"USA has never taken chess seriously...that is why SAT scores are down and our children are
on a lower learning level than other countries."
Not entirely sure about this... are you saying that people would write better English (that's
part of SAT, right? I'm British so I wouldn't know) if only they'd been more strongly
encouraged to play chess as children?
The thing about maths and science is they both have a fundamental logic and structure to
them (maths logic is slightly different to science logic). If you don't grasp this logic, you can
still do some maths and science, so your lack of understanding can go undiagnosed; but it's a
constant struggle and you seem to be faced with learning reams of unconnected information.
So, for example, if someone's having trouble with solving quadratic equations, it could be
because they haven't learnt how to yet, or, more seriously, because they never really got the
hang of algebraic manipulation, or, even more seriously, because they didn't realise that
algebraic manipulation is exactly what they need to do (say if it is disguised in the form of a
It saddens me that so many people fall off the ladder in these subjects because they missed a
crucial step, and after that teachers and pupils are only treating the symptoms unless they go
back to the step that was missed.
The ability to think logically in the general sense is innate in humans (otherwise we would be
creatures of instinct alone), but it is something that you need to practise regularly and from
an early age if you want to be any good at it. This, in my opinion, is the most important
aspect of education after the social aspect.
What was I trying to say? Oh yes, chess. I only played chess very occasionally until my last
few months at school. Would I have been better at maths if I had played more chess? Who
knows. But my maths ability certainly wasn't dependent on it. I don't think I'm denigrating
chess by saying that maths is more important.
Colin (who should be DOING some maths at this point rather than just talking about it.)