16 June, 2007


I keep coming back to the concept of Multiple Approaches.

I first came across the idea of Multiple Approaches in a workshop called Generating Genius- a program by Di Flemming and Micheal Demkov of 9 frameworks that when combined mimic genius thinking and create a culture of creativity.

A GOOGLE SEARCH shows this idea of using a variety of approaches to solve problems and create new thinking and learnings is becoming commonplace in many fields including philosophy, educational reform, slowing the spread of HIV, computer software design.

If we look how our chess program developed we can see the pattern of Multiple Approaches once again making an appearance.

If we look at ‘Chess and Numeracy’, then........we have a chess a numeracy program.

But, when we apply Multiple Approaches suddenly our project becomes multi-layed, textured and interesting. We are starting to see avenues to explore other elements of the benefits of chess including:
 Chess and Literacy
 Chess and Giftedness
 Chess and Social interaction
 Chess and Well-being
 Chess and Social Inclusion
 Chess and Improved Transition
 Chess and Community Partnerships
 Chess and Informal Learning
 Chess Therapy
 Chess as a tool for improving family dynamics
 Chess as a pedagody for increasing school connectedness
 Chess and mentoring

I've noticed a pattern with Multiple Approaches in a school program development setting- they work best when combined with Continuous Development. That is, within an environment when ideas continually grow and evolve slowly over time.

And thats another thing that keeps popping up in the blogosphere, the idea of 'slow pedagogies'. But thats another topic!

06 June, 2007


The Chess-Squared Project is honoured to be invited as a Keynote Presenter to the Chess In Schools and Communities International Conference held in Aberdeen Scotland in Aug/Sep 2007.

The University of Aberdeen's School of Education, Aberdeen City Council and Scottish Junior Chess, in alliance with a number of National Chess Federations,are hosting this international conference which will explore and share ideas emerging from recent academic and practitioner research, project evaluation and policy in the field of chess development in education.

The main aims of the conference will be to explore the particular contribution of chess play within the school and home environment to the development of thinking skills, health and well being and the creative imagination of children and young people.

There is an impressive and diverse range of Keynote Speakers covering a fascinating scope of topics related to chess and children’s learning and well-being.

Conference organisers seemed keen on a number of aspects of our project including, in particular, how we managed to mainstream chess within a maths curriculum.

Dr. Steve Tobias and Sam Grumont will be presenting a paper titled Chess: Just a game, or a powerful strategy for teaching mathematics, and I’ll be running a workshop titled Chess and Numeracy Benchmarks.Our next blog entry will publish our abstract and full details of the conference can be found here.

Its worth a look.