This chapter presents the evolution of the critical turn in human resource development (HRD). The chapter includes a description of theory, understanding the dynamic relationship of theory to practice, and an examination of the need for critical theory in a practitioner-focused field. A brief description of critical theory is provided to support other critical paradigms used in HRD such as feminist theory/critical feminist theory, the social justice paradigm, and queer theory. The discussion centres on the space these theories made for the creation of critical human resource development, and the inclusion of critical race theory which takes HRD in a more radical direction. The chapter concludes with implications for the field.