An increasingly topical issue nowadays concerns how to ensure vocational training can be used optimally to enrich knowledge-building, in and through the practice of working. We start from the basis that this practice incorporates numerous meanings and values (technical, cultural, historical, anthropological, relational, ethical and aesthetic), involves the person in all dimensions (mind, heart, limbs, relationships, thoughts, meanings, emotions, etc.) and can contribute to overall human development.
A better understanding of work practices - and the practical knowledge that can be developed at work - lead to better comprehension of the processes that can facilitate professional development and, in a more general sense, personal and social development too. The change that has led to a new theory of work practices in recent decades, suggesting new ways of thinking and achieving lifelong learning, can be expressed as three deeply interconnected moments, which we can call: the practical turning point, the reflective turning point and the narrative turning point.
Starting from these turning points, it is possible to identify some practical pathways for teaching initial and continuing vocational training. Rather than considering work as something that comes "after" training, we can regard work as ongoing training in itself, where you can also develop personal skills that were once thought to be learnt only in general education courses, far away from any practical activity.