College of Education, Psychology and Social Work
Adelaide, South Australia
Professor David L. Giles taught in elementary and secondary schools prior to teaching and researching Educational Leadership and Management and Teacher Education in universities across New Zealand, Australia and China.
Day 1 Relational sensibilities in Education
The teacher-student ‘relationship’ is critical to the nature of educational experiences. When this relationship is explored as a ‘phenomenon’ within everyday accounts of relating, taken-for-granted meanings and shared understandings can be identified. Central to these phenomenological understandings is the presence and influence of ‘relational sensibilities’ inherent within our experiences. Exploring the expression and movement of relational sensibilities within specific learning experiences provides an alternative perspective on what it means ‘to be together’ relationally.
Day 2 Relational leading in Education
In this session, I describe characteristics of ‘Relational Leadership’ from a phenomenological perspective along with a range of professional development activities designed to provoke a concern for leadership that is relational. Leadership is always relational; alternatively, relationships are the essence of leadership. This is true for organisational leadership as it is for teacher-leadership. Despite this, the dominant discourse within many of our educational systems still seems to be fixated on the development of managers rather than leaders. I argue that what is needed is a greater understanding of ‘relational leadership’ and the possibilities and opportunities central to this form of leadership. Invariably, any reconsideration of ‘how we are’ relationally with others, as leaders, teachers and students, can lead to a deepening sense of humanity on one hand as well as the emergence of a life-centric wisdom in practice.
Recently published book entitled:
Relational Leadership in Education: A phenomenon of Inquiry and Practice (Routledge, 2018/19)
Notes from the book:
When is leadership not relational?
When is education not relational?
When is life not relational?
Relationships always matter to our living, educating and leading.
Relational Leadership in Education considers this ‘Relational Leadership’ within the context of
education, critiquing the current ideological ‘context’ and contemporary understandings of its
influence. Employing a phenomenological approach, this book explores the relational nature of
education, Relational Leadership and the organizational culture to provide a more sophisticated
exploration of practice-based wisdom. It offers an extensive range of activities for
further thinking on the experiential nature of Relational Leadership, grouped around a number of
themes: Relational Leadership and sensibilities; organizational culture; professional
development; curriculum, pedagogy and assessment; and the reconstruction of a postgraduate
Educational Leadership and Management programme for experienced, emergent and aspiring
‘Relational Leadership’ is not about describing yet another style of leadership but rather about a
relational way of being in leadership that utilizes refined relational sensibilities. ‘Relational
Leadership’ is also a reminder of what is critical in a leader’s practice – leadership is always
relational, and relationships are the essence of leadership.