Research into the contents of education from the viewpoint of the possibility of describing them and ascertaining their pedagogical effectiveness was carried out in the years 1981 —1984 in the framework of State Basic Research Plan VIII- 6 - 6 ; it was based on teaching material for the senior vocational secondary school of economics, in the subject of general economics. The article contains the delimitation of the problem under research and a detailed characterization of the object, aims and theoretical methodological conception of the research.
The purpose of the research was to investigate the possibility of making, according to a single set of general accounted-for signs, an over-all description of teaching material in the above-mentioned type of school, and the possibility of defining, on the basis of this description, its objective qualitative characteristics, and judging its probable pedagogical effectiveness.
The research results achieved so far have proved that, using general signs of the teaching material, it is possible to give a relatively all-round and objective characterization of teaching material of a certain grade and type of school as a whole. This characterization can also fulfil certain prognostic functions in judging probable pedagogical effectiveness and real formative power of the teaching material.