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21st Century Skills


The 21st century skills, sometimes referred to as executive functioning or “soft” skills, are those non-academic thinking skills that involve managing oneself and available resources to achieve a goal (Cooper-Kahn & Dietzel, 2008).  They are necessary to develop successful work habits, organization, management of time, materials, and project planning as well as mental control and self-regulation.  Examples of these are adaptability, time management, impulse control, collaboration, organizational skills, decision making, and project management (Alabama State Department of Education, 2016). 

Chess in Education develops 21st Century Skills

CIE Connection: Chess in Education helps develop 21st Century Skills.

Chess, a highly motivating and potentially competitive game, can be a valuable means to develop many of these, as they are central factors in successful play.  Especially of note are the necessity to manage time (playing against the clock or a time limit set by the instructor), to control impulses (withholding a move until the setting and positions of both players have been assessed and considering cause and effect for multiple moves going forward), and to organize materials (pieces on the board).

Further Reading:
Alabama State Department of Education (2016). Gifted Standards and Student Outcomes.
Cooper-Kahn, J. & Dietzel, L. (2008). Late, lost, and unprepared. Bethesda, MD: Woodbine House.
Dawson, P. & Guare, D. (2010). Executive skills in children and adolescents: A practical guide to assessment and intervention, 2nd Edition. New York: The Guilford Press.
European Chess Union (2018). Video: We Make Europe Smarter
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