While new online games and learning materials are deservedly earning high grades for their power to engage and teach across socioeconomic divides, perhaps educators should also consider the merits of an old game — chess.
Chess champion Susan Polgar was recently interviewed for a New York Times’ article at the Susan Polgar Foundation’s World Open Championship for Boys and Girls in Chicago. Overseeing 120 elementary school children as they diligently (and quietly) played chess, she spoke about her desire to persuade education leaders that chess belongs in K-2 curriculum “when thinking patterns and habits are formed.”
Winning chess competitions herself from age four, Ms. Polgar shocked Budapest society at a time when girls were believed to be without the intelligence or patience to play chess. Thanks to her father’s support, she learned “that chess teaches discipline, analytical thinking, time management, focus and patience — skills that can be useful throughout life.”
To learn more about the benefits of chess and the work being done to support girls and boys in their play, you can visit the Susan Polgar Foundation website.