Creative mathematics teaching in the eye of the beholder: Focusing on teachers' conceptions

Hana Lev-Zamir, Roza Leikin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We consider developing mathematical creativity in each student to be one of the purposes of school mathematics education. We believe that creative teachers are essential to achieving this goal. A creative teacher advances students' motivation, encourages knowledge construction, and promotes creativity. This article presents part of a larger exploratory study that analyses teachers' conceptions of creativity in teaching mathematics and proposes a model for both describing and analyzing teachers' conception of creativity in teaching mathematics. From general literature on human creativity we accept fluency, flexibility, originality, and elaboration as main components of the model. Using the grounded theory approach we suggest a system of subcategories. We provide several illustrative examples from teachers' discourse about creativity in teaching and from a mathematics lesson that one of the teachers considers to be creative. The aim of these examples is to demonstrate the manner in which the model was designed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)17-32
Number of pages16
JournalResearch in Mathematics Education
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2011


  • Creativity
  • Mathematics teaching
  • Teacher conceptions

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • General Mathematics


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