Here are just a couple of highlights!

Recognizing Mathematics Students as Creative: Mathematical Creativity as Community-Based and Possibility-Expanding

Although much creativity research has suggested that creativity is influenced by cultural and social factors, these have been minimally explored in the context of mathematics and mathematics learning. This problematically limits who is seen as mathematically creative and who can enter the discipline of mathematics. This paper proposes a framework of creativity that is based in what it means to know or do mathematics and accepts that creativity is something that can be nurtured in all students. Prominent mathematical epistemologies held since the beginning of the twentieth century in the Western mathematics tradition have different implications for promoting creativity in the mathematics classroom, with fallibilist and social constructivist perspectives arguably being most conducive for conceiving of creativity as a type of action for all students. Thus, this paper proposes a framework of creative mathematical action that is based in these epistemologies and explains key aspects of the framework by drawing connections between it and research in the field of creativity.

Meghan Riling, "Recognizing Mathematics Students as Creative: Mathematical Creativity as Community-Based and Possibility-Expanding," Journal of Humanistic Mathematics, Volume 10 Issue 2 (July 2020), pages 6-39. DOI: 10.5642/jhummath.202002.04. Available at:


Expanding Mathematical Creativity by Understanding Student Actions

(This is my dissertation!) Although there have been calls for secondary mathematics education in the U.S. to incorporate problem-solving and creativity, the lion’s share of instruction is designed to train students to accurately use procedures or understand concepts made by mathematicians in the past (National Research Council, 1999; Watson, 2008). This disconnect highlights a need to know more about student mathematical creativity. The goal of the study was to examine the nature of student mathematical creativity and identify how it can be influenced by social and aesthetic factors. Therefore, I performed a qualitative analysis of video and audio recordings of student and teacher interactions from eight high school mathematics lessons taught in the Northeast in the United States. To demonstrate the range of creativity of which students are capable, I identified and categorized potentially creative actions. I also developed episodes of creative action, explaining how some created new mathematical possibilities, and others were blocked in doing so. From these episodes, I identified a set of key moments in their development: taking the action, the reception by others, advocacy for the action, and an additional creative action by other members of the student group or class. Finally, from comparing multiple episodes, I found that experiencing mystery or mathematical discomfort motivated students to take actions with creative potential, and that positive relationships and strong group participation contributed to interactive discussions between group members that enabled the actions’ creative potential to be realized. Findings from this process could support educators in giving more students the opportunity to create new ways of doing mathematics.

Riling, M. (2021). Expanding Mathematical Creativity by Understanding Student Actions (Order No. 28494574). Available from ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Global. (2533471641).