Is Problem Posing a Tool for Identifying and Developing Mathematical Creativity?

  • Florence Mihaela Singer
  • Cristian Voica
Part of the Research in Mathematics Education book series (RME)


The mathematical creativity of fourth to sixth graders, high achievers in mathematics, is studied in relation to their problem-posing abilities. The study reveals that in problem-posing situations, mathematically high achievers develop cognitive frames that make them cautious in changing the parameters of their posed problems, even when they make interesting generalizations. These students display a kind of cognitive flexibility that seems mathematically specialized, which emerges from gradual and controlled changes in cognitive framing. More precisely, in a problem-posing context, students’ mathematical creativity manifests itself through a process of abstraction-generalization based on small, incremental changes of parameters, in order to achieve synthesis and simplification. This approach results from a tension between the students’ tendency to maintain a built-in cognitive frame, and the possibility to overcome it, which is constrained by their need to devise mathematical problems that are coherent and consistent.


Creativity Mathematical creativity Problem posing Cognitive flexibility Cognitive variety Cognitive novelty Cognitive framing Reframing Problem solving Coherence Mathematical consistency 


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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Educational SciencesUniversity of PloiestiBucharestRomania
  2. 2.Department of MathematicsUniversity of BucharestBucharestRomania

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