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Chess in European Schools Program Proposal

Why chess in shools? -  Benefits of chess for children are enormous:   The ability to visualize moves and patterns in their minds   To create plans   To focus their thoughts and energies   To solve problems as they occur, to apply sets of knowledge in dynamic and creative ways

-  All these skills are transferable to other academic fields -  In an age where information is being created at rates well beyond that of any other area, it is not enough to assimilate that information but it must be processed in a highly intelligent way

Chess as cognitive learning tool -  Over the last 50 years several empirical researches have been demonstrating the existence of a direct relation between the cognitive ability and chess playing -  Because:   Chess involves all aspects of critical thinking   Chess requires intense concentration and visualization   Chess stimulates intellectual creativity through easy experimentation   Chess emphasizes the dynamic application of knowledge   Chess demands children to take responsability for their own thinking

Chess as cognitive learning tool (2) -  But also beneficial in many other ways:   Raises self-esteem   Teaches determination, self-motivation and sportsmanship   Occupies time in a positive manner

-  And…children from all backgrounds, ages, races and genders can enjoy and/or succeed at chess The key competences learned through chess reinforce the European Union’s overall Cluster Key Competences in Curriculum Reform as outlined in the “Education and Training 2010 Work Programme.”

Chess in European Schools Program Proposal -  Guiding principles:   Focus on children between 6 – 12 year;   Focus on European region, with step-by-step approach;   Program adapted to needs of countries and/or eductional system;   Use of new technologies to facilitate training and increase reach;   Quality of program implementation prevails over quantity;   Main focus is on the ‘educational value’ of chess

Chess in European Schools Program Proposal (2) -  Phased approach 1.  Phase One: Research & Analysis (3-6 months) -  What: assess current state of chess education throughout the EU -  Outcome: Program blue print chess curriculum exclusively for the European countries (can act as quality label)

2.  Phase Two: Production of Teaching Materials (3-6 months) -  What: preparation or certification of materials such as a Teacher’s manual, Student’s Exercise book and Student’s Activity book and online tools -  Outcome: printed and online training material ready adapted to country needs and/or eductional system

Chess in European Schools Program Proposal (3) -  Phased approach 3.  Phase Three: Teacher Training (1-3 months) -  Our trained staff of chess educators work with educational boards and schools to conduct seminars for school teachers on how to teach chess with the blue print chess curriculum (Teach-the-Teacher methodology) -  Technology in place to provide online training

4.  Phase Four: Launch of Pilot Programs (One semester) -  In this phase we will undertake a limited number of Pilot Programs accross certain countries -  During and following the Pilot Program we review and evaluate with students, parents, educators and administrations.

Chess in European Schools Program Proposal (4) -  Phased approach 5.  Phase Five: Limited Program Roll-Out (2012/13 school year) -  To ensure a successful roll-out of the curriculum we facilitate the registration of participating schools and implement the programs as approved by KCFE and schools

6.  Phase Six: EU-wide launch (2012 and beyond) -  This final phase would see the chess curriculum incorporated throughout all countries of the EU -  Regular assessment and integration of the program will be ongoing

Cooperation model

KCFE drives the initiative in partnership with:

What KCFE provides to schools -  Teaching methodology + a quality label to the many programs that currently exist and training materials (in print and also, more and more, with online tools); -  Trained chess teachers; -  Chess materials (chess boards, chess software, online training programs, etc.); -  Localised communication tools and program descriptions for schools to start with or promote chess towards children.

I’ve seen kids in chess grow up to become great kids; Kids who are jumpy, calm down; Kids who are overly hyper, sit and play for hours; Kids who are too emotional, learn to take losses and come back to play again; Kids who never believe that they can perform or excel at anything, win games; Kids who want to win at all costs learn that winning isn’t everything; And I’ve seen kids, win or loose, connect with their parents at an indescribable level.

Chess in European Schools  

Presentation to European Parliament, September 2011

Chess in European Schools  

Presentation to European Parliament, September 2011