Creativity and Giftedness

Part of the series Advances in Mathematics Education pp 147-162


Creativity in Doubt: Toward Understanding What Drives Creativity in Learning

  • Ronald A. BeghettoAffiliated withUniversity of Connecticut Email author 
  • , James B. SchreiberAffiliated withDuquesne University

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What propels creativity in learning? In this chapter, we discuss a long-standing—yet often overlooked—form of reasoning that helps address this question. That form of reasoning is called abductive reasoning (introduced by the early American Pragmatist, Charles Sanders Peirce). Abductive reasoning represents a special form of creative reasoning that is triggered by states of genuine doubt. Genuine doubt occurs whenever our everyday habits and beliefs fall short in making sense of a situation. In the context of learning, genuine doubt occurs anytime a learner is unable to inductively or deductively reason through an academic task or situation. As we will discuss, these states of doubt represent opportunities for creative learning. Specifically, our aim in this chapter is to demonstrate, by way of example, how abduction and creativity work together in every day learning. We will also discuss how understanding this link will help clarify efforts aimed at supporting creativity in the classroom, expand current conceptions of creativity, and provide directions for research on creativity in educational settings.


Creativity learning motivation