primary focus when teaching is what chess can do for the child,
Chess: An Educational Tool
Chess is widely considered the greatest game ever conceived and is wonderfully fun, but where the game of chess really excels is as an educational tool.
Schools all over the country continue to incorporate chess into their curriculum, and four-year scholarships are being awarded for excellence in chess at many universities, including The University of Texas at Dallas.
When teaching chess, I don’t tell children which moves they should make, I teach them how to analyze and evaluate the information in front of them so they can make their own informed decisions. Thus, I teach my students how to think by providing them with questions, not answers. (i.e. The Socratic Method)
The position of the pieces on a chessboard are similar to the “Given” statements of a geometric proof because they provide information and a starting point of how one might proceed. Therefore, my goal when teaching children the game of chess is to instruct them how to evaluate a situation before planning and executing a decision.
Playing chess introduces problem-solving methods applicable outside the gaming arena while promoting cognitive development and increasing a child’s concentration. The mental exercise of evaluation and decision making is applicable to all educational pursuits as well as to life’s daily choices.
While emphasizing fun and learning, I use each teaching opportunity to increase the self-confidence of my students through positive reinforcement.