Monday, January 18, 2010

Teachers and Chess are ONE!

GiLoCatur happened to found below interesting article regarding chess and teachers here. Read on, hopefully lots can be learnt.

Chess is often cited as a means of promoting cognitive and affective growth in students. We review some of that literature, but we primarily focus on our personal growth journeys through chess, showing what it gave us intellectually and socially, and how it has encouraged us to share this type of growth with others, building a community of learner/scholars. We conclude that teachers who start and participate in school chess clubs and encourage their students to participate in all of the activities of the chess world, including adult chess clubs, will promote their intellectual and social growth for a lifetime as well.

Teachers may be skeptical at the almost breathless reports of the benefits of chess they hear about (Ferguson, 1995), how it improves problem-solving skills (Horgan, 1989), how a school adopted chess into the curriculum and test scores suddenly skyrocketed (Smith and Cage, 2000), but such studies provide quantitative proof that chess improves student learning. In this article, we show the growth chess gave us in the intellectual and social world. Chess is not just a game played by geeks, nerds, and street chess hustlers; it is an intellectual activity that provides a world of growth to all from youngsters to adults.

What Can Teachers Do?

Teachers can help to build a community of learners by starting or participating in an after-school chess club. A teacher starting an after school club may be disappointed by the fact that the club will probably consist of mostly boys, but it is precisely young men who can benefit most from an non-violent, intellectual alternative to other types of communities (Kennedy, 1998). Teachers can help by encouraging young people to play in adult chess tournaments and by going to adult chess clubs as well. For those teachers who want to learn not only how to start a chess club, but also find ways to use chess within their curriculum (Chess can be used as analogue to teach the Pythagorean Theorem, to teach physical concepts, and even included in reading assignments through its popularity in the Harry Potter books--for an example, visit There is a Chess in Education certificate offered by distance learning at the University of Texas at Dallas-- The United States Chess Federation also offers hundreds of pages of free resources to teachers at its web site--

The community of learners in chess is vast. Chess is not just competition, it is an intellectual growth strategy that has been implicated as a means of preventing Alzheimer's disease (Friedland, et. al. ,2001). An old Indian proverb states that chess "is a sea in which a gnat may bathe and an elephant drink." We feel richer for having swam in its waters all these years, and encourage other teachers and students to jump in and join us.

GiLoCatur says :

Teachers are one of the main groups in Malaysia to promote chess among the youngsters - a fact no one will deny.

Teachers who promote chess in this country should be appreciated, recognized and supported.

Chess should be taught and encouraged in the Malaysian schools. More and more chess programs after school or during school should be organized and implemented.

Activate and promote school chess clubs like in the school magazines and newsletters.

Teachers should be united in promoting and organizing chess workshops, seminars, awareness programs and tournaments. KL Teachers Chess Association is one good example.

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