10 Sep 2004
IMPORTANT: If reproducing this page in any form, please be sure to include the following line: "Source: Chess'n Math Association, Canada's National Scholastic Chess Organization"
The "Challenging Mathematics" program is based on extensive research and field-testing. It focuses on problem-solving as a strategy for developing an understanding of mathematical concepts.
The goal of the series is to develop judgement and the ability to reason in children, to foster an ability to explain why and how when it comes to their solutions to problems and to develop their self-confidence as well as their own efficient strategies for solving problems.
The game of chess is a perfect fit with a program that has these types of objectives. Chess is problem-solving from start to finish. It forces you to look ahead and anticipate. Skills we all need to succeed in life.
Schools using the Challenging Math program are scoring far better in math than those using other programs approved by the Ministry of Education. The province of Quebec, where the program was first introduced, has the best math marks in Canada and Canada scores better than the U.S.A. on international mathematics exams. In the province of New Brunswick, Challenging Mathematics was introduced into all the French language elementary schools. Now, a number of years later, the French sector in New Brunswick is scoring much better in math than their English counterparts from the same province.
I do not want people to conclude from this that chess is the only reason for this. I believe it is the whole approach of the program and certainly the game of chess is part of that.
Chess is introduced in the second half of grade 2 (7 years old) within the Challenging Math program and youngsters continue learning the game right through to grade 6 (11 years old).