The relation between creativity and students’ performance on different types of geometrical problems in elementary education

Eveline M. Schoevers, Evelyn H. Kroesbergen*, Mirjam Moerbeek, Paul P.M. Leseman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Aim: In the current study we aimed to investigate the relation between creativity and mathematical problem solving in the upper grades of elementary school. Methods: To examine how student’s levels of general creativity were related to their performance on different types of geometrical problems, a geometry test with diverse problems was administered to a sample of 1665 Dutch students from third to sixth grade, as well as a creativity test. The geometry test consisted of four closed-ended routine problems, six closed-ended non-routine problems (related to a visual artwork) and four open-ended non-routine problems (multiple solutions problems). The Test of Creative Thinking—Drawing Production was used to measure students’ creativity. Multivariate multilevel analyses were conducted to take the nested structure of the data into account. Results: The results showed that creativity was a significant predictor of students’ performance on all types of geometrical problems, but most strongly associated with performance on open-ended non-routine problems, suggesting that students with higher levels of creativity perform better in solving geometry problems in general, but especially in geometry problems asking for multiple solutions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)133–147
JournalZDM - Mathematics Education
Volume54
Issue number1
Early online date15 Oct 2021
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2022

Keywords

  • Creativity
  • Elementary school
  • Geometry
  • Problem solving
  • Problem types

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