09 SES 08 B, Longitudinal Assessments of Student Achievement and Attitudes
Parallel Paper Session
An increasing number of schools in Germany currently implements Chess as a compulsory subject. Some of these schools substitute one regular Mathematics lesson (one hour) per week by one lesson of Chess instruction (Schach statt Mathe). Others add Chess as a subject to the curriculum in mutual agreement with the students’ parents and/or the School Supervisory Board.
Reports on teachers’ experiences as well as first scientific studies (Bönsch-Kauke, 2008) indicate that playing chess has a positive influence on attentiveness, attention span, academic achievement (e.g., in mathematics but remarkably also in reading and speech comprehension) and social behavior of children (Schneider, Gruber, Gold & Opwis, 1993). While the question of a possible transfer from playing chess to other cognitive and mental abilities is subject to controversial discussions (cf. Saariluoma, 2001; Scholz et al., 2008), findings of positive effects of Chess instruction outweigh and motivate schools to implement Chess in their curriculum. In particular, students with learning disabilities profit from Chess lessons as a valuable learning aid (Scholz et al., 2008).
Further research is still necessary in order to identify skills and competencies which can be improved by playing chess, especially in the case of underachieving students (Hong & Bart, 2007). For this reason the project SCHACHZUG was launched which realizes different qualitative and quantitative studies to analyze relevant outcome variables (cognitive abilities, motivational aspects etc.) of Chess as a compulsory subject in German schools.
Bönsch-Kauke, M. (2008). Klüger durch Schach. Wissenschaftliche Forschungen zu den Werten des Schachspiels. St. Goar: Leibnitz Verlag. Bos, W., Bonsen, M., Kummer, N., Lintorf, K. & Frey K. (2009). TIMSS 2007. Dokumentation der Erhebungsinstrumente zur Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study. Münster: Waxmann. Brickenkamp, R. (1975). Test d2. Aufmerksamkeits-Belastungs-Test. Handanweisung. Durchführung, Auswertung, Interpretation. Göttingen: Hogrefe. Hong, S. & Bart, W.M. (2007). Cognitive effects of chess instruction on students at risk for academic failure. International Journal of Special Education, 22, 89–96. Saariluoma, P. (2001). Chess and content-oriented psychology of thinking. Psicológica, 22, 143–164. Scholz, M., Niesch, H., Steffen, O., Ernst, B., Loeffler, M., Witruk, E. & Schwarz, H. (2008). Impact of chess training on mathematics performance and concentration ability of children with learning disabilities. International Journal of Special Education, 23 (3), 138–148. Schneider, W., Gruber, H., Gold, A. & Opwis, K. (1993). Chess expertise and memory for chess positions in children and adults. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 56, 328–349.
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