Chess teacher teaches porn-resistance skills

Submitted by undying on
Printer-friendly version

I just found an article (here: http://www.farnamstreetblog.com/2014/02/how-to-think/ ) about a chess teacher named Elizabeth Spiegel who has led her students in Brooklyn's (public) Intermediate School 318 to trounce students from the fanciest private schools, at chess.

Paul Tough, who wrote How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity, and the Hidden Power of Character writes, “it struck me whenever I watched (Elizabeth Spiegel) at work, what she was really doing was far simpler, and also far more complicated [than teaching chess]: she was teaching her students a new way to think.”

Two of the most important executive functions are cognitive flexibility and cognitive self-control. Cognitive flexibility is the ability to see alternative solutions to problems, to think outside the box, to negotiate unfamiliar situations. Cognitive self-control is the ability to inhibit an instinctive or habitual response and substitute a more effective, less obvious one. She ... teaches [students] to resist the temptation to pursue an immediately attractive move, since that type of move ... often leads to trouble down the road.

“Teaching chess is really about teaching the habits that go along with thinking,” Spiegel explained to me one morning when I visited her classroom. “Like how to understand your mistakes and how to be more aware of your thought processes.”