Mathematical creativity in generally gifted and mathematically excelling adolescents: What makes the difference?

Roza Leikin, Miriam Lev

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Due to uncertainty regarding the relationship between mathematical creativity, mathematical expertise and general giftedness, we have conducted a large-scale study that explores the relationship between mathematical creativity and mathematical ability. We distinguish between relative and absolute creativity in order to address personal creativity as a characteristic that can be developed in schoolchildren. This paper presents part of a study that focuses on the power of multiple solution tasks (MSTs) as a tool for the evaluation of relative creativity. We discuss relationships between mathematical creativity, mathematical ability and general giftedness as reflected in the present empirical study of senior high school students in Israel which implemented the MST tool. The study demonstrates that between-group differences are task dependent and are a function of mathematical insight as it is integrated in the mathematical task. Thus, we conclude that different types of MSTs can be used for different research purposes, which we discuss at the end of this paper.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)183-197
Number of pages15
JournalZDM - International Journal on Mathematics Education
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2013

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Acknowledgments This project was made possible through the support of a grant from the John Templeton Foundation. The opinions expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the John Templeton Foundation. We are thankful to the Israeli Ministry of Education and the University of Haifa for their generous financial support to this project.


  • General giftedness
  • High level of mathematical instruction
  • Mathematical creativity
  • Multiple solution tasks (MST)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • General Mathematics


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