The If Machine: Philosophical Enquiry in the Classroom and over 2 million other books are available for Amazon Kindle . Learn more
£17.99
  • RRP: £18.99
  • You Save: £1.00 (5%)
FREE Delivery in the UK.
Only 13 left in stock (more on the way).
Dispatched from and sold by Amazon.
Gift-wrap available.
Quantity:1
Trade in your item
Get a £4.25
Gift Card.
Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

The If Machine: Philosophical Enquiry in the Classroom Paperback – 19 Dec 2010


See all 2 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle Edition
"Please retry"
Paperback
"Please retry"
£17.99
£10.98 £10.98

Frequently Bought Together

The If Machine: Philosophical Enquiry in the Classroom + Pocket P4C - Getting Started with Philosophy for Children + Thinking Stories to Wake Up Your Mind
Price For All Three: £36.91

Buy the selected items together


Trade In this Item for up to £4.25
Trade in The If Machine: Philosophical Enquiry in the Classroom for an Amazon Gift Card of up to £4.25, which you can then spend on millions of items across the site. Trade-in values may vary (terms apply). Learn more

Product details

  • Paperback: 214 pages
  • Publisher: Continuum (19 Dec 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 144115583X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1441155832
  • Product Dimensions: 15.5 x 1.3 x 23.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 53,380 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

More About the Author

Peter Worley BA MA FRSA was born in the Midlands but grew up in the West Country. He failed at school the first time around and so had to do it all again later. He worked as a guitar teacher for many years before completing a philosophy degree in 2000 at UCL an MA in 2002 at Birkbeck and began a PhD at KCL in 2010 (which he one day hopes to finish). His interest in philosophy and teaching brought him to the world of philosophy with children and he developed his own approach to doing philosophical enquiry in the classroom called the PhiE method and this is described in his first bestselling book 'The If Machine' (Bloomsbury 2011). The book has been well received and has proved to be a must-have resource for teachers wanting to philosophise with their classes. Peter is also the author and/or editor of three other books: 'The If Odyssey' (Bloomsbury 2012) shortlisted for Best Educational Book at the Educational Resources Award 2013 and winner of the Bronze award at the Primary Teacher Update annual awards 2013, 'The Philosophy Shop' (Crown House 2012), winner of the 2013 Best Educational Book at the Educational Resources Awards, winner of the first prize in the anthology category at The New England Book Festival and gold (first prize) winner of the Foreword Review 'Philosophy Book of The Year 2012'; he co-authored 'Thoughtings' (Crown House 2012) with Andrew Day (with a foreword by Michael Rosen), a collection of philosophical poetry, and his fifth book 'Once Upon an If: The Storythinking Handbook' (Bloomsbury) features a foreword by children's author Anne Fine. He has featured on television and Radio 4's The Today Programme talking about philosophy in schools and has been published in a number of educational and philosophical journals as well as lecturing on philosophy in schools at St. Mary's University in West London. He currently lives and works in South East London with his wife Emma, who helps him run the charity The Philosophy Foundation, and their daughter Katie. Peter is the newly appointed President of SOPHIA, the European foundation for the advancement of doing philosophy with children and he is also a Visiting Research Associate at King's College London.

Product Description

Review

'A very well-organised and thought-out book…One of the most Striking things about this book is it's intellectually rigour, it's grounding in the work of real philosophers and it's implicit belief that children will respond to big and important ideas.' --Times Educational Supplement, 28th Jan 2011

'This is a timely and valuable contribution: a capacity to think critically is the key component of any education, and Worley is an inventive enhancer of children's ability to think for themselves. --A.C.Grayling, Professor of Philosophy, Birkbeck College, University of London, UK

'Plato in primary school? Existentialism, moral responsibility and determinism as topics for key stage 2 exploration? Is this book suggesting that primary children can tackle these big ideas? Has Peter Worley ever been inside a school? The answers are yes, yes, yes and yes. Worley is seriously presenting this material for use in schools…This is, I think, a pretty comprehensive package. Many of the stimulus stories derive from classical origins, but these are mixed with the contemporary tale of Billy Bash the school bully and the futuristic Ceebies stories, which use an increasingly humanoid robot to explore what it means to be human. In all cases, the quality of the stimulus material is high and the task questions are engaging and demanding. Without the context of the stories, many of the questions, such as "Do you think the mind is the same thing as the brain?" or "Is it possible to think of nothing?" would be out of reach for primary pupils. But within context, they are exciting opportunities for exploration and I can imagine primary children getting very involved with them. --Martin Spice, TES Magazine

'This is a timely and valuable contribution: a capacity to think critically is the key component of any education, and Worley is an inventive enhancer of children's ability to think for themselves. --A.C.Grayling, Professor of Philosophy, Birkbeck College, University of London, UK

