TheRepublicofArmenia,asaworld superpower in chess, is engaged in continuous development and implementation of
inthecontextofglobaleducationalsystem;(3)considerablydeepening education subjects’ cognitive interests towards
educationthroughthepossibilitiesprovidedbychess;(4)developing learners’ educational‐cognitive motivation; and (5)
creating conditions for activating learners’ mental potential andtheabilitiestoexposethem,aswellaspromotingthe
awarenessofthesocialvalueofchessininterpersonalrelations. The contextual factorsof teaching and learning chess in
primary schools of Republic of Armenia have been revealed and presentedinthispaper.Anumberofconclusionsand
The process of widening and enriching the modern
teaching technologies and innovative IT resources
throughout the world has opened up new opportunities
for promoting the formation of professional and
personal competences, in particular, on the basis of the
headway of new methods and ways of teaching, and
widening the underlying guidelines of educational
activities. Nevertheless, because of either scarce,
limited potential, insufficient executive efforts made
or utterly complicated and persistently revised and
changed procedures, the schemes of efficient
teaching/learning models at certain time hindered or
slowed down the implementation of the cognitive,
executive, and operational constituents of perception,
understanding, and assimilation in teaching/learning.
This is evidenced in a variety of researches published
in different countries on the difficulties and
typological analyses in the realm of education.
Since 2011, chess, as an academic discipline, is
included in the education curriculum in the Republic
of Armenia. The current relevance of teaching chess
to children derives from the respective explorations
into efficient methods aimed at the intellectual
development of primary school children. The aim is to
develop teaching and students’ cognitive realm, in
particular, logical thinking, imagination, analytical
capacity, thus, contributing to the learning of other
school subjects. The idea of using chess for the
formation and development of children’s intellectual
capacity has for a long time been submitted to
aArmenian State Pedagogical University named after
experiment-based testing. The Chess Educational
Research Center was founded at Armenian State
Pedagogical University named after Khachatur
Abovyan in 2015. The Center has been developing its
activities through the respective teams of
psychologists and sociologists. The researchers
were enthusiastically engaged to prove the impact
of chess on primary school pupils. Consequently,
they have recorded a number of positive aspects
of chess teaching, despite the numerous difficulties
they faced. The experimental studies were carried
out in order to overcome the difficulties which
emerged between pupils and teachers while teaching
In teaching chess, we come across a variety of
problems stemming from both objective and
subjective factors. The current circumstances that we
face in the education system attribute a particular
degree to the aforementioned difficulties which find
their expression in the paradigms of subjects,
pedagogical-methodological philosophy, psychology,
and other realms. In our current conditions, in the
educational system, the difficulties take harder
characteristics, which are displayed as material,
pedagogical-methodical, psychological issues.
The continuous development of the quality of
teaching/learning chess in schools requires assessment
of the contextual factors which have meaningful
impact on the quality of chess education at school.
Therefore, one of research priorities of Chess
Educational Research Center has been the
investigation of the educational progress of learning
chess at school. The investigators believe that the
respective data collected would be important for
research-based decision making related to in-school
chess educational policy.
The former studies reveal the impact of chess on
the development of meta-cognitive ability and math
problem-solving ability among students at different
levels of education (Kazemi, Yektayar, and Abad
2011). On the other hand, there was no evidence that
might indicate the impact of contextual factors of
education on the level of chess skills gained within
learning chess in schools nationwide.
The first research aim is to reveal the
context-driven and context-based factors influencing
school teaching of chess.
There are two major dimensions underlying this
(1) The first one derives from the very context of
chess education. The context-based and context-driven
factors covered in the research are identical to the
factors defined in TIMSS (Trends in International
Mathematics and Science Study) 2011.
The set of dimensions of contextual factors are:
(a) Socio-cultural context;
(b) School context;
(c) In-class/contact hour context;
(d) Context of pupils’ characteristics and attitudes.
(2) The second dimension that the research
comprises is the level of knowledge of chess. In the
course of research, a test was designed on the basis of
the school program of chess education (targeting from
the 2nd grade to the 4th grade pupils). The test
evaluates the level of knowledge of chess together with
the respective cognitive skills based on learning
taxonomy. Thus, the test is based on three domains as
(a) The domain of knowledge that comprises the
notions and processes that must be mastered by school
(b) The domain of application that is aimed at
evaluating the skills of applying knowledge or ideas
for answering questions or solving problems;
(c) The domain of reasoning that stems from
simple problem-solving spheres involving unfamiliar
situations, complete contexts, and problems.
Every single task refers to every single
content-based component and cognitive competence
necessary for completing the assignment given.
Every section of the test involves certain
content-based item on chess that appears on
teaching/learning schedule among the 2nd-4th grade
The research participants were 5th-grade students
(N = 500), their parents (N = 500), and school
teachers of chess (N = 38).
Convenience sampling approach has been carried
out based on TIMSS-2011 sampling (Mullis et al.
2009). The sampling covers all the regions of the
Republic of Armenia (see Figure 1). The
representativeness of respondent group is validated
through preliminary pilot research. The percentage of
participants involved is illustrated bellow.
The chess achievement evaluation test consists of
the sections introduced in teacher’s manual
(1) Chess board;
(2) The types of figures, names, and actions;
(3) Checkmate and stalemate;
(4) Strategy, end of the game.
In order to give correct answers, students must be
acquainted with the content of chess course and must
be able to implement cognitive skills as well.
Figure 2 explains the complexity of items used in the
test. As we can see from the results, some of the items
are too difficult for students. That is why the line on
the diagram is falling down.
