by Dr. Uvencio Blanco Hernández
In a proposal for chess in schools, we are interested in its incorporation as a learning strategy that contributes to the development of cognitive skills that promote intelligent behaviour. This implies the appropriate use of information to think rationally, make decisions and interact effectively with the socio-cultural environment.
It is pertinent to highlight that in the work Why chess in schools? (Blanco, U. 1998), the author expresses:
“The educational role of chess lies in the fact that it forms pupils within a framework of rules and meanings, disciplining thought, contributing to the development of character and virtuous action”.
“Chess, as a discipline that generates values and attitudes, with a long historical trajectory and universal distribution, should be considered a cultural right and therefore the heritage of humanity”.
We believe that, among the aims of a project to introduce chess in Latin American schools, we could highlight the following:
- Incorporate chess as a learning strategy that contributes to the development of cognitive skills that promote Intelligent behaviour.
- To promote chess as a pedagogical tool that favours the development of skills related to reading, mathematics and the resolution of scientific, academic, social and everyday problems.
- To facilitate an approach to the cultural aspects of chess seen as a product of human ingenuity, of millenary origin and universal geographical distribution.
- To contribute, through the study and systematic practice of chess, to the formation of a more autonomous, critical and creative young citizen through the stimulation of thinking skills, processes and operations.
- To contribute to the construction of a more productive society committed to the nation through the knowledge and practice of chess as a recreational and sporting discipline.
- To provide a recreational activity that can be applied as a strategy for participation in the classroom.
- To generate a broad process of foundation, organisation and provision of school chess clubs that facilitates the active and protagonist incorporation of the members of the community.
- Encourage the education and training of school chess facilitators, teachers and technicians who are qualified to develop educational innovation activities.
On the other hand, we have already stated that, in order to aspire to the achievement of these aims, it is essential to develop a process of training human talent. That is, qualified teaching and administrative staff capable of designing and programming activities, reflecting where the action is going and, therefore, the conditions necessary for its achievement.
However, given that the curricular designs of the different Latin American nations are also different, we ask ourselves, from what perspective can EDU courses be developed? As far as teacher training is concerned, the aim is for teachers to grasp the structure of the discipline of chess and the processes involved in it in order to learn how to teach it, so that they can incorporate knowledge of the pedagogical content of this discipline into other disciplines in the curriculum in the case of establishing transfers. We have also stated that,
“In this sense, the function of teacher training consists of a set of activities whose purpose is to improve present or future performance, increasing their capacity by improving the knowledge, skills and attitudes of teachers who join chess projects and programmes in schools. To this end, the fundamental competences of the teacher, according to this approach, focus on knowledge of the discipline and mastery of teaching techniques for more effective, active and meaningful transmission”.
Blanco, U. (1998). ¿Por qué el ajedrez en las escuelas? Caracas.
Ríos-Cabrera, P., & Ruiz-Bolívar, C. (2020). La innovación educativa en América Latina: lineamientos para la formulación de políticas públicas. Revista Innovaciones Educativas, 22(32), 199-212.