An Interview with Thomas Farrell from darren elliott on Vimeo.

Reflective practice is a way for professionals (in education, social work, medicine and many other fields) to assess their work and manage their own development. Even if you don’t know it by name you may well have engaged in a form of reflective practice in formal or informal training programmes. In this interview we discussed reflective practice, what it is, what it isn’t, and where it’s going.

I’ve done quite a lot of these interviews now, and everyone I have spoken to has been gracious and thoughtful. Some of the interviewees I knew little about before I spoke to them but in preparing for, and then conducting, the interview I have become interested in their work. On the other hand, Thomas Farrell is someone whose work I have been interested in for a long time. What would he be like in real life, I wondered? I enjoyed a long conversation with the charming Dr. Farrell at the JALT conference in Tsukuba, Japan last autumn. Both his plenary and his workshop demonstrated that academics do not have to be dry to be rigorous.

Dr. Farrell hosts an excellent website, where you can read more of his work. If you are looking for a book to start with, I think ‘Reflective Language Teaching: From Research to Practice’ published by Continuum is a very accessible introduction. His latest book is on my list when the next budget allocation arrives in April….

If you enjoy this interview please share it with your colleagues. You can also subscribe to the podcast via iTunes.

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4 Thoughts on “An Interview with Thomas Farrell

  1. fielsted on March 22, 2015 at 6:02 pm said:

    What a gem this interview is!

    I’m really interested in the whole ‘reinvention’ of reflective practice. How the capacity to be a reflective practitioner is kind of everywhere, even identified in job specifications for example and in descriptions of teacher training courses. However, for a time I’ve felt a bit of a tension between being a reflective practitioner and doing the things required in order to be identified as a reflective practitioner. Are they the same thing? I think not. Don’t you feel like RP sometimes gets treated as something of a tick-box exercise? That it is possible to be an experienced teacher who can pull some effective reflections out of the bag when they need to but actually that reflection is not something they carry with them constantly but more an element they switch on and off like writing a detailed lesson plan for observation purposes. It is very easy for institutions, in wanting to assess how reflective an individual is, to encourage a less insightful and holistic version.

    I don’t know if this is true but I do wonder about it.

    I love the idea of a ‘Your First Year in Teaching’ module with case studies of real teachers. Should be compulsory.

    Reflection in teaching is a phenomenally interesting and important subject and I thank you for taking the time to get this interview and post it!

  2. darren on May 4, 2015 at 7:09 pm said:

    Sorry not to reply sooner, but thank you for dropping by! I absolutely agree that RP has become a tick box exercise, which kills any meaning or value in it. It is something imposed upon novice teachers, and demanded of students, rather than something encouraged with space, time and support. What keep teachers engaged long into their careers? Reflection is in our self-interest, as it prevents us from becoming stale and tired.

  3. jame kloss on September 18, 2015 at 4:54 pm said:

    Useful blog post . I loved the details , Does anyone know where my assistant can acquire a sample My Life Planning Workbook version to work with ?

  4. Pingback: CPD | suzannemordue

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