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The If Odyssey: A Philosophical Journey Through Greek Myth and Storytelling for 8 - 16-Year-Olds [Paperback]

Peter Worley , Tamar Levi
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
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Book Description

4 Oct 2012 1441174958 978-1441174956
The If Odyssey draws out the philosophy that lies behind each story in Homer's epic tale to introduce children not only to the exciting fables of Odysseus, but also to that other great Ancient Greek tradition, philosophy. Explore with Odysseus the value of happiness, non-existent entities, moral dilemmas, the philosophy of prophecy, and the nature of love among many other philosophical issues. From the author of The If Machine, this book offers stories and session plans suitable for use across the curriculum with children aged 8-16. Online you'll find maps of Odysseus' journey, The Words of Tiresias that provides clues for the children as to Odysseus' progress and an Ancient Greek language workshop with accompanying worksheets. You can use the 'Storykit' section, which provides hints and tips on storytelling skills, to bring the tales of The Odyssey to life and stimulate independent, critical thinking with your class.

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The If Odyssey: A Philosophical Journey Through Greek Myth and Storytelling for 8 - 16-Year-Olds + The If Machine: Philosophical Enquiry in the Classroom + Thinking Stories to Wake Up Your Mind
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Product details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Education (4 Oct 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1441174958
  • ISBN-13: 978-1441174956
  • Product Dimensions: 23.2 x 15.6 x 1.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 279,323 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 (and with a foreword by Michael Rosen), a collection of philosophical poetry, and his fifth book 'Once Upon an If: The Storythinking Handbook' (Bloomsbury) and 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.

Product Description

Review

'This imaginative journey through the events of Homer's Odyssey will delight and engage children and adults in a philosophical adventure. Worley offers a masterful guide, providing rich philosophical questions and a clearly outlined method to support teachers in nurturing creative and critical thinking in their students. He has interwoven ethics, theory of knowledge, metaphysics, social philosophy, aesthetics into a narrative 'odyssey', using the iconic story of the human search for truth, beauty and goodness. I can easily see this text being adopted in elementary, secondary and even college level.' -- Wendy C. Turgeon, Associate Professor of Philosophy, St. Joseph's College, New York, USA

'What Peter Worley has achieved with The If Odyssey is nothing short of genius! As a secondary school teacher of English, Theories of Knowledge and Philosophy, I find this book an irreplaceable resource. Not only does it present the teacher with crucial pedagogical instruction, but with a systematic program in how to cultivate the requisite skills of storytelling. Moreover, Worley synthesises, with clarity and precision, how to relate key philosophical concepts to each of the stories from The Odyssey. Simply brilliant!' --Mark C. Blythe, Teacher and Postgraduate Researcher in Philosophy of Education

'Anything that inspires people to think and to understand how to think is a great boon. This book is just such a boon, and a great addition to the Worley assault on unthinking-ness.' -- Professor A. C. Grayling, Master of the New College of the Humanities

'Brilliantly thought provoking, The If Odyssey hooks you from the start and draws you in as cleverly, compellingly and seemingly effortlessly as if it had been put together by the 'wily' Odysseus himself. This is philosophy at its most approachable.' --David Stuttard, writer, classical historian and author of Power Games: Ritual and Rivalry at the Ancient Greek Olympics

'This splendid book by Peter Worley offers excellent material to help teachers introduce philosophical dialogue in their classes. Worley presents a good classic story, adapted to our time while remaining faithful to the original text, and suggests a multitude of activities and didactic orientations. It is one of the most useful books I've ever read.' --Félix García Moriyón. Presidente of the International Council of Philosophy with children

'Anything that inspires people to think and to understand how to think is a great boon. This book is just such a boon, and a great addition to the Worley assault on unthinking-ness.' -- Professor A. C. Grayling, Master of the New College of the Humanities

'Brilliantly thought provoking, The If Odyssey hooks you from the start and draws you in as cleverly, compellingly and seemingly effortlessly as if it had been put together by the 'wily' Odysseus himself. This is philosophy at its most approachable.' --David Stuttard, writer, classical historian and author of Power Games: Ritual and Rivalry at the Ancient Greek Olympics

