The Judit Polgar Method

The Power of a Game: Next Generation Skill Development

Can we provide the right answers to the challenges the future holds? Will our children be able to do so? Will they have the knowledge, the determination, the self-confidence? Digital society involves the processing of so much data that it makes the acquisition of certain skills and competencies essential. These are vital parts of a successful learning and teaching process.

Chess is perhaps human history’s most effective skill-building game. It allows to introduce children into the world of conscious learning in a way they enjoy. Having recognized this, Judit Polgár, the best female chess player of all time, has created a unique method for future generations and their teachers, under the auspices of the foundation bearing her name, involving experts and educators.

The Judit Polgar Method is intended for the complex skill development of preschool and elementary school kids aged 4-10. This will enable them to obtain and strengthen the skills essential for the 21st century, known as the 4C, i.e. critical thinking, communication, collaboration, and creativity.

The innovative and constantly evolving method builds on playful knowledge-sharing centered on motivation and creativity, using the tools and rules of chess as its framework. With its unique graphic, the ChessPalace and its magical world is at the heart of this method. While roaming all over its fairy-tale world, the children identify with the residents of the palace, become emotionally attached and engaged by the storytelling. Through gamification, children learn the basics of chess imperceptibly, using the board as a kind of GPS, while their holistic logical and analytical thinking improves dramatically. The game effectively helps children process information and, due to the personal experience, imprinting will be stronger.

Game-based education forms and strengthens personal and social skills, i.e. the so-called soft skills. How it benefits children:

  • their intrinsic motivation increases significantly,
  • they learn about their own abilities and opportunities,
  • their problem-solving skills, imagination and creativity improve,
  • their logic and reasoning skills are strengthened,
  • their self-confidence increases.

While playing together

  • they get to know and master the fundamental standards of cooperation,
  • their empathy is developed,
  • they recognize and understand the importance of effective information exchange,
  • they experience that there are several ways to solve a task or a real-life situation.

The Judit Polgár Method consists of three independent, synergetic programs, which serve the same purpose: thanks to this new perspective, learning for children, as well as teaching for teachers should be a pleasant experience.

The continuously evolving tool system of the Judit Polgar Method supports experience-based learning, skill and competence development, learning and school subject integration in a variety of ways. The Judit Polgar Webshop offers a selection of toolkits and publications specifically compiled for kindergartens and schools.

Training courses, applications, websites and online games support the effective mastery of the method.

Educators can learn more about the programs of the Judit Polgar Method at 30-hour training courses. With clearly structured lesson and session plans, well-explained teaching and educational goals, teaching methods, tools and a collection of warm-up games, the courses developed for the successful application of the method present professionally established, detailed aids.

In the course of the blended type of training for kindergarten educators, participants will learn how to use chess in preschool education as a complex skill-development tool. In addition to presenting the method’s elements, the in-person training for classroom teachers in Years 1-2 provides the teachers interested in the teaching of skill-development chess with ideas, solutions and practical guidelines applicable in their daily practices. In the course of the online training for teachers in Years 3-4 building on the knowledge gained in their basic training, the educators can gain theoretical and practical knowledge on how to use the opportunities offered by skill-development chess in teaching older children as a separate subject or as an educational tool. Related to the ChessPE Program, the Judit Polgar Chess Foundation has developed a blended course for those who wish to incorporate the rules of chess into movement education in their PE classes.

Supported and assessed as an outstanding educational innovation by the EU Commission and the International Chess Federation (FIDE), the Judit Polgar Method has been part of the Hungarian public education since 2013 and in 2017 it was launched in China.