Life skills are those traits, sometimes referred to as social-emotional or affective skills, that are essential for achieving a sense of well-being, contentment and/or fulfillment in life, including school, workforce, and beyond.
They are frequently considered to be a part of 21st Century Skills.
Some examples of these skills are lifelong learning, inter- and intra-personal relationships, personal resiliency, ability to take calculated risks, positive self-esteem, empathy, and appreciation for diversity (Alabama State Department of Education, 2016 & Betts, 1999).
CIE emphasizes the importance of good sportsmanship. The nature of chess as a “gentleperson’s game” contributes to development of positive inter-personal relationships as well as the formation of lifelong friendships based on a common interest. Participation in competitions can contribute to the willingness to take risks and a drive for autonomous learning. Because of the reputation of chess as an intellectual game, learning to play can boost a student’s self-esteem.
Educators have also noted that CIE instruction builds connections between students and teachers. In a year when the pandemic and distance learning have caused many students to miss out on the social learning that takes place during a normal school year, Chess in Education can help overcome this deficit.
Quote: “What I wanted to focus on was how do we connect teachers and staff to young people. If you can build that relationship, … a substantial relationship, between the adults in the building and the student, then anything is possible, and chess was just a way for us to do that.”
Terry Roller, Superintendent, Talladega City Schools (2017)