19 April, 2006
Dr. Steve Tobias- LaTrobe University
Welcome to the Mt Alexander Schools Cluster and La Trobe University research project based on Chess and Learning Mathematics. Steve Carroll and Harry Poulton have done a wonderful job in launching the project with Sam Grumont's guidance.
The project aims to build student resilience and perseverance through games such as chess. Research suggests that there is an underlying link between playing chess and strengthening spatial reasoning skills and students' ability to handle complex reasoning tasks.
With the new VELS curriculum, this area is covered within the Thinking Domain of the Interdisciplinary Strand and Working Mathematically in the Mathematics Discipline Strand. This project sets out to strengthen thinking and reasoning skills, and possibly inturn students ability to problem solve.
The Observation Schedule, that has been sent out to you, was designed for the classroom teacher to collect information about the students' reactions while playing chess. We would like you to collect some anecdotal information during the program about the students' willingness to participate, their resilience and perseverance when playing, and their ability to question/discuss the moves made.
We would appreciate any other information that you might feel is important. We would like students to keep a journal to reflect on their games (metacognition) and anything else that is significant to them when playing. (ie: what they have learnt, enjoyed about the playing- or not enjoyed etc) so hopefully, we will have an ongoing collection of information about who is building enthusiasm and resilience for chess.
I intend to write a regular section for the blog - so any feedback would be appreciated.
School of Education
La Trobe University