The survey revealed that some tasks in
achievement evaluation test and school handbook are
too difficult and not quite obtainable for most of
schoolchildren who learn chess on regular basis.
The results of correlational research allow to state
that there are many meaningful correlations between
chess achievement level and contextual factors, e.g.
lesson preparation conditions, pupils’ integration level
during chess lessons, students’ school motivation, etc.
(see Table 1). On the other hand, the skill to achieve
checkmate in two moves is correlated with teachers’
pedagogical impact during chess lessons.
One of the research questions was formulated as it
follows: Which are the positive aspects of teaching
chess at school from stakeholders’ perspectives? The
answers are introduced in the respective proportions in
the pie chart below (see Figure 3).
Analyzing the results, we uncovered some lawful key
relationships that will further be discussed within the
context of possible solutions.
Chess is mostly referred to as a positive factor for
pupils’ personal development. Our findings help us to
state that logical thinking, memory, attention, and
self-control characteristics are mostly being developed
during chess lessons. Nevertheless, these
characteristics still need deeper testing in order to
understand the interactions between them within
different subjects. So, the specific key factors must be
implemented in school program of chess. Assignments
and tasks should be in line with the expected
outcomes—such as cognitive development,
personality, moral characteristics, etc.
The teachers’ pedagogical impact and attitudes
towards education for all are also considerably
required for effective chess education in primary
schools. Pedagogy, inclusive practices, educational
psychology, and chess teaching methodology must be
embraced to cover the necessary competence matrix
for future chess teachers. Accordingly, the curriculum
mapping for chess teachers’ education program has
been designed by the methodological group of the
Center of Chess Educational Research of Armenian
State Pedagogical University.
As evidenced above, parents’ appropriate support,
family conditions, and parental educational level are
most frequently expressed contextual factors for
adequate implementation of chess in schools. Thus,
Table1.Inter‐correlational Matrix of Contextual Factors and Chess Achievement Evaluation Test Scores
impact .923 0,654 1.000
academicissues .577 1.000 .417
level 1.000 ‐.372
toscoresforparents ‐.372 1.000
motivation .635 1.000
Notes: 1 Number of books. 2 Own room for lesson preparation. Significance of presented values p > .05.
the quality of school and parents cooperation should
be improved which is already planned in on-line
course for chess teachers. It has become transparent
that school program of chess and its implementation
do depend on parents’ background level and their
support which allows concluding that school program
must focus on tasks which will mostly provide
learning at school with less after-class assignments
The chess achievement evaluation test developed
on the basis of primary school chess curricula should
be improved by taking into consideration the
(1) The results must be compared with other tools
which are developed worldwide, which, consequently,
assumes an international adaptation of test;
(2) As far as pupils’ cognitive and other
psychological skills, they are among expected
outcomes of primary chess curricula, and some tasks
related to cognitive skills are to be tested as well;
(3) The results of chess achievement evaluation
test’s validation must accordingly be compared with
children’s school performance.
In primary school chess teaching/learning
curricula, the respective educational materials must be
submitted for further improvement and enhancement
in several ways:
(1) The pertinent educational triangle should be
designed in accordance with the relevant concord
between learning outcomes and teaching/learning
methods, as well as, assessment tasks and techniques.
These three components must be mutually responsive;
(2) The materials of teaching/learning chess have
to be introduced in a more facilitated way. As stated
above, it should be kept and delivered in smart and
(3) Teaching and learning materials for primary
school chess curricula must be improved in line with
instructional principles such as providing models,
presenting materials in small steps, checking students’
understanding, covering large number of students and
involving all students, providing equality of teaching
materials in terms of students’ knowledge and skills,
connecting new material with prior learning, etc.
Summarizing the results of this research, we may
(1) Chess as an academic discipline is mostly
referred to as a positive factor for pupils’ personal
(2) Parents’ educational level is one of the
frequently expressed contextual factors for sufficient
implementation of chess in schools;
(3) Chess achievement evaluation test should be
improved based on the results of current research:
Some curricular changes in school program of chess
might necessarily be introduced;
(4) The decent support by parents and family
conditions for students’ lesson preparation are also
among the priorities and key factors for successful
implementation of chess in school curricula: This area
should be analyzed deeper to understand the ways and
possibilities of schools for enhancing the quality of
(5) Teachers’ pedagogical impact and attitudes
towards education for all are also considerably
demanded for effective chess education in primary
The research findings will allow the respective
staff to disseminate good practices and to explore into
the weak points at different levels of education
planning ranging from national to student’s
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Ruben Mirzakhanyan, Ph.D. in historical sciences, professor
of the Chair of Armenian History, chancellor of Khachatur
Abovian Armenian State Pedagogical University Chair of
Academic Council, Armenian State Pedagogical University
named after Khachatur Abovyan, Yervan, Armenia; research
fields: modern period of the history of Armenia, history of
Armenian culture, history of Armenian visual arts.
Srbuhi Gevorgyan, Ph.D. in psychology, professor, Armenian
State Pedagogical University named after Khachatur Abovyan,
Yervan, Armenia; research fields: social psychology,
communication psychology, age and pedagogical psychology.
Vahan Sargsyan, Ph.D. in psychology, associate professor,
head of Chess Educational Research Center at Armenian State
Pedagogical University named after Khachatur Abovyan,
Yervan, Armenia; research fields: educational psychology,
Hayk Daveyan, MA in psychology, study educational
measurement and educational psychology at National Center of
Educational Technologies, Armenian State Pedagogical
University named after Khachatur Abovyan, Yervan, Armenia;
research fields: educational psychology, educational
assessment, QA in eduction.