Scholastic Chess: Teaching Critical Thinking Skills to Improve Student Academic Success

Chess is a proven tool that helps students achieve academic success. Through chess, students learn thinking skills which are applicable to other disciplines. Research studies  conducted over several decades have consistently shown chess instruction can directly contribute to improved academic performance. Higher scores on standardized tests for both reading and math have been shown in studies in the United States and Canada as well as higher scores on tests for critical thinking and creative thinking ability. Chess has been shown to increase students’ abilities to focus, think and plan ahead, and evaluate different options. With improved concentration, memory and logical thinking skills, students also learn character development traits such as developing patience and persistence, good sportsmanship, independence and personal responsibility.

Chess teaches skills that are particularly applicable to the area of juvenile crime intervention, such as the concepts of thinking before you act and that there are consequences, both immediate and longer-term, for your actions.

Chess is also an excellent academic tool for young learners as it teaches discipline, social development and respect for others.

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