Sunday, 17 July 2016

Chess doesn't make you smarter, it seems

A recent study has put a dent in the claim that playing chess makes you smarter. In a study involving 3000 primary school students, pupils were given 30 hours of chess instruction to see if it improved there math results. It turns out there was no significant difference between the students who received chess lessons and those who did not.
However closer reading of the report on the study did throw up some interesting points. One is the observation that chess still helps develop existing ability, but does not bestow it. The second is that the majority of children enjoyed the experience.
Of course this is just one study, and other studies have produced different results, but it shows that further work in the area of chess, schools and achievement is  required.


Anonymous said...

This "report" on the study might have well made it a chimera. Even on the first point, who did the study? Not linking to it is unfortunately commonplace, but this article is worse than that. Looking up "Christopher McGovern" in this context doesn't help either. AFAICT, currently this is a ghost report, though gained a lot of tweets (sort of like the "EPO doesn't help biking performance study that is constantly being leaked, even as the "scientists" claim they are assiduously assessing the results).

Name/URL said...

The EEF was mentioned in the Telegraph as the study promotor, but The Independent has a bit more: "The study, carried out by The Education Endowment Foundation (EEF), is the first of its kind to be carried out in England, the full results of which are due to be published on Friday July 15."

The results appear to be at here.

And the original announcement of the funding (so you can't say they drummed it up, doing multiple studies and picking the one they liked best):

There has been studies on how Twitter (and media) affects science.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Name/URL, but Puh.

1) "pupils liked playing games of chess with their friends"
2) "What pupils liked least was tutors ‘talking too much’"

So the kids liked it because it was presumably funner than actual work/learning. But without tutors "talking" (to actually teach students), they might as well just be playing noughts-and-crosses. Again the "chess" content seems thoroughly dubious.

Anonymous said...

WWE slammed by concussion lawsuit! Do you think FIDE could get sued by former players who have mental problems now, from thinking so much in chess?