School-work alternance: an explorative study


  • Francesco Maria Melchiori
  • Roberto Melchiori


In the last two decades, in the field of Italian educational policy, there have been lines of development concerning school-work alternance (i.e. programmes that involve alternating periods of attendance at educational institutions and participation in work-based training sometimes referred to as “sandwich” programmes). Although many researches and gathering data have been carried out (monitoring the school-work rotation programs that were realized by INDIRE and MIUR), we don’t have significant quantitative or qualitative outcomes that can point out the strongest aspects of this methodology. The aim of this paper is to identify the efficacy and efficiency of school work alternate experiences, in order to point out principal possible positive and negative factors. For this research a south district was chosen and secondary schools (14 in total) were selected with all kind of school (Technical, Vocational, Liceo). School-work alternance, is investigated as situated learning practice and through the activity theory of third generation, because the acquisition of the expertise can be
ensured only by two aspects: multi-contestuality and school boundary crossing. In this perspective individuals need to act in different contexts. To conduct this research is used the mixed method as a way to gather as much as possible information about a complex phenomenon.
This educational research is part of the line of studies that deals with the construction of conceptual models and the re-elaboration of international research results (e. g. OECD surveys), with the intention of proposing possible updates of subsequent research or surveys to highlight the characteristics,
differences and factors that determine the development of the individual’s competence to use their own resources and develop them as talents and skills according to the potential capabilities involved.



How to Cite

Melchiori, F. M., & Melchiori, R. (2018). School-work alternance: an explorative study. Formazione & Insegnamento, 16(2), 353–372. Retrieved from

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