HRD of the 21st Century for Effective Schools

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Management of manpower in schools is needed in the 21st century in order for the available resources to be utilized well. This research paper discusses ways in which the best HRD concepts and practices can be integrated into the everyday professional activities of educators in order to ensure that the existing limited resources are utilized in the most efficient manner for the benefit of all stakeholders.


            Every educator in the field of education would like to have a career that is financially rewarding and professionally rewarding yet this does not always happen despite educators having received the appropriate form of training. In most cases, failure on the part of HRD specialists brings about this awful situation whereby manpower at all levels is not properly managed. When this happens, limited resources are wasted, and educational goals are not achieved. If the educators themselves lack any grounding in HRD matters, it becomes difficult to remedy such a situation.

            In the 21st century, vary many changes are needed with regard to HRD issues among educators. In fact a complete overhaul of the manner in which HRD functions is necessary. However, this cannot happen overnight. Therefore, a starting point is needed. In this research, the idea of educators acting as HRD specialists is proposed. The rationale for this proposal is that educators are charged with the noble responsibility of always ensuring that the right educational goals are achieved in learning institutions. However, without being given full management powers, they are unable to take control of this noble responsibility.

This research, therefore, assesses the theoretical frameworks that would support the idea of giving educators some HRD training and the impact this training would have on their motivation, satisfaction, optimization of the way resources utilized and overall performance in their professionals.

            The research will assess the HRD success rate in educational institutions where professionals have HRD experience. Then a similar assessment will be made in situations where educators lack HRD training and experience. A comparison in these two situations will be made thereby creating evidence on the necessity for educators being inducted into HRD functions. The evidence of this necessity will be based on the optimization of the utilization of resources and the achievement of educational goals.

            As Weinberger (1998) observes, owing to the interdisciplinary nature of HRD there is little agreement among scholars on which theory fits in well with this discipline. Swanson (2001) perceives an urgent need for a clear theory of HRD to be specified as the discipline continues to mature. Swanson specifically emphasizes the need to integrate selected economic, psychological and systems theories in order to create a unique theoretical foundation of HRD.

 The adult learning theory that Yang (2004a) proposes will be used in this study. The implications of this theory on human resource development in the education sector will be assessed with close reference being made to the objectives of this research. The importance of adult learning theory is often acknowledged as encompassing elements of economic, psychological and systems theories (Yang,2004b). This is the main reason why it has been selected for this case study. For this reason, this research will be a case study of the relationship that exists between adult learning and human resource development in the education sector and its implication in schools in 21st century.

In the post-industrial workplaces of the 21st century, informal learning has become a very useful tool of bringing about efficiency at the workplace. Majority of the terms that will be used in this research concern what can be done to enhance informal learning at the workplace as well as what needs to be done by HRD specialists in order to ensure that educators utilize and manage scarce school resources effectively.

Various aspects of workplace planning will be considered in the study with the aim of assessing how best education can be aligned with the economic realities of the 21st century. The research will indicate whether parameters of informal learning have been effective in the past. Where these parameters seem vague, there will be efforts to make clarifications.

The everyday contexts in which informal learning takes place will also be identified with the aim of putting these contexts into theoretical focus in order to measure their usefulness. It will be interesting to determine whether adult learning among educators who handle management responsibilities is best done in an informal setting or not.

Finally, elements of economic, psychological and systems theories will be compared to those of adult learning theory in order to identify areas of concordance as well as applicability in ensuring that educators can become better HRD managers while at the same time experiencing professionally rewarding and fulfilling careers in the education sector.


Swanson, R. 2001. Human resource development and its underlying theory, Human Resource Development International, 4(3), 299 – 312

Weinberger, L. 1998. Commonly held theories of human resource development, Human Resource Development International, 1(1) 75 – 93

Yang, B. 2004a. Holistic Learning Theory and Implications for Human Resource Development, Advances in Developing Human Resources, 6(2), 241-262.

Yang, B.2004b. Can Adult Learning Theory Provide a Foundation for Human Resource Development? Advances in Developing Human Resources, 6(2), 129-145.

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