Developmental variation in children's creative mathematical thinking as a function of schooling, age, and knowledge

Sak U., Maker C. J.

CREATIVITY RESEARCH JOURNAL, vol.18, no.3, pp.279-291, 2006 (SSCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 18 Issue: 3
  • Publication Date: 2006
  • Doi Number: 10.1207/s15326934crj1803_5
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.279-291
  • Anadolu University Affiliated: Yes


Prior researchers reported that children's creativity development displays a nonlinear trajectory. This article investigated the association of age, years of schooling, and domain-specific knowledge in the development of children's creativity in mathematics. DISCOVER math assessment was used to measure mathematical knowledge; originality, flexibility, and elaboration (OFE); and fluency as indexes of students' creativity. Participants included 841 first- to fifth-grade students from 4 schools. Hierarchical regression analysis indicated that domain knowledge was progressively associated with fluency and OFE from lower to upper grades, whereas age was so associated only in lower grades. Multivariate analysis of variance showed that years of schooling significantly contributed to students' creativity even after domain knowledge was partialed out. Students displayed peaks and slumps as a function of age and domain knowledge, but not as a function of grade. Knowledge at the level of 2 SDs above the mean was found to he. the threshold for creativity at the level of 1 SD above the mean.