09 February 2014

'Chess in School' Is Experimental

My most recent post on 'Chess in School', CIS Is Mantric, was a bit of a bust. After failing to find a noteworthy connection between CIS and FIDE's recommendation of 'Howard Gardner's Multiple Intelligences', I decided to look at other aspects of the topic. Wikipedia's page, Theory of multiple intelligences, makes no mention of 'chess', not that I expected to find any, but does have a section titled 'Use in education'. It says,

Gardner's system has not been accepted by most academics in intelligence or teaching. [...] In spite of its lack of general acceptance in the psychological community, Gardner's theory has been adopted by many schools, where it is often used to underpin discussion about learning styles, and hundreds of books have been written about its applications in education. Gardner himself has said he is "uneasy" with the way his theory has been used in education.

At this point I started to think I was paddling a backwater. I located a copy of Gardner's book, 'Frames of Mind: The Theory of Multiple Intelligences', and searched for references to chess. I found more than 50 references, half of them in the chapter titled '8. Spatial Intelligence'. That's the same intelligence connected with chess in the 'Mantric' post. Chapter eight starts with a quote by Capablanca:-

To play chess requires no intelligence at all.

That's not the sort of insight I expected to see when researching a post on 'Chess in School'. Even worse, I was unfamiliar with the quote. Now I was sure that I had landed in a backwater, not the best place to be when you are Gone Fishing.

The next time I return to the subject of CIS, I'll look at a completely different topic. The Gardner angle is taking me nowhere in a hurry.


Later: At the time of writing the post, I overlooked that Gardner sourced the Capablanca quote in a note (p.411).

Capablanca is quoted in B. Schechter, "Electronic Masters of Chess," Discover, December 1982, p. 110.

I haven't been able to locate a copy of Discover magazine to determine Schechter's source.

No comments: