Teachers' views on creativity in mathematics education: An international survey

Roza Leikin, Rena Subotnik, Demetra Pitta-Pantazi, Florence Mihaela Singer, Ildiko Pelczer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The survey described in this paper was developed in order to gain an understanding of culturally-based aspects of creativity associated with secondary school mathematics across six participating countries. All participating countries acknowledge the importance of creativity in mathematics, yet the data show that they take very different approaches to teaching creatively and enhancing students' creativity. Approximately 1,100 teachers from six countries (Cyprus, India, Israel, Latvia, Mexico, and Romania) participated in a 100-item questionnaire addressing teachers' conceptions about: (1) Who is a creative student in mathematics, (2) Who is a creative mathematics teacher, (3) In what way is creativity in mathematics related to culture, and (4) Who is a creative person. We present responses to each conception focusing on differences between teachers from different countries. We also analyze relationships among teachers' conceptions of creativity and their experience, and educational level. Based on factor analysis of the collected data we discuss relevant relationships among different components of teachers' conceptions of creativity as they emerge in countries with different cultures.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)309-324
Number of pages16
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 #13219 from the John Templeton Foundation. The opinions expressed in this publication are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the John Templeton Foundation. We would like to thank Dr. Raisa Guberman (Israel), Dr. Hana Lev-Zamir (Israel), Prof. Agnis Anjans (Latvia), Dr. Guadalupe Vadillo (Mexico), and Prof. Azhar Hussain (India) for their participation in the validation of the research tool used in this study and the data collection.


  • Culturally related characteristics
  • International perspective
  • Students' creativity
  • Teachers' creativity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • General Mathematics


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