díaz, 2016) should contribute to the development in students of knowledge, skills and professional values, necessary for taking decisions at the time of facing the problems of the labor entity, be it state or on its own account. 

In essence, the process of teaching and learning of the subject Elements of Economy and Labor Legislation should contribute to the formation of it with a update level about the main economic, social and geographical features of the economy and society; In addition, strengthen the values and principles that govern the Cuban socialist system , as well as characterize the Cuban economic model, where the student develops as a social being and future worker of this society (Alonso, Gato & Díaz, 2016).

The efficiency in the development of the teaching-learning process of the subject Elements of Economics and Labor Legislation is largely determined by the conjugation and interaction of its components or didactic categories (professional problem- objective or-content-methods- organizational forms - means - evaluation). Under this dynamic, teaching and learning take place with the participation of their personal protagonists: the students and the essential mediators of the process (teachers from the Polytechnic Center and business specialists) and the instruments (León & Menéndez, 2015).

In this interrelation, the means play an important role, understood as active components of the process or channels through which communication between teacher and students takes place; they make sense when they are conceived as a function of learning (Barrios, 2004), closely linked to the methods as they reflect the how and with what to teach and learn all those components of the teaching-learning process that act as material support of the methods (instructional or educational) , in order to achieve the stated objectives (Rosell & González, 2012). The teaching and learning media facilitate the process by serving as material support for the appropriation of the content (Peraza, Gil, Pardo & Soler, 2017).

For teachers, using the teaching means appropriately and being able to sign their communication on them goes beyond simple knowledge; Furthermore, they must be able to decipher and manipulate their communicative codes, conceived as systems of symbols, previously agreed, predestined to represent and transmit the necessary information for the process that leads to learning the contents to take place.

This is the case of the best-known means of teaching: textbooks, complementary or supportive or simply bibliography of the subject. This type of means constitutes the basic component for the teaching-learning process of each subject, since it is where they first seek and deepen and establish the logic of the contents, the science and / or the profession (Mena & Mena, 2019). From them, students are oriented towards other means and even understand the content more easily.

Regardless of the technological advances that are systematically produced around the world, which affect any pedagogical process, the textbook, regardless of the format in which it is presented, continues to occupy an important position to facilitate content-teacher-student communication in the work of any subject (Fernández & Caballero, 2017).

It is undeniable that the effects of the economic crisis that the country has gone through in recent years caused the obsolescence of the basic and complementary bibliography of technical subjects in Technical and Professional Education. Additionally, accelerated scientific-technical development in all spheres causes that many technological knowledge lose validity and do not respond to the demands of each moment (Bravo, 2004).

In addition to the above, in recent years, new subjects and contents that require basic bibliographic support to facilitate the development of the teaching-learning process have been incorporated into the curricula of technical specialties; this is the case of the course Elements of Economics and Labor Legislation. Furthermore, although the bibliography related to economic contents in the specialties of the branch of economics and services is extensive, the same does not happen with contents of this type in the industrial branch.

In the research order, from the Technical and Professional Education the problem has been studied by different specialists, among which are León & Menéndez, 2015; Morales& Aguilar, 2018; Lazo, 2018, among others. Coincidentally, while considering the advances that have occurred in recent years, everyone recognizes the insufficiencies related to the bibliography in technical subjects, which affect the work of teachers related to the teaching of professional content and, as consequently, the appropriation of these by the students.

So the situation is very complex, given the high number of technical subjects in all specialties, which hinders editorial policy in a way that is consistent with needs, forcing individual study by technical and professional specialties and their corresponding subjects. . In this sense, the article proposes as a general objective to characterize the state of the bibliography of the subject Elements of Economics and Labor Legislation of the industrial branch, so that it allows making decisions for teachers who work on these contents in order to improve the information basic of the students during the teaching-learning process.



The research was descriptive and, as a general orientation, it followed the mixed approach; in addition, it was based on the dialectical-materialistic method. The study was carried out in three industrial specialties of the mid technical level: Industrial Mechanics, Transport Exploitation and Motor Vehicle Mechanics. The three teachers who have worked on the subject during its 10 years of existence were taken as population; likewise, we worked with the 57 students who make up the groups corresponding to the selected specialties.

During the process, qualitative methods (analytical-synthetic, inductive-deductive) were combined, as well as quantitative methods such as (document analysis, teacher interview, student survey and observation of teaching activities), which made it possible to search for the knowledge they gave answer to the investigative purpose. The indicators built from the operationalization carried out were related to four elements:

The characterization of the state of the literature of the items subject of Economy and Labor Legislation of the Industrial Branch was possible with the use of methods of the empirical level: review of documents, interviews with teachers, student surveys and observation of teaching activities.



