Josh Shaine has been working with gifted students of all ages for more than 35 years, including many years teaching, administrating, advising, and sometimes directing programs for 7th – 12th graders through MIT’s Educational Studies Program. He has taught at public, private, and alternative schools, as well as working with special needs students, either at home or institutionalized, for school districts in several states. He was the headmaster of a small 7th – 12th grade alternative school in Boston for gifted “disgruntled” students. In addition to teaching and consulting, Josh currently organizes the Beyond IQ conferences near Boston and serves on the board for Hoagies Gifted. He’s more fun than this makes him sound!
Tic Tac Toe ends in a draw, every time when played well – unless you change the goal, the rules, or the playing surface. Chess, too, has variants, like Monster Chess or playing on a cylinder, for example. This class is recommended for learners ages 11-15 who enjoy all kinds of games.
We’ll look at many games, from two players to 7 players, from simple games to complex games, turn-taking games vs. games in which everybody moves at once, and games in which only one player can win vs. games in which everybody wins or everybody loses. The only thing they have in common is that they require reasoning skills to play well.
Sample Course Outline
This class has 8 meetings where each meeting focuses on different aspects of games. A sample outline is provided:
- Consequences of your actions. Why simple choices have complex results. Beginning game theory.
- Sprouts (and/or other games)
- Games you can play by yourself, or not (Mastermind vs Jotto)
- Corruptions of Chess
- The Revenge of Tic Tac Toe (Pente, Go-Mu-Ku, Quibic)
- Games with Luck versus Games without Luck (Diplomacy)
- Competive Games versus Cooperative Games (Pandemic)
- Presentations of our own thinking games
Games for Thinking While Playing is offered in Summer 2019.