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Examining the impact of chess instruction for the visual impairment on Mathematics

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Examining the impact of chess instruction for the visual impairment on Mathematics

Vol. 10(7), pp. 907-911, 10 April, 2015
DOI: 10.5897/ERR2014.1967
Article Number: 64BFA2151930
ISSN 1990-3839
Copyright © 2015
Author(s) retain the copyright of this article
http://www.academicjournals.org/ERR
Educational Research and Reviews
Full Length Research Paper
Examining the impact of chess instruction for the visual
impairment on Mathematics
Menşure Aydın
Kocaeli University, School of Physical Education and Sports, Umuttepe Campus, 41380, Kocaeli, Turkey.
Received 01 March, 2015; Accepted 24 March, 2015
The purpose of the study is to explore the impact of chess instruction for visually impaired children on
math achievement. The study group consists of a total of 26 visually impaired students from inclusion
classes in inclusive secondary schools of MoNE (Ministry of National Education), 9 male and 5 female
students in the experiment group and 8 male and 4 female students in the control group. The
experiment group consisted of those who were trained for chess over a 12 week- period (one day a
week, 4 h) as of the semester break and the control group consisted of those who were never trained
for chess. Math scores of the both groups during the fall and the spring semesters which were the
recorded scores in the “e-school” system of the Provincial Directorate for National Education were
verbally learned from those who were included in the study. Arithmetic mean and standard deviation
were employed in the statistical analysis of the data, and the Wilcoxen Test was used for the
assessment of the participants’ progress. For the fall semester, arithmetic mean and standard deviation
of the experiment group were 66.52±4.45, and those of the control group were 66.96±3.55. For the spring
semester, arithmetic mean and standard deviation of the experiment group were 73.47±3.59, and those
of the control group were 66.88± 3.23. In the comparison of the fall and the spring semesters of the
experiment group, there was a significant difference at the level of 0,001 (p<0,05) while there was no
significant difference at the level of 0,441 in the control group (p>0,05). In the comparative study of the
experiment group and the control group in both semesters, there was no significant difference at the
level of 0,905 for the fall semester (p>0,05) while there was a significant difference at the level of 0,002
for the spring semester (p<0,05). As a result, chess instruction for the visually impaired has proven to
be influential on math achievement.
Key words: Visual impairment, chess, mathematics.
INTRODUCTION
Chess is considered to be an educational activity that has
many different types of elements and that consists of
contradictory movements, based on attacks.
Educationally speaking, it is obvious that chess improves
creativity, reading and intelligence, reasoning and
thinking skills. It also contributes to imagination. The
E-mail: mensure@kocaeli.edu.tr. Tel: +902623033660. Fax: +902623033603.
Authors agree that this article remain permanently open access under the terms of the Creative Commons
Attribution License 4.0 International License
908 Educ. Res. Rev.
results of the study have shown that chess has a positive
effect on student learning (Köksal, 2006). Chess has also
been frequently employed in multiple intelligence studies
(Arlı, 2004). development Research on chess has shown
that chess players have improved their mental capacity
such as creativity, critical thinking, decision making and
problem solving and chess has positively influenced
academic and social achievements of individuals and has
been explored as a sport of good time management
(www.talimterbiye.mebnet.net). Chess is a mental game
which is suggested for children with learning difficulty,
attention deficit and hyperactivity disorders.
The number of chess pieces and that of squares are
properly arranged in mathematical terms and the qualities
of pieces match mathematical positioning. It has been
observed that those who consider chess in mathematical
terms and play by attaching numerical values are more
successful in the game than others
(http://www.eokulegitim.com/).
Chess is a game of infinite probabilities and strategies.
In general, calculations of probabilities and choosing the
right strategy have priority during the game. Constantly
imagining all possible positions in the game, calculation
of ten or more movements by many chess masters and
their awareness of which rival will have the advantage of
the upcoming position make chess completely abstract
and built on calculation skills. Mathematics has similar
features to chess in that it contains abstraction and
calculations. Scientific research has supported such a
relationship. Many studies suggest that children use their
mind better than ever during a game of chess and that
chess improves mathematical skills and academic
performance (Gobet and Campitelli, 2005; Sadık, 2006).
Chess is primarily a mind sport and a board game that
needs immobility. As a result, it removes the risk of
physical difficulties in sports and thus is one of the most
popular activities for the visually impaired in their leisure
time. Chess is not only considered as a sport and a
recreation activity for the visually impaired, but is also
viewed as a contributor to their education since it has
multi-academic effects such as analytical thinking as a
game strategy, problem solving and applying mathe-
matical concepts.
The purpose of the study is to explore the impact of
chess instruction for the visually impaired on math
achievement.
