Saturday, May 9, 2009

Chess in the 2nd and 3rd Grades- Possible Future Addition to Hoboken Curriculum

As part of the new curriculum and in compliance with NJ Standards, consideration is being made to introduce Chess into the 2nd and 3rd grade curriculum. I have identified a nationally known non-profit organization known as FIRST MOVE that seems to fit many criteria. We will fund this at the district level and I’m hoping it to include ALL 2nd and 3rd grade classes. The program is Title I eligible and would require 1 hour of instruction a week for 30 weeks. What follows is some peer reviewed research findings concerning the linkage of chess to some other cognitive and discipline specific skills. In general, I find the research to be interesting and somewhat compelling although I stop short of saying that chess will solve all instructional issues. FIRST MOVE is more than comfortable with the notion that not all teachers are comfortable with chess. The curriculum is designed with that fact in mind and incorporates video technology to assist.

In 2003, America’s Foundation for Chess conducted a comprehensive survey of the world’s scientific literature and identified numerous research studies that confirm the benefits of chess instruction on students’ academic performance, especially math and reading. All published articles conclude the same thing: there is a positive effect from chess on intellectual achievement; not a single report fails to find such a connection. Here are a few…

Celone (2001) “Chess significantly increased student scores in non-verbal intelligence, which reflected increased abilities in abstract reasoning and problem solving.”
Smith and Sullivan (1997) “Chess education has a substantial positive effect on analytical thinking skills which are important in math, engineering and the physical sciences. The impact was particularly strong among girls.”
Rifner (1992) “Problem solving skills that chess teaches will transfer to tasks in other academic domains, including reading comprehension and math, and to enhanced performance on standardized tests of academic achievement.”
Van Zyl (1991) “Chess nourishes latent learning abilities, and reinforces skills in logical and abstract thinking, impulse control, endurance and determination. This was manifest as a significant improvement in both verbal and non-verbal IQ scores after three years of chess instruction.”
Liptrap (1997). “Students receiving chess instruction scored significantly higher in standardized tests of both math and reading.”

Picture: Little League Field, Hoboken, New Jersey (circa, 1962)

1 comment:

hobokec=nchess said...

Hello, Peter Croce from the Hoboken Chess Club and Hudson County Chess Association.
I would loike to congradulate Hoboken Schools for this Chess project. As you may or may not be aware, I have spent many hours with the Hoboken Board of Ed for Chess in the schools.
As I have for the past ten tears, I will continue to offer my services to any organization in the future.
Peter Croce