07 May, 2008
Jonathan Rowson- an interesting thinker
I first came across the work of Guy Claxton reading Sam Grumonts blog and thinkings about slow-learning. Two of Claxton’s more interesting ideas are i)that the mind needs to be given time to create meaning hence the phrase slow learning, and ii) that the modern maths curriculum has lost its way.
Almost serendipidously, we met Jonathan Rowson in Aberdeen last year. Interesting fellow Rowson.
Born in Aberdeen, he’s Scotlands 3rd chess grandmaster, has completed first class degree from Oxford, and is presently studying a Doctoral thesis on wisdom with Guy Claxton as supervisor.
So when Rowson talks about education, and learning, and where chess fits into that landscape his ideas are well worth consideration.
Rowson’s presentation from Aberdeen argued we need to keep grappling with the question “What’s so special about chess”, and his answer at present is based on the premise that thinking is the skill that enables us to acquire meaning. He asserts that chess offers the opportunity for people to make meaning through the consequences of their decisions.
Rowson goes on to explore the concept of engagement within a chess context and poses the question ‘where is the educational value the greatest’ within this framework.
Rowsons presentation is certainly provocative and can be found here.
(photo above shows Jonathan Rowson (R) with the Lord Provost of Aberdeen(L) after announcing the Jonathan Rowson Award for all children of Aberdeen who pass a certain requirement.)