METHODOLOGY
Study group
The study group consisted of voluntary visually impaired students
(n=26) in secondary school inclusion classes of MoNE. Those
students were divided into two: those who were trained for chess (9
male and 5 female students) and those who were not (8 male and 4
female students). The former group was taught chess over a 12-
week period (once a week, four hours). The control group consisted
of the other students.
Collection of data
Math scores of the both groups during the fall and the spring
semesters which were the recorded scores in the “e-school” system
of the Provincial Directorate for National Education were verbally
learned from those who were included in the study.
Analysis of data
In the statistical analysis of the math scores in the fall and the
spring semesters, the Wilcoxon Test was employed to find out
arithmetic means, standard deviations and the differences between
the two semesters and the groups.
RESULTS
Arithmetic means, standard deviations and the Wilcoxon
Test results for the math courses in the fall and spring
semesters of the visually impaired students included in
the study are given in Table 1.
Arithmetic means of the end of the year scores of the
experiment group were 66.52 for the fall semester and
73.47 for the spring semester (Table 2).
Arithmetic means of the end of the year scores of the
control group were 66.96 for the fall semester and 66.88
for the spring semester (Table 3).
According to the Wilcoxon Test results, there was a
significant difference between the arithmetic means of the
math scores of the experiment group in the fall semester
and the spring semester (P<0,05). There was no
significant difference between the arithmetic means of the
math scores of the control group in the fall semester and
the spring semester (P<0,05). There was no significant
difference between the experiment group and the control
group in the comparison of the math scores in the fall
semester (P<0,05). There was a significant difference
between the experiment group and the control group in
comparison of the math scores in the spring semester
(P<0,05).
DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION
In this section, assessment of statistical analyses of
GPAs of the 14 students in the experiment group who
were trained for chess and of the 12 students in the
control group is presented.
In the study, there was a significant difference in the
comparison of the fall and the spring semesters for the
experiment group (p<0,05) while there was no significant
difference in the control group (p>0,05). There was no
statistically significant difference between the experiment
group and the control group for the fall semester in the
comparison of the both semesters (p>0,05) whereas
there was a significant difference for the spring semester
(p<0,05).
In Turkey, there have not been studies on the impact of
chess instruction for the visually impaired on math
Aydın 909
Table 1. Math exam scores of the experiment group in the fall and spring
semesters, arithmetic means and standard deviations.
Student GPA for the Fall Semester GPA for the Spring Semester
1 70 75
2 71.66 77.66
3 73.33 77.66
4 66.66 73.33
5 66.66 71.66
6 70 75
7 64.33 70
8 60 66.66
9 61.66 68.33
10 70.33 78.33
11 68.33 75
12 58.33 70.66
13 65 73.33
14 65 76
and Sd 66.52±4.45 73.47±3.59
Table 2. Math exam scores of the control group in the fall and the spring
semesters, arithmetic means and standard deviations
Student GPA for the Fall Semester GPA for the Spring Semester
1 66.66 65
2 71.66 69.33
3 70 70
4 66.66 67.33
5 68.33 66.66
6 70 70
7 62.33 64.33
8 61 58.33
9 66.66 66.66
10 69.33 68.33
11 69.33 68.33
12 61.66 68.33
and Sd 66.96±3.55 66.88± 3.23
GPA: Grade point average.
Table 3. Wilcoxon test results.
Z P
Experiment group-fall/spring -3.302a 0.001
Control group-fall/spring -0.771 0.441
Experiment and control group-fall -.119 0.905
Experiment and control group-spring -3.063 0.002
*P<0,05.
achievement. In a study conducted by Sadık (2006), it
was observed that problem solving skills of 4th and 5th
graders in elementary schools with counting numbers
were higher for those who knew how to play chess. In
another unpublished study conducted in 2011 with 5th,
6th, 7th and 8th graders in elementary schools, it was
seen that there were significant correlations between skill
levels and chess levels in the comparison of numerical
and verbal skill levels and chess levels of the students
(Karakaya, 2012).
In studies that examined problem solving skills of
elementary students who played chess and of those who
did not, it was found that hasty approach levels and
avoidant approach levels of the students who did not play
chess were higher when compared to the ones who could
910 Educ. Res. Rev.
play the game and planned attitude levels of the chess
players were found higher when compared to the non-
players (Erhan et al., 2009).
In experiments by Dr. Yee Wang Fung, a faculty
member of the Chinese University of Hong Kong, with
students at numerical departments of the university, in
the years 1977- 1979, it was observed that those who
were trained for chess had an increase of 15% on
average in their math and science test scores. Barrett
and Fish (2011) found an increase in the math scores of
the students who attended the 30 week chess training
program. They emphasized chess had significant
contributions to increasing math achievement of students
with special education needs. In a study that was aimed
at exploring the impact of chess instruction for pupils with
learning difficulty on math achievement, they claimed
chess was a significant contributor to those with learning
difficulty (Scholz et al., 2008). In their study, Hong and
Bart (2007) found chess instruction for underachievers
had positive effects on cognitive development.
