We’ve turned into an exciting year of change.

Officially stepping down from my position at Flinders (7/7). Learning to live & walk differently.

Take care



Book launch 15 November

Dear colleagues

Relational Leadership in Education: A Phenomenon of Inquiry and Practice by Professor David Giles is now out (available through Routledge).

Save the date for a book launch with David on Thursday 15th November, 2018, 5:30pm-7:30pm, to be held at Flinders at Victoria Square (Level 1, Room 2). All welcome!

You are invited to join David and his colleagues within the Flinders Educational Futures Research Institute to share dialogue around key themes of his book.

RSVP: https://booklaunchdg.eventbrite.com

David is retiring Professor of Educational Leadership, and former Dean of the School of Education at Flinders University.

Kind regards

Dr Joshua Spier

BA, MIntl&CommDev, PhD

Adjunct Research Associate in the Flinders Educational Futures Research Institute (FEFRI)

College of Education, Psychology & Social Work

Sturt Road, Bedford Park South Australia 5042

GPO Box 2100 Adelaide SA 5001

M: +61 434 203 008

E: joshua.spier@flinders.edu.au l flinders.edu.au/people/josh.spier

Counting down to 7 August 2019

Pauline and I have named the date of my retirement from Flinders (3 days after turning 60!). I have to say that I am really excited by the decision, this being a transition to new possibilities which includes more time with our adult children and grandchildren.

Stepping back, I point to my new book, ‘Relational Leadership in Education’ as my last major work in my time at Flinders.

I know that I have at least 3 more co-authored books in me. I have started writing with others to this end; all around Relational leadership in practice that I am keen to get back to. My co-authors constantly ‘live out relational sensibility’s’ in their everyday lives. More to this on another occasion.

What else? Not sure but we do have aspirations to proactively engage with individuals, schools and organisations towards relational outcomes be that through

  • Presenting on educational leadership
  • Advice and guidance
  • Mentoring individuals
  • Coaching leaders & leadership teams
  • Facilitating the construction of school wide professional development.

Early days I know, but educational purposes and practices will be an ongoing concern that remains as a thread in my life.

So I put it to you- in the spirit of celebrating a retirement – what other activities do you suggest we explore?

Look forward to hearing from you!

BTW – thanks to so many that have encouraged us to date!


My ‘new’ book – Relational Leadership in Education: A phenomenon of inquiry and practice

It’s with a broad smile and a lot of excitement, that I am informing you of the September publication of the following book!


Take care




Another outlet


A young teacher questions professional advice…

A young teacher was told that, as teachers, we shouldn’t care, we should teach. Pedagogy is said to be more important that relationships.

They made contact with me, wondering what my thoughts would be ..

I replied as follows-

They have got it wrong. Utter b-s!! They are leaving out such a basic understanding.

Pedagogy is the art and science of teaching and learning – we DO pedagogy.

And we do pedagogy IN a relational context.

We don’t DO relationships, they are already IN, and underpin everything we do as individuals AND as a school.

We don’t add relationships to our pedagogical practices, cos relationships are already present. Relationships make up and constitute the organisational culture that we teach within.

Just as in life, There is no moment when relationships are not ‘ in’ our schooling, and where relationships don’t matter.

A metaphor

Think of a teacher as a goldfish in a bowl. This fish can make all sorts of decisions, even pedagogical ones. But the fish will always be IN the water, that is, in relationship with the water. (It is not good for the fish’s health if it tries to get out of the relational context with the water)

Relationships are where it all starts and finishes. It’s not firstly about the DOING of pedagogy, rather it starts with we, as teachers are BEING IN relationships.

Get ready for more on this in my book, which is in print’ entitled ‘Relational Leadership in Education’ (more details nearer the time when released in August)!


Prof David Giles

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