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József Kontra: Creativity and the summative evaluation of mathematical achievement

Results from research aiming to identify factors related, and to determine the contribution of creativity to mathematical grades is reported. With its focus on correct answers rather than on strategies, this assessment procedure may provide invalid information about the ability to perceive relationships, apply knowledge in a variety of contexts and solve problems. The author argues that a focus on creative thinking is rather revealing in the investigation of problem-directed thinking and mathematical problem solving. The research reported involved 2,345 students in 31 schools and yielded results consistent with other studies. It was found that primary school children with good grades tended to score highest in certain aspects of creativity. However, creative thinking appeared to be only weekly related to grades secondary school students receive. This paradox may be resolved by examining the ways creativity contributes to achievement. Two considerations are offered for such efforts at interpretation. First, moving beyond general concepts requires a policy for matching assessment strategies with current realities. Such a base is often missing in actual teaching practice. Second, it might be worth considering the notion that international differences in mathematical performance can be traced back to differences in kinds of exposure to mathematics.

MAGYAR PEDAGÓGIA 100. Number 3. 249-273. (2000)

Levelezési cím / Address for correspondence: Kontra József, H-7400 Kaposvár, Ezredév u. 10.


Magyar Tudományos Akadémia