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Life Skills


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 Connection:

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.

Relationship of Life Skills to 21st Century Skills

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)

Further Reading:
Alabama State Department of Education (2016). Gifted Standards and Student Outcomes. Downloaded at
Betts, G. T., & Kercher, J. K. (1999). Autonomous Learner Model: Optimizing ability. Greely, CO: ALPS.
Hebert, T. P. (2011). Understanding the Social & Emotional Lives of Gifted Students. Prufrock Press Inc., Waco, TX.
Marzano, R. J. (2000). Designing a New Taxonomy of Educational Objectives. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.
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