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The Double Helix of Learning and Work

Two major tendencies, having high visibility and causing intense debate, have marked social developments over the past three decades. The first of these has been the emergence of the concept and practices of lifelong learning. The traditional conception and organization of education as a continuous block, ten to eighteen years in duration, situated at the beginning of life and institutionalized around schools and universities, is being replaced by a more flexible scheme, whereby formal schooling, as well as non-formal and informal education, extends over increasingly long periods. The focus has gradually shifted to learning. Equally, work is no longer perceived as an activity consigned to the continuous block of adult life, devoted to contractual employment for thirty or forty years in productive enterprises, administrative institutions, or services. Work itself has been divided into categories similar to the formal, non-formal, and informal triad, according to the nature of remuneration (monetarized, monetized, or non-monetized, see Giarini and Liedtke, Wie wir arbeiten werden, Hoffman und Campe, Hamburg, 1998). It has also been extended to become ‘lifelong work’.
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