About this sample
About this sample
Words: 1701 |
9 min read
Published: Jun 9, 2021
Words: 1701|Pages: 4|9 min read
Chess may be a game that one played in their childhood that has made them the successful mind they are today, but they’d have the slightest clue. When thinking about increasing children’s intellectual development all across America, including chess in the school system seems all too simple to solve such a complex problem. Chess is said to build creative thinking, raise IQ scores, enhance memory, and fortify problem-solving skills. The rules and technicalities of the game cause the children to develop these skills in child development. Learning different strategies, how to adapt, and predict your opponent’s next move to win in chess undeniably makes the player better intellectually. Could a simple addition of chess in schools all over America improve GPA, IQ, and overall intelligence in children early on and later in life?
In 2011, Armenia has made it a priority to implement chess in the education system starting from the age of 6. This means that every single child will learn how to play chess at a very young age, which many believe to be beneficial to the child’s future intellect. Chess in Armenia is a very popular game and is highly praised in the country. It only makes sense that Armenia would be one of the first countries to enforce chess into their education system. They treat their grandmasters as if they were Michael Jordan or LeBron James, they display their chess awards and trophies in their cities and celebrate their victories as if they’ve won the Superbowl. Chess is a way of life in Armenia. This is why the country is invested nearly 1.5 million to add this game to the classroom setting. One of the effects of learning chess seen is the improvement of reading test scores and reading performance. Having chess improving a vital skill like reading speaks volumes for the importance of the game and its proven effectiveness in child development.
Chess is also a great addition to the education system and is seen as a very effective way to increase the intellect of children as it is very cost-effective. The inclusion of chess in classes needs few resources which could prove to be easier for areas with lower economies to adopt the practice. The main problem with good education is that it is expensive and something such as chess is just as affordable and beneficial in every way. By giving low economic areas a chance to enhance education, we could see an improvement in the communities seeing as these students take the fundamentals and ideals of chess and apply it to their future in academics. Chess isn’t only just a game, much like everything, it has many hidden layers and benefits that can’t be seen when looking from the outside.
Along with all the intellectual and academic benefits one gets from playing chess there are also many behavioral attitudes and social skills that can be learned by playing this game which is arguably just as or even more important to a child’s development. Before a game of chess, each player shakes each other’s hands as a part of the custom and also respect for the person they are facing. The little gesture of sportsmanship done in this game fosters good habits for social interactions in the child’s future. Learning to respect someone that one is opposed to is important later on in life. Chess also teaches discipline and focus as well. In chess class, the tone of the class is often quiet because and each student is focused and disciplined to learn and perfect their skills in chess. Discipline and respect for others are skills that are not innate, and learning these attributes early on in life leads to the mastery of them later on.
Chess should be implemented in the school education system because of how it has proven to increase reading test scores and also reading ability and mastery. A study done by Stuart Margulies Ph. D. shows how chess has an effect on reading scores. Marguiles took a New York chess program and found that the students there had surpassed students in the country and their district in reading tests. The study spanned two years, the first being taught by instructors of the District Nine chess program in the Bronx and the second year having it enhanced with the help of computers. Students chosen in the study must have completed the DRP test which measures one’s reading ability. Those above the 10th percentile were accepted as the 0-9 would be thought to give inaccurate results to the study. After the students were a part of the District Nine chess program for 2 years they took the DRP test again and found that they had a 5.4 in percentile. This is significant as the average student that takes this test yearly shows no gain in percentile ranking. The increase in reading scores is rather impressive though it seems as though reading and chess don’t really have much correlation and the fact that this game increased reading scores must be explained. Chess masters have said that chess increases one’s analytic skills, and the ability to concentrate. The ability to concentrate when reading during the test and analytic skills to evaluate the information and answer the questions on the test are both needed to score the in the high percentiles on the DRP test. Another explanation as to why the reading scores may have improved is how the students were always surrounded by academically gifted individuals, therefore, having more interests in academic activities and also learning to speak at a higher level.
We see the benefits of chess being challenged in a study done by Fotinica Gliga and Petru Iulian Flesner. This study took 20 students, 10 of these students were girls with an average age of about 10. These students participated in 10 chess lessons, 1 each week, along with a final competition on the last week. These lessons were taught by a chess grandmaster along with interactive chess games and activities on computers. For the control group, there were 18 students, 8 being girls and 10 being boys with an average age of about 10 as well. The control group participated in 10 fun math lessons.
All these students took the same tests before and after that measured their cognitive abilities and see if there is an increase in the scores after the 10 lessons. The Student Performance Test included 5 math problems and 3 English items and 1 creative work. The Kraepelin Test was used to test focused attention which learning chess primed the students for as chess requires a long term investment of attention. The Rey Test tested the student’s memory by having students recall as many words from hearing 30 words. Chess requires memorization in terms of the rules, how chess pieces move, and also where each chess piece is in a game. The results of the study show that the students in the chess group performed better and had a more personal improvement in their test scores than the control group on their student performance tests. As for the Rey test, it is seen that the control group performed better than the chess group but it is concluded to be statistically insignificant. Finally, for the Kraepelin test both group’s test scores seem to be very different with the control group’s post and pre-test scores being rather the same.
We see the students in the chess group improve in almost every cognitive area compared to the control in this study. We see the students ace the Kraepelin test proving their resistance to the mundane. Gliga and Flesner credit chess by stating, “This is probably because chess training encouraged them to spend more time in front of the chessboard and to consistently apply chess rules, which explains the increase in their resistance to monotony”. This game has proven again its hidden ability to improve the intellect of a student and shows the difference it can make in a student’s academic performance. With a little over two months of being exposed to chess, students were able to outperform those that did not. Imagine what a lifetime of chess could do for a student.
It seems for a long time it is believed that chess is widely accepted to be a game that helps with other parts of education such as mathematics and cognitive abilities such as memory, and there are many studies to prove it as well. Though it always seems to be questioned and countries are hesitant in adopting the practice of chess regularly in the education system. But yet again chess has proven to improve math scores of even special education students, which arguably could benefit from it the most. Students that scored poorly on math tests were put through a 30 week chess program and the control was not put in one. After the grading period it was seen that those in the chess program saw a significant difference in their math scores and it reflected in their end of the year course grades. The article states, “the mean 2008 pre-test scores for the two groups were as follows: the comparison group had a mean final grade of 84.25 (SD = 6.748) and the treatment group 87.53 (SD = 6.379)”. This shows the difference between both groups and how chess took part in the academic success of the students that were a part of the 30 week chess program.
Chess is a game of great discipline and intelligence. To outsmart one’s opponent by thinking steps ahead of them is no easy task and takes practice and dedication. Chess teaches one attributes that benefit all parts of life, while constantly challenging one mentally. It is odd that chess has not caught on in the United States and isn’t widely adopted into the education system. Though putting it in the education system on a wide scale may not be the most realistic choice it wouldn’t hurt to try implementing chess at schools in a small city as a sample size to make a determination for the country. If chess seems to bode well in schools in that community, it would be a start in proving to America that chess is a game that betters the cognition of a child.
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