'Plato in primary school? Existentialism, moral responsibility and determinism as topics for key stage 2 exploration? Is this book suggesting that primary children can tackle these big ideas? Has Peter Worley ever been inside a school? The answers are yes, yes, yes and yes. Worley is seriously presenting this material for use in schools…This is, I think, a pretty comprehensive package. Many of the stimulus stories derive from classical origins, but these are mixed with the contemporary tale of Billy Bash the school bully and the futuristic Ceebies stories, which use an increasingly humanoid robot to explore what it means to be human. In all cases, the quality of the stimulus material is high and the task questions are engaging and demanding. Without the context of the stories, many of the questions, such as "Do you think the mind is the same thing as the brain?" or "Is it possible to think of nothing?" would be out of reach for primary pupils. But within context, they are exciting opportunities for exploration and I can imagine primary children getting very involved with them. --Martin Spice, TES Magazine

About the Author

Peter Worley has been teaching Philosophy in primary schools since 2002, and currently works peripetetically in 13 schools. Peter is Founder of The Philosophy Shop, a company supporting and promoting the teaching of philosophy in primary schools. He also has a regular column in Teach Primary magazine, and is often invited to speak at conferences about philosophy in schools.

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
Share your thoughts with other customers

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By kimjsmith on 18 Jan 2011
Format: Paperback
After buying this book I planned to flick through it on the train home but ended up glued to it all the way home!
It is jam-packed with ideas and methods to get children thinking, including teaching strategies which can be used by any teacher in any lesson.
The layout is clear and easy to follow and there are a number of tried and tested lesson plans to use in the classroom, each accompanied with a useful difficulty rating, age suitability, themes, and an explanation of the underlying philosophical ideas, as well as some suggestions of answers children could give (or have given in the past!) and how to respond to them.
I have already recommended this book to many friends and colleagues, and tried out several of the sessions with a year 5 class, who really enjoyed them!
A must-have resource for anyone who wants to teach children to think and reason for themselves!
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By The Numberverse on 5 Jan 2011
Format: Paperback
If you would like to have class discussions that run for a whole lesson and get children developing their critical thinking, there is no better guidebook than this. The best thing about it is that it is packed with practical activities to use in lessons, together with advice on how to exploit them. One particular highlight is the sequence of 'Ceebie' stories, which provide very rich material for stimulating enquiries. The children are first gripped by the story and then by the conflicts and issues that it throws up. The philosophy behind philosophical enquiry is dealt with here as well, but always in the context of real situations. Having worked with the author, I know that everything in this book has been honed over several years, and has been tested by a number of people. Although the book is innovative it is not experimental; it is a record of success - and an invaluable resource.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 13 Feb 2011
Format: Paperback
The book is written for primary age children but is does itself an injustice by restricting its readership to primary age. As a secondary RME teacher I can say without hesitation that there is plenty in this book for secondary classes. The methodology section is both interesting ad re-assuring at the same time. It gives some different takes on teaching thinking skills but it also describes techniques used by RME teachers for many years so it is re-assuring to know that our teaching of thinking skills is a recognised skill. The philosophical exercises are excellent and although some are clearly for primary age it does not take a lot of imagination to transpose these to secondary age. A very useful addition to any staff development library.
2 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Mark C B on 1 Aug 2011
Format: Paperback
I purchased 'the if machine' several months ago, and just a few days before an important interview. I had scanned through the book, something I usually do, to get a sense of the layout and how the book is organised - and immediately found it accessible, inviting, and very well organised. The Table of Sessions points you to specific themes, the page number, the age recommendation within the primary school (although I can assure you, as a secondary school teacher, these exercises easily adapt to 11-18 year olds) and a star rating, suggesting the difficulty level. The book has a brief, but useful Glossary and list of Useful Websites. Moreover, you are given a link to a website which offers other free, and very useful accompanying materials on philosophy, relating to each chapter. Having orientated my way around I started reading the chapter 'The If MAchine", which leads into the "Phi Model' and then Teaching Srategies, and was extremely impressed with the clarity of the writing setting out some of the key approaches to teaching the method and the common sense, no-nonsense approach being offered. I found reading this section a wonderful affirmation of all of the good things I do in the classroom, but there they all were, in one cogent unbroken-throughline of logic. On the way to my interview I used the Table of Sessions to steer me towards exercises on problem-solving, having learned that my interviewer was a mathematician. Cutting to the chase, I used the exercise 'The Shadow of the Pyramid' (Pp 117 - 128) in my interview. I got the job!Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Ashenden on 25 April 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
My daughter who is a primary school teacher and to whom I gave the book as a present, says that this is an excellent guide, which has great potential for teaching philosophy in the classroom. As a philosophy graduate she will definitely be using it.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By JeSuisJim on 17 Jun 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I love philosophy and teaching children. In fact I've started a business solely doing it.

This book has helped in so many ways I can't thank it enough. Any teacher serious about teaching philosophical enquiry in a creative way must read this book even to get their mind flowing with ideas.

It is well written and each session is designed to really pull ideas out from young minds.

Mr.Worley, I think you are my hero.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Bagpuss on 4 Feb 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought this for my Year 5 class and I have to say it has proved a worthy purchase. The philosophical questions are though provoking and grasp the children's imagination. I wanted this book to aid me show my class there is often not a right/wrong answer as well as help develop independent thinking. After the first lesson it is clear it will do this and more. Great resource for KS2.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again


Feedback