CHESSPLUS: MORE THAN CHESS
Strategy games such as chess, go, draughts, backgammon and bridge have traditionally been associated with higher thinking skills. Children who play these games benefit from improved concentration levels and problem solving. The problem for many teachers and parents is that they do not possess the game knowledge or confidence to be able to teach their children, but the professionals from ChessPlus have the solution.
ChessPlus is an educational consultancy which provides a new approach to applying strategy games in the classroom. They give precedence to educational goals and methods rather than mastering the game itself. Building upon feedback from thousands of learners, games are reduced down into their basic elements. ChessPlus provides teachers and parents with tools and materials to introduce these games in a variety of interesting and exciting ways and thus promote mathematical, logical and creative skills, and ultimately metacognition.
The ChessPlus team: John Foley, Rita Atkins, Stefan Löffler
The first international Seminar on Didactics of Strategy Games was held in Cambridge, 1-2 October 2016. The event brought together international experts at teaching the traditional strategy games. The purpose of the event was to investigate and share experiences, identify common educational themes, describe instructional methods and explore best practice for teaching strategy games including chess, go, draughts, bridge and backgammon. These games are associated with higher “thinking skills” but there has been little systematic analysis of how these games can produce the desired effects. The participants tried to discover which factors the strategy games have in common and in which they differ by examining the crossovers between them.
The event also gave an opportunity for each attendee to understand the current methods and trends in teaching strategy games. All seminar participants actively promoted the use of these games in education; they included teachers, trainers and educationists from the UK, Germany, Austria, Denmark, France, Italy, Netherlands, Portugal, Latvia, Czech Republic, Slovakia, USA and South Korea.