RAPID INTEGRATION OF CHESS AS AN EDUCATIONAL INTERVENTION FOR MATHEMATICS AND SCIENCE PERFORMANCE ENHANCEMENT IN SCHOOLS IN SOUTH AFRICA
University of Pretoria (SOUTH AFRICA)
About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2011 Proceedings
Publication year: 2011
Conference name: 5th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 7-9 March, 2011
Location: Valencia, Spain
Abstract:In South Africa it has been recognised that a significant factor in optimising economic growth is to accelerate education amongst all sectors of the population.
The technological subjects, including mathematics and science, have been particularly targeted. The home family backgrounds of children in South Africa vary dramatically, with a significant fraction coming from disadvantaged inner city or rural homes.
Particular schooling skills required include; problem solving abilities, memory training, and general reasoning coupled to an ability to show a predictive assessment of alternative paths available in determining a way forward.
Many learners start school with a minimal inherent mental logical framework because they may have come from homes where such attributes were not projected in the family environment.
To address this general issue a program of introducing the game of chess into schools has been introduced at middle school level and at early and pre-school level. Impressive results have been obtained.
In the past year the President of South Africa, President Jacob Zuma, has taken a personal interest in the project and has instructed the Department of Education to facilitate the rapid integration of the pilot chess program into schools.
Recent school-readiness measurements on five-year-old children, emanating from the program, also show a dramatic improvement.
Keywords: South Africa, technological subjects, chess, home background, rapid deployment, school readiness.