Desired profile for the chess teacher (First part)
by Dr. Uvencio Blanco Hernández
The chess teacher, teacher or instructor seen as a mediator
One of the most important actors in the chess teaching-learning process is the
chess teacher or instructor. We are talking about the professional who acts in
the classroom or workshop as a mediator between the vast volume of information
and chess content and our children and young people, as the main subjects of
However, a point of interest is "the need to investigate the differences between
the teaching of chess by a chess instructor or by a teacher or professor without
speciﬁc training in the game, although with basic training. This aspect in
particular has been considered on numerous occasions and represents a major
difficulty when trying to establish a state policy aimed at incorporating the
teaching of chess in schools, whether primary or secondary" (Zeynalli, A. 2015).
This discussion is held today within the Chess and Education Commission FIDE; an
environment in which the value of both professionals is recognised; although it
is understood that the ideal teacher or instructor is one who has a degree in
teaching, pedagogy or who, having another related profession, has passed courses
of pedagogical components that allow them to "speak the same language of the
That is why when we talk about the profile of the teacher, we basically refer to
the set of personal and professional skills, knowledge and abilities that an
educator exhibits in the development of his or her educational function.
We are particularly interested in the affective, ethical and intellectual
actors, as well as their ability to control their professional work.
Roles, functions and responsibilities of the teacher
The conception of the teacher as a single, authoritarian agent ceased to be a
long time ago, as changes took place in the appreciation of the student, who is
now considered as an active and not a passive entity, as in the past. This
situation determined the assignment of new functions and responsibilities to the
teacher, which in turn implied the emergence of new roles to be played.
Taking this trend into account, it is proposed that the teacher, teacher or
chess master, should effectively play the following roles: facilitator of
learning, researcher, counsellor, social promoter, planner, administrator and
evaluator. These considerations are taken into account because teachers involved
in chess teaching and training generally come from different specialities,
teacher training institutes, professional experience, positions, etc. Many of
them do not even have the necessary qualifications to teach chess. In fact, many
of them do not even have a teaching qualification; instead, they have practical
tournament experience and, in some cases, hold the title of Chess Expert or
If we add to the above: motivations, professional goals and a significant lack
of knowledge regarding specific functions, attributions and obligations, this
explains the lack of awareness or commitment regarding the role to be played.
A desired profile
Blanco, U (1995), considers that, in the light of the above, a "profile" of the
chess teacher should be defined, in which the requirements of attitudes,
abilities and skills that the international chess movement demands of its
teachers are specified.
This profile is made up of:
* The scientific-methodological competences which enable them to work
productively in their speciality and which we will call the
* The competences required for the teaching task itself, which includes
teaching and research; and,
* The characteristics, qualities, attitudes and aptitudes that make up the
personality traits inherent in their nature as individuals and as social
beings, which translate into their ability to contribute to shaping the
conscience and effects of their pupils; this is the most delicate and complex
part of their mission and which we shall call the ethical-social profile.
It should be noted that the development of this profile should be based
primarily on the "competences" and "attitudes" that the teacher is potentially
capable of developing. Therefore, aspects (1) and (3), the scientific-technical
and the ethical-social, should be a priority when defining it.
This author proposes, based on the development policy of the FIDE Chess and
Education Commission, some of the features of the profile that should
characterise the chess teacher or instructor.
To be continued..