This volume presents a scientific and practical trend in
lifelong education, which focuses on "human activity." This trend
is particularly apparent in French speaking countries where a
seminal tradition of ergonomics, born in the middle of the 20th
century, produced studies about work and workers activity in
various contexts. Results demonstrate that working activity,
firstly, is always complex, creative and enigmatic despite the
efforts done by the designers to create prescribing working
environments and by managers to control production procedures, and
secondly, cannot be understood without specific field studies about
real work. This approach influenced adult educational researchers
and trainers to develop programs in order to help trainers to
better know human activity and its transformations in various
social practices (and not only in working context). It also helps
them to design learning environments accompanying human activity
transformations at various time scales.
The chapters in this volume present a range of original studies
on human activity in various social practices, such as tourism,
theatre prop-makers in opera, manual job environments, management
in a small company, high level athletes illegal practices, school
teaching and finally during teachers retirement ceremonies. These
studies of the relationships between social practices and human
activity and its transformations, give empirical and conceptual
bases for designing programs aimed at emphasizing and accompanying
specific individual and collective learning, and human development
in a lifelong perspective.
This book was published as a special issue of "International
Journal of Lifelong Education.""
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