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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars fantastic resource!
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...
Published on 18 Jan 2011 by kimjsmith

versus
1.0 out of 5 stars Tables are unreadable
Parts of the book are unreadable on Kindle. There are numerous tables in which the font cannot be resized so are too small to read. Some of the images appear to have lines through them so again cannot be read. Could be a good book, but I can't use it.
Published 1 month ago by S. Hearne


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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars fantastic resource!, 18 Jan 2011
This review is from: The If Machine: Philosophical Enquiry in the Classroom (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!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This could change the way you teach..., 5 Jan 2011
This review is from: The If Machine: Philosophical Enquiry in the Classroom (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.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not just for little 'uns, 13 Feb 2011
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This review is from: The If Machine: Philosophical Enquiry in the Classroom (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.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not Just an Excellent Resource Book for the Classroom!, 1 Aug 2011
This review is from: The If Machine: Philosophical Enquiry in the Classroom (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! I later learned from a new colleague that one of the deciding factors had been my use of this exercise - I guess it was a combination of the skilful way the philosophy is intertwined in the story/narrative in this chapter (and I have to say throughout this amazingly thoughtful and creative book) and the way I delivered the story ...

I cannot recommend this book enough to anyone looking to assist children in developing the 4th 'R' = Reason. MORE PLEASE ... AND SOONER RATHER LATER!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "the If machine", 25 April 2012
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This review is from: The If Machine: Philosophical Enquiry in the Classroom (Paperback)
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.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A bible for P4C teachers, 17 Jun 2013
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This review is from: The If Machine: Philosophical Enquiry in the Classroom (Paperback)
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.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great resource for developing independent thinking, 4 Feb 2012
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This review is from: The If Machine: Philosophical Enquiry in the Classroom (Paperback)
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.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb resource!, 13 July 2014
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This review is from: The If Machine: Philosophical Enquiry in the Classroom (Paperback)
Superb philosophy resource for children, I cannot recommend it highly enough.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Get's you thinking, 22 Feb 2014
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This review is from: The If Machine: Philosophical Enquiry in the Classroom (Paperback)
Get those grey cells thinking, the if machine is a must have book for teachers and parents who have children who only see things as "black or white", this book helps the child understand and expore different ways to look at situations.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Reflect, Reason and Re-evaluate, 5 Sep 2014
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This review is from: The If Machine: Philosophical Enquiry in the Classroom (Paperback)
The use of the adjective definitive seems almost derisory in describing a wonderful masterpiece that uses creatively written stories to get children and adults, 'thinking about thinking.' This very exciting, innovative and thought provoking book by Peter Worley is a must for all schools - brilliant!
Kevin Mc Arevey
Holy Cross Boys'
Principal
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The If Machine: Philosophical Enquiry in the Classroom
The If Machine: Philosophical Enquiry in the Classroom by Peter Worley (Paperback - 19 Dec 2010)
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