Chess in Education
At UT Dallas, we have a great appreciation for the relationship between academia and chess, and we are prepared to help educators realize all that chess can offer in the classroom. Whether it is to improve students’ concentration, raise test scores or to add variety in the classroom environment, our “chess in the classroom” courses provide educators with new instruction and tools.
To register for a course go to the course lookup page.
Also see the Chess Online course FAQ.
- ED 4358: Chess I — Using Chess in Elementary Schools (Undergraduate) 3 semester hours. Using chess to teach critical thinking, math, and reading skills in the elementary classroom. This course is also appropriate for chess instructors who wish to incorporate additional academic and humanistic goals into their programs. Instructor: Dr. Alexey Root.
- ED 5344: Chess I — Chess in the Elementary School Curriculum (Graduate) 3 semester hours. A consideration of methods for using chess to teach problem solving, math, and reading skills in the elementary classroom, based upon the curricular model developed by McNeil. Instructor: Dr. Alexey Root.
- ED 4359: Chess II — Using Institutional & Cultural Contexts of Chess (Undergraduate). 3 semester hours. ED 4359 students give examples of the cultural role of chess as a combination of art, game, history, and science using the interdisciplinary methods of the arts and humanities. Students in ED 4359 analyze essays on chess in education. Each student’s culminating paper proposes improving an existing chess program or developing a new chess program. Instructor: Dr. Alexey Root.
- ED 5345: Chess II — Institutional & Cultural Contexts of Chess (Graduate). 3 semester hours. ED5345 is an in-depth study of the history, art, game, science, and culture of chess. Students write their first paper on how cultural differences influenced the level of female participation in chess through the ages. Students assess research and choose funding opportunities for chess in education. Each student’s final paper is a research-based proposal for integrating chess into a community institution. Instructor: Dr. Alexey Root.
From our students:
From a parent of three school-age children:
I have learned a lot about chess this semester. Prior to registering for this course, I was always interested in learning how to play chess but I had never played before. One thing that I really liked about this class is the feedback that I received on every assignment. I have taken a few online classes, but I have never had very much communication with the teacher so I really appreciated knowing how I was doing in the class on a weekly basis.
I also liked being able to learn chess by playing it with another student in the class. I think one of the best ways to learn anything is to experience it and I learned a lot about the game by playing it and by annotating and notating. I also liked that the assignments were very clear and appropriate and graded in a timely manner.
From a teacher certification candidate:
I really enjoyed this course and I am very pleased that I could work at my own pace and complete everything online. I think that the textbooks by Dr. Alexey Root, such as Children and Chess: A Guide for Educators and Science Math, Checkmate: 32 Chess Activities for Inquiry and Problem Solving (both of which included lesson plans), are what I will benefit the most from. I already see myself using these lessons in my future class. My favorite assignment was the chess in literature
From an arts and technology major:
The course as a whole was awesome. I especially enjoyed the incorporation of Grandmaster Maurice Ashley’s book Chess for Success, since it gave me a valuable perspective on chess. Chess is a life lesson, and it can help students better themselves. It isn’t just a game.
I loved how Dr. Alexey Root expressed that lesson throughout the entire course with the various readings. Creating the two lesson plans was also a good experience. It allowed me to put my knowledge to the test. I don’t think there is a better test of knowledge than there is when you begin teaching it to students. The course expectations were great. The load wasn’t too drastic, which made it easier to focus on the lessons/readings at hand.
From a UT Dallas chess team member (finance major):
I greatly enjoyed the readings about real life stories involving chess. I especially liked GM Ashley’s book Chess for Success. I thought it was a great read for this course and it made sense to read that book because it had a lot of life lessons about chess. I also liked the game plus analysis.