Chess training and mathematical problem-solving: The role of teaching heuristics in transfer of learning

Roberto Trinchero, Giovanni Sala

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Recently, chess in school activities has attracted the attention of policy makers, teachers and researchers. Chess has been claimed to be an effective tool to enhance children's mathematical skills. In this study, 931 primary school pupils were recruited and then assigned to two treatment groups attending chess lessons, or to a control group, and were tested on their mathematical problem-solving abilities. The two treatment groups differed from each other on the teaching method adopted: The trainers of one group taught the pupils heuristics to solve chess problems, whereas the trainers of the other treatment group did not teach any chess-specific problem-solving heuristic. Results showed that the former group outperformed the other two groups. These results foster the hypothesis that a specific type of chess training does improve children's mathematical skills, and uphold the idea that teaching general heuristics can be an effective way to promote transfer of learning.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)655-668
Number of pages14
JournalEurasia Journal of Mathematics, Science and Technology Education
Volume12
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education
  • Applied Mathematics

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