TYPES OF THOUGHT
Critical thinking involves logical thinking and reasoning, including skills such as comparison, classification, sequencing, cause/effect, patterning, analogies, deductive and inductive reasoning, forecasting, planning, hypothesizing, and critiquing.
Creative thinking involves creating something new or original. It involves the skills of flexibility, originality, fluency, elaboration, brainstorming, modification, imagery, associative thinking, attribute listing, metaphorical thinking, forced relationships.
ESSENTIAL GOALS OF CHESS IN EDUCATION
One of the essential goals of education is to teach children to think critically: students must learn to make reasoned judgments. Chess is an excellent tool to demonstrate the theme of critical thinking.
During a game a player must formulate a plan of attack or defense. The formulation of a plan entails that the player must not only reflect on how similar problems are solved (searching a database of previous knowledge) but also the player must perform a systematic checking of possible combinations of moves and then arrive at an evaluation of each line.
The process is a mental exercise where pieces are envisioned to be moving from square to square and the player reflects on the characteristics of the position to finally produce a reasoned outcome (move).
- Beginners who play chess place significant emphasis on material. Of course, material plays a central role in winning a chess game but many more ideas are needed for a useful evaluation of a position.
More advanced players find a balance: included in their evaluation processes are the ideas of central control, pawn structure, material, space, maneuverability, king safety, initiative, development of pieces and many others concepts. Mathematicians have estimated that there are approximately 10^50 possible unique games of chess playable. Even with complicated evaluative techniques, choosing the best plan can be very difficult. The chess player must often must rely on intuition. The best chess players are often those who have an acute feel or intuition for which move is correct.
This can be a very useful tool in education. Intuition is generally undervalued in educational terms but can be a very useful tool in both problem solving and real life applications when the steps to solve a problem are not easily apparent.