During the last month John Foley, Luis Blasco and I have worked hard to prepare for the test of the ECU School Chess Teacher course. The course was held in Madrid 30 June – 2 July. Jesper Hall was course leader assisted by Luis Blasco. 14 persons participated in the end. (13 past the online exam). The span was from almost beginners to Grand Master Antonio Fernandes, Portugal, but despite the span the written evaluation of the course was great. Everyone was enthusiastic and meant that this was a unique course focusing on didactics and not the least on how chess can be used for developing social and intellectual skills for kids. The prefect course for Chess in schools!
Luis, John and I are now even more certain how important this course is and that the work that we do in ECU Education is valuable to increase the level of chess education in Europe. We certainly put a new level of chess and education!
The big goal is now to make everything ready for the ECU conference on Crete, Greece, in October. We will then present the course for all of the federations of Europe and encourage them to arrange courses. I hope we can test the course 2-3 times before that.
If you are interested in becoming ECU School Chess Teacher Instructors I recommend you to arrange a course in your country, and assist the course. Please contact me if interested! (Not the least if you want to do it before the ECU congress.)
We also prepare to start the ECU Education newsletter. This will come out every week during school season and will have a set-up looking like the Swedish one, that reaches 2 000 teachers. The idea is to build a network of ECU Education ambassadors .
We have also started the ECU Youtube Channel. Here we will publish all the movies we make, from instruction movies to interviews Like the ones below, made at the course in Madrid. Nothing fantastic, but as a start …
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FwTekiUydEg Interview with Luis Blasco
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XweUPNyuVxg Interview with Maria – School Chess teacher of Madrid
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wSU7q2pm7po Interview with Grand Master Antonio Fernandes, Portugal
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g0BIfh_Dchk Interview with Juan Carlos – Teacher of Madrid
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=idRWtuPurf0 Interview with three future school chess teachers
I also want to tell you why I made my “provocative” statement that this course takes chess and education to a new level:
1) We do not sell a curriculum or anything, we just want to develop the skills in teaching chess in Europe. This differs from many “chesscompanies”.
2) I am very open for new ideas, and I hope that my “provocation” starts a discussion and not the least the drift: “I want to show that our course is better”. That would be lovely, if people really wanted to develop chess for education.
3) My ambition is to continue to help the participants of our courses, with newsletters, with a webpage of materials etc.
4) The course have been evaluated by professors in Sweden.
5) My ambition is to constantly evaluate what we do, not the least with the help of our new Advisory Board of ECU.
6) I hope to make a contract with an university so the course can give academic points.
7) The focus is on didactics, behaviorism but with a mix with “hands-on-exercises”. I felt it worked great in Madrid.
8) We have tried to take the best from our experiences and make “the perfect mix”, to an European model.