Editor’s note: We are pleased to welcome Joshua C. Collins of Florida International University, whose paper “Illustrating Relevance, Questioning Norms, and Creating Space: Three Steps for Teaching Critical Perspectives in the HRD Classroom” is forthcoming in Human Resource Development Review and now available in OnlineFirst.
The inspiration for this paper stemmed from primarily two places. First, it stemmed from my interest in continuing to develop and sustain the critical research and practice paradigm within the field of Human Resource Development. Second, my experience in the field of HRD has led me to believe that those who engage in critical scholarship can and should do more to help others in the field understand and advance critical perspectives. Using another one of my HRDR articles as an example, I demonstrated how instructors and trainers in the field can make new and different perspectives relevant to students’ learning.
As this was not an empirical study, there were no “findings” by which I could be particularly surprised. However, I was surprised at how easily the three steps for teaching critical perspectives came together once I actually sat down to think about what I wanted to say. I had used these strategies in HRD instructional settings before, but I had never put them on paper. So, what was surprising was how much relative clarity can be easily communicated with regard to critical perspectives in HRD…if we just take the time to do so.
I certainly hope that this Instructor’s Corner piece will have influence over both research and practice in the field of HRD and in related disciplines. The three strategies presented in this paper may easily be adapted as strategies for approaching the writing up of critical perspectives in the field in addition to teaching. The strategies might also be used to conduct or to critique critical research.
Finally, in practice, I hope that HRD instructors and trainers will consider using these strategies to teach about criticality in the field and at work. If we can educate our students about critical perspectives, maybe we will see a change in the dialogue in the field with regard to key outcomes and processes that we concentrate on. I would love to see this article inspire change in the ways that we approach such things as leadership, incivility, engagement, and more at work.
Joshua C. Collins is a doctoral candidate in Florida International University’s program for adult education and human resource development. He received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Texas A&M University. His research focuses on social justice and equity for minorities in the workplace, with an emphasis on the experiences of sexual minorities.