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ABS409 - Effects of school chess training on dynamics of child development

1.2 Children’s development and childhood
11:00 AM, Tuesday 29 Aug 2017 (20 minutes)
The Chess for Overall Development Project has been evolving in the Vertical Chess Club in Satka (the Chelyabinsk Region, Russia) since the autumn of 2004.
Educators taught children the chess basics and used Chess as a vehicle for their overall development relying on the emerging ability to perform mentally (P. Galperin); core assumptions of the Reflection and Activity approach (RAA) (V. Zaretskii), and principles of Vygotsky’s theory of the zone of proximal development.
A longitudinal research performed in 2004-2016 investigated specific effects of the chess training on the children’s cognitive processes in a sample of 700 school students (Grades 1 to 9) in Satka who either received chess training or were in a no-chess group. The researchers assessed the children’s core mental functions: memory, attention, cognitive performance, intelligence and some others.
During the aforementioned period, most students in the chess and no-chess groups improved their overall level of the cognitive processes. Nevertheless, the experimental group of students were consistently improving their outcomes in a wider range of the cognitive indicators throughout many years. The analysis of the findings showed that this improvement resulted from the use of the Chess for Overall Development Method, which relied on the principles of RAA. The experimental group of children performed better than their peers as far as the following 7 indicators were concerned: they improved their auditory and visual memory and started performing better on the tasks relating to non-verbal thinking. The students improved their levels of attention, cognitive performance, and their ability to plan actions mentally.  
South Ural State University
Lomonosov Moscow State University

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