'This splendid book by Professor Peter Worley offers excellent material to help teachers introduce philosophical dialogue in their classes. Worley presents a good classic story, adapted to our time while remaining faithful to the original text, and suggests a multitude of activities and didactic orientations. It is one of the most useful books I've ever read.' --Félix García Moriyón. Presidente of the International Council of Philosophy with children

About the Author

Peter Worley is founder and CEO of The Philosophy Foundation (www.philosophy-foundation.org), a charity that specialises in philosophy in primary and secondary schools, based in the UK. Peter has over 15 years' experience in teaching and regularly gives talks and presentations about philosophy in schools. He is a Fellow of the RSA and is currently studying for a PhD at King's College London, UK.

Tamar Levi is an author and illustrator based in London, UK and has her own website: www.TamarLevi.com. Tamar is also researching a PhD in English and Creative Writing at Roehampton University, UK.

Angie Hobbs is Professor of the Public Understanding of Philosophy at Sheffield University.

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars classical fun 11 Dec 2012
By DJ
Format:Paperback
This is a terrific resource. Rather than having stories which are written to fit the philosophy, this book writes the philosophy to fit the story. This means that the philosophy is impelled by the energy of the story, and this really helps the class to engage with the questions they discuss. It also helps the children to see philosophy as something real and relevant rather than abstract and aloof.

The book gives excellent advice on story-telling technique and the text is nicely carved-up into boxes and bullet points. Each chapter begins with an outline and explanation of the philosophical material, which is useful for teachers new to philosophy. And the book contains clear instructions on how to run a philosophical enquiry.

The story is fantastically exciting and children love it; its retelling in the book is simple and concise. The narrative is well-structured; each session leaves the children wanting to find out what happens next, which means that every week they start the lesson eager and curious - a mindset very conducive to good philosophy.

As well developing an understanding of Ancient Greece, the book has cross-curricular benefits. Children I've used the book with have said that it helped them with literacy. Many of them also said that they didn't want the story to end.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars So much fun to teach! 19 Dec 2012
By GDon
Format:Paperback
I've just finished 12 weeks of teaching lessons from this book and what a wonderful experience it has been. I sort of knew the Odyssey before starting out on what felt like a bit of an Odyssey of my own, however I didn't know the stories very well. Although at first the task of learning the stories seemed like a truly grueling feat, it slowly became one of my favourite parts. Of course you don't have to learn the stories you can read them, but being able to act them out dramatically whilst telling the children was a lot of fun and the kids were utterly mesmerised. I couldn't believe how they remembered week to week every one of those impossible to pronounce ancient Greek names along with everything they had done and said.

The philosophical enquiries gave them (and me) a brilliant way of engaging with the story on a host of different levels. They were able to explore problems with the story and characters, face the dilemmas being faced by Odysseus and his men and decide what should happen next. We covered geography (some of them excitedly discovering they came from, or had been to, somewhere very close to where Odysseus had been), poetry, history, drama and so many fascinating philosophical issues such as happiness, free will, identity and even politics.

I so enjoyed sharing this with the class and they loved it too - some stating that Tuesday was their favourite day of the week because it was Odyssey day. Even my flatmate would appear at my door in pajamas the night before a session ready for her next installation of the drama. A success all round, I can't wait for the next one!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Easy to use, like a great recipe book 6 Jan 2013
Format:Paperback
I've taught 12 x 1-hour sessions with this book, and it has everything you need to learn the stories, tell them, and facilitate fantastic class discussions with them. There is a lot of flexibility in the lesson plans, and lots of useful tips throughout. The children really responded to the stories and talked about the issues at great length.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great activities - really well written 13 July 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Such a useful book - my children absolutely loved this - Philosophy Club is a massive hit! Thank you.
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Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  1 review
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What a terrific teaching resource 25 Oct 2013
By Ruby Petunia - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This book shows how to turn reading The Odyssey into a meaningful, relevant course in ethical philosophy. Like many teachers out there, I have taught The Odyssey for a number of years and always felt my teaching of it to be a little dry--focus on the hero figure, etc. This book is completely reinvigorating.
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