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.

Also see the Chess Online course FAQ.

Course Descriptions

  • 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.
Scheduling Information:

Students may select one “Chess I” (4358 or 5344) and one “Chess II” (4359 or 5345) course or take both Chess I and Chess II in the same semester. Students can register for Chess II without having taken Chess I. The courses are offered in the fall and spring semesters via UT Dallas eLearning. The courses are not offered in the summer.

Although the Chess I and Chess II courses are officially listed as second eight week courses, students choose either a 16-week or second eight week schedule offered internally within the courses by instructor Dr. Alexey Root. Senior Lecturer Root explains, “If students register for Chess Online courses at the beginning of the 16-week semester, which means August for fall and January for spring, they have more time to complete the eight units within each course. I encourage students to begin their Chess Online coursework as soon as they are registered.” Students following Root‘s 16-week schedule have about two weeks for each unit compared to the approximately one unit per week pace for students following the second eight week schedule.

Permission from Alexey Root is required for students interested in registering for the Chess Online courses. Students email aroot@utdallas.edu for permission. After permission is granted, staff in the School of Interdisciplinary Studies register students. The syllabi for ED 4358, ED 4359, ED 5344, and ED 5345 are available on Course Look Up.