Mathematical creativity: psychology, progress and caveats

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The aim of this paper is to provide a concise survey of advances in the study of the psychology of creativity, with an emphasis on literature that is typically not cited in mathematics education. In spite of claims that mathematical creativity is an ill-defined area of inquiry in mathematics education, the literature from psychology can serve as an illustration for steady progress on numerous fronts including well defined terminology, established links between constructs (e.g., creativity and intelligence; creativity and motivation), integrated perspectives that resolve dichotomies (e.g., process vs product), and theories that are verifiable through empirical research. Psychology can provide us with prospects to pursue well defined lines of inquiry, and absolve us from the pressure of re-inventing well known findings. Three postulates and corollaries are provided with caveats to provoke readers and to stimulate future progress.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)971-975
Number of pages5
JournalZDM - International Journal on Mathematics Education
Issue number7
StatePublished - Dec 1 2017


  • Creativity and equity
  • Mathematical creativity
  • Psychology of creativity
  • Task design
  • Teaching for creativity


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