Learning chess and the development of cognitive thinking in Queensland primary schools: an exploratory study

Gardiner, Graeme C. (2018) Learning chess and the development of cognitive thinking in Queensland primary schools: an exploratory study. [Thesis (PhD/Research)]

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Abstract

Prior to the main study, to help decide the research question, the researcher conducted a survey of 315 stakeholders from the ‘chess in schools’ community of South East Queensland and Northern NSW. This group, which included 52 school principals, 52 school teacher chess coordinators and 109 parents of children currently learning chess, voluntarily answered a 34-question, quantitative online survey in 2016. More than 300 agreed or strongly agreed that learning chess helped children with a range of thinking skills. Each question gave respondents the opportunity to make comments. The 841 comments provided a wealth of information on a whole range of aspects regarding chess in schools.

The main study conducted during the 2017 school year at Somerset College, Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia, built upon the study by Martinez (2012) by examining whether a range of chess related and non-chess related variables affected the cognitive thinking scores of the chess group as compared to the control groups. Several previous studies in the field of chess and cognitive thinking skills of children have shown a small improvement for the chess group, but others have shown no such improvement.

Two hundred and three students and their parents opted into the main study and they formed four groups: chess, music, both and neither. Eighty-three students receiving weekly chess lessons during class time at school, formed the chess group and answered a verbal survey of 22 questions on a range of variables, including what extra chess learning and playing they had done. Other variables included confounding factors such as whether they had private non-chess tuition or regularly visited a tuition company. The descriptive analysis indicated small improvements in cognitive thinking scores for the chess and music groups, but these did not correlate at a statistically valid level. Variables involving extra chess participation showed small improvements, but findings were hampered by having a relatively small sample group for the students playing and learning the most extra chess. Based on these findings, the researcher provides some ideas for the progression of research, including the need for a longitudinal study following students at an individual level.


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Item Type: Thesis (PhD/Research)
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Master of Professional Studies (Research) thesis.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts - School of Teacher Education and Early Childhood (1 Jul 2013 - 30 Jun 2019)
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts - School of Teacher Education and Early Childhood (1 Jul 2013 - 30 Jun 2019)
Supervisors: van der Laan, Luke; Martin, Neil
Date Deposited: 02 Jul 2019 03:22
Last Modified: 01 Jul 2021 23:27
Uncontrolled Keywords: chess, education, thinking, schools, children, cognition
Fields of Research (2008): 13 Education > 1301 Education Systems > 130102 Early Childhood Education (excl. Maori)
13 Education > 1303 Specialist Studies in Education > 130309 Learning Sciences
Fields of Research (2020): 39 EDUCATION > 3903 Education systems > 390302 Early childhood education
39 EDUCATION > 3904 Specialist studies in education > 390409 Learning sciences
Identification Number or DOI: doi:10.26192/5f7bff4cec17d
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/36711

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