Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Do 'smart' schools play chess?

As I've remarked before, treating education as a marketable commodity is something that does not appeal to me. Nonetheless the reality is that it does happen, and schools attempt to attract students by advertising their worth.
I've often see schools use chess imagery as part of their advertising material, which at least puts chess in the public eye, although there is also a problem with this. The same schools that put chess in their advertising material are often missing from actual school chess events, as chess "isn't a priority".
A recent study from Italy may at least provide a way of encouraging these schools to have a look at their "priorities". The study took 2000 students in the 8 to 9 year age group, and looked at whether chess lessons also improved the students maths skills. The actual study has just been presented at a conference in Turin (yesterday I believe), and I'm assuming that there was a positive result  (as 'This idea was a failure' papers are a lot rarer). A fuller description of the study can be found here, as well as links to related information.

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