The Chess World Thinking Different™ curriculum offers a combination of high-level chess for both beginner and advanced players, using the game as a tool to instill critical life skills. By taking part in this program students become better chess players while developing their character, improving their social skills and enhancing their cognitive abilities in the process.
The basic premise of the program is that the tools for self-directed choice exist; all we have to do as educators is to serve as a bridge in introducing these tools to our students. With chess we can help them develop a sense of ownership, and show them how to steer their own ship on the road to leading a life of their choosing, moving in a direction of meaning and connection. We help students share their true self with the world, while they grow and evolve in the process. While it has been well documented in research that simply playing chess can improve life skills, it is this specially developed curriculum that goes farther by addressing them directly. We use chess as a tool for introducing the six C’s of success:
- Clarity - Knowledge of appropriate tools, approaches and methods can make the difference and be the determining factor of whether we make progress in the right direction. Achieving clarity as to where we go and how to get there is critical for making consistent progress. Chess provides us with a clear understanding of the difference clarity can make, both in deciding on a course of action, and in carrying out our plans. The focus should be on maintaining an action-oriented approach, being clear on our course of action and using the experience as a measure for improvement and growth.
- Choice - We have no control over the events that happen to us. Events are just events. But we can always choose how we respond (rather than react) to whatever it is that the world puts in front of us, and the choice is always there. Our role as educators is to help students reach this realization, thus providing them with the confidence and the understanding that they are the ones in charge for their own results. They hold the ability to shape their future while developing their character in the process, by making choices consistent with their values, true to who they really are.
- Cooperation - While the journey is one of self-improvement and self-realization, one of our goals in the program is to help students understand how to work together, in a group and as a part of the larger community. We help them realize how they are a part of an intricate web where they are connected to others. We show them how working together can help them move forward and make progress more rapidly. Students realize how reaching their own goals becomes easier when they help others reach theirs.
- Control - We help our students make breakthroughs and improve by allowing them to shift their focus from what they cannot control to what they can. We use the program as a base for teaching this mindset. Students learn that a challenge is merely a blessing in disguise, and make progress by asking “What is the best that I can do with what I have, right now? What is up to me?” Understanding that there are always tools at their disposal contributes to adopting an action-oriented mindset, boosting self-esteem and raising confidence in the process.
- Courage - A critical milestone is reached when students learn how to trust their instincts and take calculated risks, using the right type of fear as a guide. They learn how to listen to the type of fear that is meant to protect them, yet embrace and step into the type of fear is meant to help them grow. The type of fear that is mixed with excitement about doing the right thing, helping them trust their intuition while moving in the right direction. Students realize how courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the ability to embrace fear, step into it and go through the motions of the task at hand.
- Creativity - In this program we put a large emphasis on developing creative thinking as the basis for making any type of progress, and the thread that connects all other pillars. Students develop creativity by learning how their resourcefulness is more important than their resources. They learn to think out of a box of their own creation. Chess is one of the best tools for enabling and encouraging creative thinking by providing students with a very clear set of rules, while allowing them to experience the beauty of walking your own path.
The program is delivered as an open extra-curricular lunch or after school club where , or as a weekly curriculum program delivered to an entire grade level during the day-time in schools. Registration for the extra-curricular lunch/after school clubs are open for the fall, winter and spring terms. Here you can register for the chess club at your school.
Contact us today if you wish to offer an extra-curricular chess club at your school, or include the Thinking Different program as a part of your school's day-time curriculum.