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The demise of inquiry-based HRD programmes in the UK: implications for the field

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

<mark>Journal publication date</mark>1/11/2017
<mark>Journal</mark>Human Resource Development International
Issue number5
Number of pages12
Pages (from-to)393-402
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English


We have written this article both to honour a form of educational practice and to invite debate in the field of Human Resource Development (HRD). We begin with the observation that a number of postgraduate programmes in the UK whose pedagogies were characterized by inquiry-based, action-oriented experiential learning, which were thriving when Human Resource Development International (HRDI) was first developed, have now closed. These programmes enacted HRD as an approach to adult learning and teaching through educational practices mirroring the topics explored. As authors with some 40 or more years’ combined experience as staff on such programmes, we aim first to set on record the nature and significance of the pedagogical approaches involved, which participants often experienced as transformational. We then consider how the changing climate of UK higher education, reflected in mechanisms like the Research Excellence Framework, may have influenced the demise of such programmes. The paper reflects on the significance of the pedagogies, outlines potential implications of their demise for the practice and scholarship of HRD as a field internationally, and considers the role that HRDI, as a leading journal in the field, might play in addressing the paper’s concerns.