Sunday, June 23, 2013

Teaching Critical Thinking and Risk Taking

Teaching Critical Thinking and Risk Taking
A 1st Century Solution?

Bring Back Analytical Play and Learning with Games!

Teaching critical thinking and risk taking through the medium of chess, go and strategy board games is a 21st century essential skill. Students need more than ever to learn critical thinking, problem solving, sequencing, abstract and concrete thinking, risk taking, strategic planning and implementation, concentration, decision-making, confidence, self-mastery, evaluation and judgment, and mental discipline -- skills that dramatically affect the learning experience and improve the outcomes in the classroom. Playing strategic board games prepares students to enter an ever changing complex world as contributing members of society.

Chess is a game that draws the curiosity out of the youngest students, and will keep them thinking and engaged for a lifetime with the proper exposure. Chess and Go are some of the oldest and most timeless board games designed to teach higher order critical thinking skills. Chess is antithesis of the modern day nepenthe (TV, Social Media, Video Games), that students have depended on to escape the complex or mundane aspects of modern life. Chess demands 100% of the student’s focus, with no guarantees of success, playing and learning chess is real life training for all aspects of modern life. Board games can teach the most important lessons in life like risk taking, loss, sacrifice, learning from failure, and Consequences. Learning and playing the game of Chess, Go and other strategy board games can prepare students to overcome the inequities of society that will defeat untrained under-prepared students. Wishing for educational equity and a level playing field for all students is pointless in today’s political climate, yet being proactive and teaching your students strategy games is the only efficacious course. Chance favors the prepared mind and modern CCSS curriculum forgot the key aspect of learning success, “Never give up, never surrender” Sean Taylor Reading Sage

“Chess brings to life a vision of what a dynamic classroom should be. Teachable moments where together we discuss, question, evaluate, investigate, synthesis, test and verify. It is the contagious noise of enthusiasm — of genuine problem solving within context. Students make conjectures and conclusions and then test the abstract with the concrete chessboard. Students are naturally driven by their own need to question: "I wonder why…" "Want to see if we can do it another way…?" "Our group has a different answer." "What would happen if…?" Mary Beth Osburn Teacher

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