Again, in a study conducted in Texas, USA in the years
1994-1997, it was found that students who joined chess
clubs between 3rd and 5th grades made two-fold
progress than the others in reading and mathematics
(Köksal, 2006). Garcia (2008) found there was a signifi-
cant difference in math performance between Spanish
4th graders who were trained for chess in the chess club
and those who were not instructed.
In a chess training program by Cheryl Coles, the
principal of the state school no: 68 in Bronx District, New
York in 1997, it was shown that there was an increase of
11.2% in reading performance of the students who were
trained for chess and an increase of 18.6 % in their math
scores over a year (http://www.tsf.org.tr).
Frank conducted an experimental study with a total of
92 students aged 16-18 in Democratic Republic of the
Congo (in Zaire) in the years 1973-1974 in order to
explore the impact of chess on various skills such as
intelligence, creativity, numerical and verbal skills. As a
result of the study, it was concluded that those who were
trained for chess had more effective levels of intelligence,
creativity, reasoning, quick and accurate grasping and
shapes and spatial understanding skills and that they
developed those more when compared to the control
group (Cited by Karakaya, 2012)
A study was conducted with 437 5th graders in New
Brunswick, Canada in the years 1989-1992. It was con-
cluded that those who were most intensively trained for
chess were found more successful in problem solving in
mathematics among the groups of students divided into
three according to course load (http://www.tsf.org.tr).
As a result of the study, it was explored that chess
increased math achievement of the visually impaired
because of analytical thinking and problem solving
qualities.
According to these results, there were statistically
significant differences in the comparison of math course
means of the visually impaired students in the experiment
group for the fall and the spring semesters and in the
comparison of arithmetic means and standard deviations
of the spring semester math scores of the control group
and the experiment group (p<0,05). There was no
significant difference in the comparison of arithmetic
means and standard deviations of the fall and the spring
semester math scores of the control group and in the
comparison of the fall semester scores of the experiment
group and the control group (p>0,05). According to these
results, chess contributed to math achievement of the
visually impaired.
RECOMMENDATIONS
1.There should be more groups to study with.
2.Progress of chess players in other courses could be
tracked.
3.Chess problems including creative thinking could be
applied in math courses.
4.Chess, when considered as a positive contributor to
word problems and problem solving skills in math
courses, could be included in pre-school, elementary
school, secondary school and high school curricula and
higher education programs.
5.Chess can be instructed for every visually impaired
student as a most beneficial leisure time activity.
Conflict of Interests
The author(s) have not declared any conflict of interests.
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Arlı Ö (2004). Social studies course impact of learning environment
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Barrett DC, Fish WW (2011). Our move: using chess to improve math
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www.vizyon21yy.com/Ust_Duzey_Dusunme_Becerilerinin_Kazandiri,
Date of Access 15,08,2014
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unpublished master’s thesis.Institute of Social Sciences. Bolu. Turkey
Scholz M, Niesch H, Steffen O, Ernst B, Markus L, Witruk E, Schwarz
H (2008). Impact of chess training on mathematics performance and
concentration ability of children with learning disabilities, Intl. J.
Special Education. 23:3
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http://www.eokulegitim.com/satranc-oynamanin-matematik-dersine-
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Examining problem solving skills of elementary school students who play or do not play chess
  • E Erhan
  • M Hazar
  • M Tekin
Erhan E, Hazar M, Tekin M (2009).Examining problem solving skills of elementary school students who play or do not play chess. Atabesbd. 11(2): 1-8
Chess in education, journal of educational sciences mehmet akif ersoy university
  • A Köksal
Köksal A (2006) Chess in education, journal of educational sciences mehmet akif ersoy university.P 17-26
  • M Karakaya
Karakaya M (2012) www.vizyon21yy.com/Ust_Duzey_Dusunme_Becerilerinin_Kazandiri, Date of Access 15,08,2014
Comparison of word problems and problem solving skills with counting number of chess players and nonplayers at 4th and 5th grades in elementary schools
  • R Sadık
  • H Niesch
  • O Steffen
  • B Ernst
  • L Markus
  • E Witruk
  • H Schwarz
Sadık R (2006). Comparison of word problems and problem solving skills with counting number of chess players and nonplayers at 4th and 5th grades in elementary schools. Abant izzet baysal university unpublished master's thesis.Institute of Social Sciences. Bolu. Turkey Scholz M, Niesch H, Steffen O, Ernst B, Markus L, Witruk E, Schwarz H (2008). Impact of chess training on mathematics performance and concentration ability of children with learning disabilities, Intl. J. Special Education. 23:3