The application of the instruments constructed to characterize the state of the variable under study yielded the following results.

In analysis of documents, it was found that the higher organisms (Ministry of Education and Provincial Directorate of Education) do not offer precise information about the basic bibliography for the subject, nor for the preparation of teachers; In this regard, the recommendations show some ambiguity, leaving teachers decisions on scientific and technical information used to work content, including material from other educations, such as: the text of the subject Geography at pre university.

Regarding the plans study of the specialties studied, it was found that they referred to, generally, the characteristics of future graduates, in relation to the basic contents of economics and labor law relevant to the professional areas studied. However, the thematic plans are not accompanied by sufficient and specific bibliographic proposals and, in the case of those that are presented, the contents are widely dispersed and, sometimes, they do not exist for access by teachers and students. This causes problems in the performance of teaching tasks and in independent study by students. 

The results of the interviews with the teachers and the surveys with the students confirm the insufficiencies previously verified. The non-existence of a basic bibliography for the subject could be corroborated, so that teachers must use, in their preparation and in the orientation of the students' study, some recommended texts for the specialties of the branch of Economics and Services. As a consequence, the content of these specialized texts is above the level of the elementary contents that students of industrial specialties must learn, which causes, on the one hand, a lack of motivation, interest and problems with their assimilation and, on the other hand, insufficient compliance with the objectives outlined in the classes, due to the absence of bibliographic sources related to the economic and legislative content for industrial specialties.

Moreover, for efficient work with students, it is necessary to consult and guide the activities by different sources in different formats (print, digital, etc.) that in most cases are not in the scope of students. This prevents a correct orientation of independent work by teachers, in addition to causing difficulties with the completion of tasks and individual study of students. All of the above results in effects on the learning results of professional content.

Both teachers and students also agreed that, in addition to being insufficient, the existing sources present out-of-date and very general content that is why it is necessary to look for updated information in the entities of production and services. However, teachers recognize the potential of this information, while the search carried out by students allows us to deepen our relationships with entities of production and services, bringing professional training closer to the professional problems of each specialty. 

For their part, the students recognize the importance of the contents on economics and labor legislation for their future performance once they graduate, which denotes the effort that teachers make in not having sufficient and updated bibliography for the work with said contents.  

The observed educational activities allowed corroborating the information obtained through the other instruments (survey and interview) related to the insufficient bibliography in the subject Elements of Economics and Labor Legislation. It was found that the bibliographic means used in classes are above the requirements of the program for industrial specialties, as they are related to specialties from the branches of Economy and Services. This causes that during the class the teachers cannot treat the contents with the required scientific level, nor cover all the contents required by the program; In addition, they have to manage in labor entities the information related to these contents.

Teachers and students recognize the benefits and the usefulness of Technologies of Information and Communications to address the shortcomings caused by the lack of basic literature in the process of teaching and learning, in general, and learning content by students, in particular; but, at school there are no technological conditions necessary and sufficient for finding information and developing the students` work. 

Finally , the characterization carried out regarding the state of the basic bibliography for the work with the subject Elements of Economics and Labor Legislation reflects problems associated with its insufficiency, the dispersion and updating of existing sources, the possibility of using alternative sources (printed and digital) and the possibility of using information and communication technologies.



Despite the great variety of teaching means existing in the educational context, together with the technological advances and transformations that occur almost permanently, the reality is that teaching and learning continues to be supported by the basic bibliography (book of text), recognized in the program subjects (Fernández & Caballero, 2017).

The basic bibliography or textbooks are means of direct perception that facilitate communication, transmitting information through written language, although they may be accompanied by diagrams, images or drawings that complement them.

For Rosell & González, (2012), textbooks or basic bibliography are the most used resources in the school system. In other words, this means have not lost its validity and continues to constitute a necessary and essential resource that, on the one hand, facilitates communication-orientation by the teacher of those elements of knowledge that need to be assimilated by the student. On the other hand, it constitutes the closest means to the student during the content learning process. 

The basic bibliography conceived for a subject must possess, among its essential qualities, the possibility of organizing the contents of the program in the logical order in which the students are expected to learn them, while the information is presented in a systematic way, according to didactic and psychological principles that facilitate the understanding and mastery of information by the student (Fernández & Caballero, 2017). This organization facilitates the assimilation of knowledge from the simplest to the most complex, from singularity to generality.

