From “tayloristic” school to “tailor-made” education and training

VET, at both European and Italian level, faces an increasing number of challenges, as pointed out in the recent EU New Skills Agenda (EC, 2016; Nardi, 2017). Work-based learning, based on collaboration between schools and companies, seems to be the right pathway to cope with the problems of skills mismatch and unemployment. However, is it sufficient to effectively face these major challenges?
The experience of the authors, in particular in the context of Cometa Formazione – Oliver Twist VET school1, shows the relevance of new approaches in the school system, namely VET. A system where developing students’ capabilities (Nussbaum, 2011) becomes the main goal of teaching and training activities: future workers need not only professional skills for a (less and less) permanent job, rather they have to develop personal capabilities to keep themselves employable and smart citizens, the only way to safeguard social cohesion in the next decades (Nussbaum 2010; Alessandrini, 2014).
In a nutshell, school should not be required anymore to give only information: education implies to be able to inquiry reality, to catch the meaning and the beauty of it, but, above all, to make the right questions; henceforth, to support students to a deep self-knowledge, pointing out their capabilities and their potential “excellence” as human being (Nussbaum, 2011). A task within everybody’s grasp.
(Articolo a cura di Franco Ferrazza e Paolo Nardi, realizzato grazie ai contributi del progetto Erasmus+ Trio2Success)