Abstract / Synopsis

This paper investigates creativity in students’ constructions of everyday examples about basis in Linear Algebra. We analyze semi-structured interview data with 18 students from the U.S. and Germany with diverse academic and social backgrounds. Our analysis of creativity in students’ everyday examples is organized into two parts. First, we analyze the range of students’ creative products by investigating the mathematical variability in the more commonly mentioned examples. Second, we unpack some of the collective processes in the construction of students’ examples. We examine how creativity was distributed through the interactions among the student, the interviewers, and other artifacts and ideas. Thus, in addition to contributing to the process vs. product discussion of creativity, our work also adds to the few existing studies that focus on collective mathematical creativity. The paper closes with connections to anti-deficit perspectives in mathematics education and some recommendations for individual and collective creativity in the classroom.