STOP PRESS: My latest article on working with Appreciative Inquiry

Giles, D. L., & Kung, S. (2014). Revisiting student’s learning experiences appreciatively: Findings from a course evaluation using an Appreciative Inquiry process. Journal of Applied Research in Higher Education, 6(2), 215-230.


Travel can be a preparation time

Travel can often be framed as an necessity. Thought in this way, travel takes you to the place where the work is to be completed.

I am finding the ‘travel’ itself can be an ‘opening’ where thoughts can ‘find’ me.

With the hope that thoughts await me, travel (indeed flying), can be an opening for (what Jack Mezirow calls) perspectival thinking; broadly, deeply, re-look-ing at ‘how we are’ and what appears to be unfolding in our lives.

On my last flight, I sat beside a young mum with 3 children and a sleeping partner. I was taken by this mum’s readiness for every eventuality; food and drink was on hand, books, iPads with stories to go, cuddly toys, and “the bag” wherein lies the ‘tools’ for other ‘as-yet-unseen’ happenings. And the administration of the activities toward the children’s needs was sensitively and touchingly beautiful.

Being near this mum and her children made me look again (re-look) at my children’s faces, when they were toddlers, then as teens, and now as young adults (aged 31, 28 and 23). I saw again the delight of ‘being with’ my 2 grand children. I recall the excitement of my parents welcoming my family after the drive to their home. I smiled at the thought that my next grandchild is only days away from entering the world in Perth. I recall too. the excitement of my parents welcoming my family after the long drive to their home.

I am thankful for the 2 hour flight and mused at the thought that I am travelling to the Australian Council of Dean’s of Education, then onto the Australian Council for Educational Leadership. The first conference is about teacher education – the preparation and readiness of our beginning teachers. The second conference, educational leadership.

I am appreciating entering these conferences now with ‘children’ and their ‘futures’ on my mind.

At conferences, we can talk big ideas, theorise and pontificate, but our children, their parents (and grandparents), and our communities, need my (our) advocacy in education and educational leadership.

Travel can be an enabling time which ready’s us by giving us perspective.


A review of our book, ‘Co-constructing a relational approach to educational leadership and management’


An exciting critique and recognition of our book by Dr Samuel Mahaffy, with explicit messages for a North American context.

Possibilities abound.

Words create worlds

What would happen if we withdrew the word ‘relationship’ from our everyday conversations, claiming that (1) relationships are to be seen & felt, showing our ‘way of being’ and how relationships are mattering to us, and (2) the calling, presence and ‘life’ of being ‘in’ relationship was to be reverenced in unsayable and inaudible ways.

Would we miss the word?
Would we notice the change?
Would this reinvigorate the word?

Just wondering …