It is not a question of recognizing the value of this medium above the wide variety of resources existing in the pedagogical process, but rather appreciating in due measure and based on the potentialities and properties with which it has been conceived, the extraordinary power it possesses in the development of both teaching and learning.

But, although it is worth recognizing its important role both in the classroom and in the independent study of students, it is also necessary to identify the role that this didactic resource plays as a complement to other media in the teaching-learning process of the subjects, in the specialties of Technical and professional Education (Morales, Aguilar & Rodriguez, 2018).

In this sense, an adequate didactic-methodological conception, on the part of the teacher, on the use of the basic bibliography, can serve as a complement that facilitates the work of the teacher and the student during the development of theoretical, theoretical-practical and practical contents that takes place outside the classroom context. Thus, working with real teaching aids that can be located in: machine rooms, automotive workshops, machining workshops, production and service areas, industrial estates and construction sites, agricultural areas, computer rooms or accounting areas, for only mentioning some scenarios in the polytechnic center or in the entities of production and services would be better understood if they were first explained in textbooks or basic bibliography.

So that the basic bibliography oriented in the programs of the subjects of Technical and Professional Education will gain in importance when its use is combined, with a system character, with the rest of the widely varied teaching and learning means that it is necessary to use in the training of middle-level professionals (León & Menéndez, 2015).

Conceiving its use in this way avoids the error made by some teachers, especially the inexperienced and new, of conditioning the teaching process to a specific type of teaching and closed to the contents contained in the textbooks or basic bibliography oriented in the program. This error limits , to a large extent , the execution, by the students, of important mental activities such as descriptions, demonstrations, reports, comments, deductive and inductive conclusions, as well as the critical evaluation of the results of thought; It also limits the possibility of expanding their spectrum of technical and professional knowledge, in turn restricting the development of capacities to generate their own ideas and make decisions based on the comparison and contrast of different scientific-technical positions and criteria around the subject studied at a given moment (Morales, Aguilar & Rodríguez, 2018).

Assuming the above criteria does not mean downplaying the basic bibliography, on the contrary, it is essential that each subject program has it; when this does not happen, the effects on student training, as the ultimate goal of the pedagogical process, are evident. But, as important as its existence is that its use by teachers and students is conceived in a systemic way and integrated with the rest of the teaching means that intervene in the process.

The use of the textbook, in isolation, limits the ability of students to face and solve the problems of the specialty, on the basis of integrating the contents of the object of science in the object of the profession (Mena & Mena, 2019).

In relation to the basic bibliography of the subject Elements of Economy and Labor Legislation in industrial specialties, its existence and use, more than necessary, is essential. The contents of the program, until now never worked or treated in a superficial way, although they are part of the contents of the professions referred to, generally are not the full domain of teachers in the technical area, which makes their delivery difficult.

On the other hand, when they are taught by specialists in the area of economy and services, then there is a lack of preparation in the specialty, which affects their due professionalism and significance for students. In either case, the process and its result can be affected: student learning.

The acquired knowledge, mediated by the basic bibliography integrated to the rest of the didactic resources, related to the economy and the laws that regulate their technical and professional specialty and their application in certain professional situations enrich their economic culture. Consequently, students form and develop theoretical and practical knowledge on the rational use of material, financial and human resources, thereby promoting growth in the quality, profitability and efficiency of work activities in the production and services that they perform, even from their own training.

Regardless of the aforementioned reasons, the conception of an effective teaching - learning process in the course Elements of Economics and Labor Legislation, taught in industrial specialties, requires a basic bibliography or textbook. But, it should not be ignored that these books must meet two essential conditions (Morales, Aguilar & Rodríguez, 2018):

Consequently, although the need for a basic bibliography in each technical subject is recognized, it must also be recognized that this should be accompanied by other materials related to the subject, reflecting the state of scientific-technical knowledge associated with the subject studied. These documents must comply, in addition, the role of systematic updating of professional content regarding systematic socioeconomic transformations.

The characterization carried out shows the difficult situation of the course Elements of Economy and Labor Legislation regarding the absence of a basic bibliography for the work and preparation of teachers and the performance of teaching tasks and independent study of students in industrial specialties. 

The basic bibliography represents an important means of teaching and learning that favors the orientation of the teaching tasks by the teachers, as well as the assimilation of the contents and the development of independent study by the students. However, its existence for work teaching does not guarantee the success of the process if it is not conceived as an integrated system, together with the wide variety of means and resources to be used in Technical and Vocational Education in general and the elements subject of Economy and Labor Legislation, in particular.



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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.


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