Strategy creativity and outcome creativity when solving open tasks: focusing on problem posing through investigations

Roza Leikin, Haim Elgrably

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


One of the well-known approaches to creativity differentiates between creative person, process, product, and press. In the study presented in this paper we focus on creative process and product associated with Problem Posing through Investigation (PPI) by experts in mathematical problem solving. We link the creative process to creativity of PPI strategies and the creative product to PPI outcomes (i.e., strategy creativity and outcome creativity). Furthermore, we draw a connection between the openness of tasks and their power for the evaluation of strategy creativity and outcome creativity, demonstrate the aptness of PPI tasks for the evaluation of both types of creativity, and examine the connections between them. The model for the evaluation of creativity that we used in this study, was initially designed and validated using analysis of problem-solving strategies when solving multiple solution tasks. We previously extended the model to evaluation of PPI outcomes, and we here demonstrate its implementation to evaluation of creativity of PPI strategies. To examine connections between creativity of PPI strategies and creativity of PPI outcomes, we focused on PPI by eight experts in mathematical problem solving who were members or candidates of the Israeli IMO team. We present empirical evidence for the distinctions between strategy creativity and outcome creativity, and for the connections between them. We analyzed strategy creativity as a unique characteristic of problem-solving experts. We found that higher strategy creativity does not necessarily lead to higher outcome creativity, and that a high level of strategy originality correlates with outcome flexibility. We conclude that creative product and creative process are two distinct characteristics of cognitive processing linked to creativity-directed problem solving.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)35-49
Number of pages15
JournalZDM - International Journal on Mathematics Education
Issue number1
StatePublished - Apr 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021, FIZ Karlsruhe.


  • Geometry proof problems
  • Mathematical Creativity
  • Mathematics expertise
  • Outcome creativity
  • Problem posing through investigations
  • Strategic creativity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • General Mathematics


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