To Again Feel the Creative Voice

  • Stephen J. MerrillEmail author


Science and mathematics education needs to serve several (possibly contradictory) motivating goals. One is found in the movement for a universal literacy in the central principles and methods of the disciplines. The second is the need to provide the experiences and background that makes possible the production of scientists and engineers. A complication in both efforts is that the formal education takes place over many years, and the application of the layers of information, understanding, and sophistication need also be aware of the age of the student and what has come before. These efforts require clear ideas as to the end goal of the process and attention to assessment. Receiving less attention is the need to also feed and nurture the creative side of those who would become professionals, as creative approaches will be a central and necessary aspect of their work and thought. In this paper, I address the use of a course in mathematical modeling taught over a period of 25 years to undergraduate students of mathematics, mathematics education, computer science, and engineering, as a method to open up creative pathways. Through an historical discussion of the role and nature of creativity in the sciences and mathematics, a process to have students find their creative voice is described in the context of this course.

Key words

creative process creativity history of mathematics history of science mathematical modeling problem solving 


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Copyright information

© National Science Council, Taiwan 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of MSCSMarquette UniversityMilwaukeeUSA

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