Promoting Instructional Improvement: A Strategic Human Resource Management Perspective

July, 2006
Mark A. Smylie and Stacy A. Wenzel
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Schools have typically sought to accomplish instructional improvement through a variety of practices, some of which are “guidance” practices (which specify how teaching and learning should be carried out and hold teachers and schools accountable for doing those things) and “development” practices (which attempt to enhance teachers’ capacities to teach in more intellectually ambitious ways). The authors propose the use of strategic human resource management (HRM) practices as a means of promoting instructional improvement.

A concept from the organization and management literature, strategic HRM has been documented in a variety of business settings as a way to enable and encourage employees to meet organizational goals. Smylie and Wenzel present evidence on ways strategic HRM practices have proven successful in for-profit firms as well as non-profit schools and school districts. They then use qualitative and quantitative data collected as part of the Consortium’s research on the Chicago Annenberg Project to link strategic HRM to instructional improvements of three elementary schools.

This report concludes the Consortium’s multi-year series on the Chicago Annenberg Project. In previous reports, the Consortium has investigated the relationships between Annenberg schools and their external partners, the quality of instruction in Annenberg schools, and the effectiveness of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge.

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