Leontxo García: waarde van schaken in onderwijs

Leontxo García vertelt in een prachtig verhaal de pedagogische waarde van schaken. De video is in het Spaans, de ondertiteling is in het Engels, die we onder de video hebben uitgeschreven. Zeer de moeite waard!

 
Chess can be simply a very entertaining game
that can be played from the age of three to one hundred and three.
It can be a sport, if you take it very seriously
and you want to compete, at top level even.
 
It can be a very demanding competitive sport.
It can be an art too, sometimes:
you can create beauty in your games.
 
But as of late, what I love most about chess
is its enormous usefulness as a pedagogical tool.
Knowing how to win and lose.
In chess, this is developed in a very special way.
Luck has practically no influence.
Therefore, in chess,
the loser is the one who learns the most.
 
If I play a game now with you, with Bernardo,
and you beat me,
I'll go home or to the hotel thinking: why did I lose today?
Obviously, because Bernardo played better,
but where did I go wrong?
What must I do next time to avoid making a similar mistake?
In other words, I'm developing self-critical thinking
in a very intense manner.
 
The amount of values, abilities, qualities, etc.
that chess can offer is very broad,
and to mention others: empathy,
self-control, controlling first instincts, discipline,
adapting to the environment, to school, to students, to teachers,
time control or time management, flexible thinking,
which is a very important quality in the 21st century...
 
Since we are talking about values,
how can we use chess at nursery level
to transmit values to children aged between two and five?
 
Now, I invite you to travel to Colombia, to Bogotá.
There we are in pre-school centres, what we'd call nurseries,
with Adriana Salazar, who is applying innovative education theories
from Harvard University to chess.
So, an essential part is the giant board on the floor.
The children are invited to play and run around the board.
Once they're used to it, we play music,
and when they get used to the music, we add lyrics
that teach how to move the pawns.
Once they get used to that
and they learn the words about how the pawns move,
Adriana goes to a girl... Excuse me, what's your name?
Ana? Right, Ana, you're three years old.
So, she says to Ana,
"Ana, you're a pawn,
and you're very brave, so you never go backwards.
You only go forward.
You only go forward within your column, which is this one.
You can't go to this one or that one.
Only within this column.
One more thing, you can only move when it's your turn.
So, you have to wait for your partner to respond
and only then can you play again."
Ana has to think that she is playing.
But, what we are doing with Ana and all her classmates
in that class, in that classroom,
is transmitting values which are very important at that age.
 
For example, laterality, psychomotor activity,
memory, attention, concentration,
elementary geometry: diagonal, horizontal, vertical,
elementary logical thought, observing rules,
showing respect towards classmates,
and I mustn't forget: controlling first instincts.
 
Do any of you know any other pedagogical tool,
apart from music, which is already integrated,
that can be so ludic, so enjoyable,
and so effective in transmitting so many values in such a short time?
 
Chess is the best exercise for the mind,
preventive exercise.
These aren't my words,
this is supported by serious scientific studies.
The most serious was done
at the Albert Einstein Institute in New York.
It consisted in studying 461 people
over the age of 65 for 21 consecutive years.
They were divided into different groups
and those who most increased their cognitive reserve,
which, in more understandable terms,
is a store that we have in the brain
and the fuller it is, the less risk there is
of suffering from senile dementia.
Those who most increased their cognitive reserve
at an age when it is normally lost
were those who played chess and bridge,
a card game that also requires mental agility,
and, thirdly, those who took up dancing.
Because dancing requires good coordination
between the mind and the body.
 
The study director
gave an interview for the Washington Post
in which he said, "Very soon, our GP
will be prescribing a game of chess and a crossword every day,
moderate physical exercise and a balanced diet.
 
Learning chess at any age is no problem.
If you want to have fun or start exercising your mind
to delay the ageing process of your brain,
any age is a good age, up to the age of 103.
 
Leontxo García Olasagasti (born February 12, 1956 in Irún, Guipúzcoa) is a Spanish lecturer, presenter, commentator and journalist specialized in chess.