Philosophy Day, set up by UNESCO in 2002, celebrates the importance of philosophical reflection, and to encourage people all over the world to engage in Philosophy – which is why Philosophy Day was chosen to mark the launch of the new book, which has as its guiding principle the aim of encouraging as many people as possible to engage in Philosophical debate.
The book is edited by noted Philosophy teacher, educational commentator, author and academic Peter Worley, founder of The Philosophy Foundation, and features contributions from eminent professional British Philosophers such as AC Grayling, Angie Hobbs, Peter Cave and many more.
For use in classrooms or by budding Philosophers around the family dinner table or even down the pub, the book is a series of brain-teasers developed by professionals and academics designed to test the intellectual mettle of the cerebrally curious – from 5 to 105!
The Philosophy Shop editor Worley has been teaching Philosophy to children for the last 10 years and is a widely-respected educational expert, author and academic as well as co-founder of The Philosophy Foundation. Esteemed Philosopher AC Grayling is another contributor, Angie Hobbs, Professor of the Public Understanding of Philosophy at Sheffield University, another – and Peter Cave, academic and well-known populariser of the subject just one of the other stellar contributors. These contributions sit along aside many others from teachers at The Philosophy Foundation itself, all highly experienced in teaching Philosophy in primary and secondary school settings.
The Philosophy Shop sets out highly-accessible Philosophy exercises for use by groups, while offering plenty of stimulation for the solo thinker, too, and is based on the idea that, given the right stimulus, we can all ‘do’ and benefit from Philosophy – at home, down the pub or even out shopping!
To drive the point home, the Philosophy Foundation is to stage a special public Philosophy debate in conjunction with Spitalfields Market to encourage members of the public to talk about the Big Issues without the need for the Big Jargon that can put people off. And given that the most famous Philosopher of them all, Socrates, thought that Philosophy should not be practiced in the clouds but literally by ordinary people in the Athenian marketplace, The Philosophy Shop is also about taking it to the people!
For Worley, "Socrates believed that Philosophy should be practiced by everyone. Our book aims to take readers on some similar Philosophical journeys to the people Socrates engaged in the Agora, too. The Philosophy Shop is meant to be your own private Socrates – sometimes beguiling, humorous and inspiring, other times irritating, a gadfly, sometimes frustratingly circular or inconclusive. But always – we hope! – stimulating."
This interactive book presents in plain language imaginary situations to work as the test-bed for important Philosophical investigations, plus stories or activities, followed by a series of questions to encourage readers to explore key Philosophical ideas such as values, questions of existence and knowledge.
Each exercise includes key Philosophical topics, ideas and the names associated with them to help the interested reader explore the philosophy behind the sessions themselves. Materials have been ‘road-tested’ and schools have found them educationally valuable.
Reviewers have already praised The Philosophy Shop:
"This book brilliantly shows how accessible philosophy is, and how fun and mind-expanding it can be, for any ages." - Jules Evans, author of 'Philosophy for Life and Other Dangerous Situations'
"This book should get anyone thinking." - Nigel Warburton, The Open University’s ‘Philosophy Bites’ podcast
"Very impressed, I've just started a philosophy based scheme of learning for my year nines next year, and this book will be a massive part of that. The 'works well with' suggestions for each exercise make translating the ideas in the book into a well-structured sequence of lessons a joy. I completely agree that introducing core philosophical issues to students with a 'hook' that grabs them is the best way to approach the subject. I do the same with my A-level groups and it enthuses them to approach the core issue in creative ways. You then get a second bout of learning when they compare their own approach to those of famous philosophers. A very practical tool for RE teachers." - Ian Tustin, lead teacher of religion and philosophy, Wadham School, Somerset
The book, following a similar pattern to its groundbreaking predecessor The If Machine: Philosophical Enquiry in the Classroom [Continuum, 2011]), is perfect for teachers wanting to introduce Philosophy into their classroom, for those interested in running Philosophy courses, university seminar groups and tutorials, Philosophy reading groups or discussion groups, youth groups and church groups. It is also ideal for parents with their children, home education groups, and for after-school philosophy clubs, as well as for the lone, interested reader.
The Philosophy Shop is published by Crown Publishing, is priced at £18.99 and will be available in hard back (ISBN 9781781350492) from September 27th 2012. To order a copy, visit www.philosophy-foundation.org.
