Promoting Creativity in General Education Mathematics Courses

Mika Munakata, Ashwin Vaidya, Ceire Monahan, Erin Krupa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

This paper describes the development and implementation of course modules intended to encourage creative thinking in an undergraduate general education mathematics course. The modules were designed to address the characteristics of creativity outlined in the literature through explorations of mathematics relevant to non-mathematics majors. A general description of the modules, as well as specifics about two lessons is provided. Student work, including journal entries, surveys, and class assignments, provide evidence that this intentional focus on creativity in mathematics challenged students’ conceptions about mathematics, allowed them to reconsider the mathematics familiar to them in new ways, and engaged them in meaningful collaborations. Interviews of instructors revealed that they, too, engaged in creative processes as they planned the course and thought about innovative ways to engage students with mathematics. The course modules have been shared with other faculty teaching the course and will eventually be adapted for use in other mathematics courses, including those for STEM majors. Implications and future avenues for implementation and research are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
JournalPRIMUS
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 1 Jan 2019

Keywords

  • course modules
  • Creativity
  • general education mathematics

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