New kinds of jobs require managing new kinds of work life compe-tences and a number of such key competences for lifelong learningwhich equip young people for further learning and employability ina knowledge society have already been identified. Research hashowever indicated that formal education is not providing adequatesupport and opportunities for acquiring the needed competenciesin practice. More discussion and empirical research is needed aboutknowledge work competences and related practices in secondaryschools, higher education and in the work life. The theme of thisspecial Issue is‘Knowledge work: educational practices preparingstudents for work life’and it has as its aim to contribute toa discussion on how changes in professional work can be takeninto account in educational settings. Of particular interest in thisspecial issue is how educational theory about‘knowledge-creation’is applied in practice. The trialogical approach to learning highlightscollaborative knowledge creation and the development of shared,mediating objects. This theory and its associated design principlesare introduced. The contributions of this special issue relate toimplementing ideas of the trialogical approach to learning in var-ious ways and each contribution is briefly presented.
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