Some countries like Russia have chess as school matter. I was wondering if it could be as important as the other topics of a normal curriculum, considering that the importance of disciplines is the generation of constructive minds of our children.
The Telegraph ran a story supporting the benefits of learning chess. Here is the summary for the 'for' camp:
Pupils as young as seven should be given compulsory lessons in chess amid claims it boosts concentration levels, numeracy and reading comprehension, according to a teachers’ leader.
From the limited research I've done, articles like this do not highlight the 'against' camp, so I will construct my own argument for why chess may not be included on the syllabus:
- Limited class time. Class time could be spent on existing subjects (reading, writing, arithmetic), or spent on many other worthy 'new' subjects (computing, citizenship, financial awareness etc.). It becomes a trade off between what we want to teach the next generation with the limited time they have in school
- Uncertainty of transferable skills. In the quote above it's claimed that chess improves numeracy skills. But surely studying mathematics would be a more direct way to do this?
- Level of popularity. In the UK, football/soccer is arguably the national sport. There just wouldn't be many pupils that would want to study chess, nor many teachers of a suitable callibre