The University of Montana
Department of Mathematical Sciences

Technical report #27/2008

Creativity, Giftedness and Talent Development in Mathematics

Bharath Sriraman
Dept. of Mathematical Sciences
The University of Montana


Abstract

Our innovative spirit and creativity lies beneath the comforts and security of today’s technologically evolved society. Scientists, inventors, investors, artists and leaders play a vital role in the advancement and transmission of knowledge. Mathematics, in particular, plays a central role in numerous professions and has historically served as the gatekeeper to numerous other areas of study, particularly the hard sciences, engineering and business. Mathematics is also a major component in standardized tests in the United States, and in university entrance exams in numerous parts of world. Creativity and imagination is often evident when young children begin to develop numeric and spatial concepts, and explore mathematical tasks that capture their interest. Creativity is also an essential ingredient in the work of professional mathematicians. Yet, the bulk of mathematical thinking encouraged in the institutionalized setting of schools is focused on rote learning, memorization, and the mastery of numerous skills to solve specific problems prescribed by the curricula or aimed at standardized testing. Given the lack of research based perspectives on talent development in mathematics education, this monograph is specifically focused on contributions towards the constructs of creativity and giftedness in mathematics. This monograph presents new perspectives for talent development in the mathematics classroom and gives insights into the psychology of creativity and giftedness. The book is aimed at classroom teachers, coordinators of gifted programs, math contest coaches, graduate students and researchers interested in creativity, giftedness, and talent development in mathematics.

Keywords: creativity; giftedness; mathematical giftedness; models of talent development

AMS Subject Classification: 97

Download Technical Report: pdf (247 KB)

Pre-print of Monograph 4 of The Montana Mathematics Enthusiast: Monograph Series in Mathematics Education published by Information Age Publishing, Charlotte, NC.