For review copies of The Philosophy Shop, an interview with editor Peter Worley and to find out how Philosophy can be practiced outside the confines of academe and attend the special public philosophy debate being held in conjunction with Spitalfields Market, please contact Amanda Jane PR.
Venue: Spitalfields Market, Brushfield Street, London E1 6AA, Thursday 15 November (12-2pm). Come to The Philosophy Foundation Stall, located outside Leon’s
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Tel: 020 7241 1390 / 07920 052 160
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Notes to Editors:
About World Philosophy Day
For more details on the UNESCO World Philosophy Day, go to http://www.unesco.org/new/en/social-and-human-sciences/themes/philosophy/philosophy-day-at-unesco/
About Peter Worley
Peter, Chief Executive of The Philosophy Foundation, has a BA and MA in Philosophy from London University (UCL and Birkbeck), completing his Masters in 2004, and is currently completing a PhD at King’s College London on Plato and pedagogy. Peter works in primary and secondary schools, running weekly Philosophy sessions that both align with the National Curriculum but also offer something truly distinctive for pupils. He has been working with children in education since 1993 and more specifically Philosophy in the classroom since 2003, along the way developing the unique teaching method, Philosophical Enquiry (PhiE), that is the heart of The Philosophy Foundation's work. As founder and head of that charitable organisation he represents it globally, helping to train both specialist Philosophy teachers and classroom teachers in using Philosophy to help young learners. This year he also trained Philosophy PhD students at Birmingham University and is set to become a visiting lecturer in Philosophy in schools and communities at St Mary's University London, while also scheduled to offer PhiE training at Edinburgh University. Finally, Peter is the Visiting Philosopher at independent institutions Wellington College and Eagle House school as well as resident Philosopher at six state primary schools in South East London.
A regular speaker on the subject of Philosophy in schools and the contribution of PhiE at national and international conferences, Peter has been a feature of events ranging from the How The Light Gets In Philosophy and Music festival at Hay, The Sunday Times’ Festival of Education at Wellington College and at the LSE Forum for European Philosophy Roundtable on Philosophy for Children. His articles have been published in a wide range of periodicals and journals and he was among the winners of the 2009 Teacher’s TV writing competition, Tomorrow’s Teacher. In November 2012 he is scheduled to speak at two important education and philosophy conferences, one at St Andrew University and the other at London’s Institute of Education (http://londonfestivalofeducation.com) and in 2013 he has been invited to speak at the second PLATO (Philosophy Learning and Teaching Organisation) Conference in New Orleans.
Peter is also a feature on the national media stage, having been interviewed on the BBC World Service, the Radio 4 Today programme and on Radio 3’s Nightwaves. He has also been a guest on The Sunday Politics Show South about The Foundation’s ‘4Rs Campaign’ to bring reasoning in to schools.
Peter’s The If Machine: Philosophical Enquiry in the Classroom (Bloomsbury Education, 2011) has been called 'The best book of its kind currently available' (Professor Michael Hand) and is a collection of Philosophically-inspired stories and thought experiments for children, supported by ‘teaching thinking’ strategies for teachers. The book details the main elements of the Philosophical Enquiry (PhiE) method devised by Peter and the method The Philosophy Foundation specialists use in the classroom.
Following on the success of The If Machine, Peter has three more books due for publication this year: The If Odyssey (Bloomsbury Education), which uses the Odyssey to explore different aspects of Philosophy, The Philosophy Shop (Crown House) (as editor and contributor), a resource of philosophical stimuli to get people thinking’ and Thoughtings (Crown House) (co-author), a collection of poems, paradoxes and puzzles for yet more cognitive stimulation. Next year his widely-anticipated Once Upon An If: Storytelling for Thinking will be published by Bloomsbury Education.
About The Philosophy Foundation
The Philosophy Foundation (www.philosophy-foundation.org/) is an educational charity whose aim is to bring Philosophy to the wider community and particularly into challenging schools so as to develop children’s autonomous learning and higher-order thinking skills, equipping them for the kind of life-long learning and creative and critical thinking essential in the 21st Century.
The Foundation trains Philosophy graduates to be able to teach Philosophy in schools from nursery up to 18 using a specific methodology. The body is unique, as it is the only charity or company in the world that specifically employs Philosophy graduates to do Philosophy with children, which is why the fully trained Philosophy graduates are called ‘specialist Philosophy teachers’.
The Foundation also trains teachers in the transferable skills of Philosophy: thinking skills, questioning and enquiry (a collaborative exploration of topics through questioning).
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