Investigation of high school students’ creative problem-solving attributes
Taliha Keleş 1 *
More Detail
1 Halil Inalcık Science and Art Center, Bursa, Turkey
* Corresponding Author


The aim of this survey design study was three-fold. First, to investigate the creative problem-solving attributes of high school students. Second, to examine whether any inter-relationships exist between sub-dimensions of creative problem-solving attributes. Third, to determine whether high school students' creative problem-solving attributes vary by gender, school type, and grade level. To this end, data were collected from a total of 435 high school students through the Creative Problem Solving Attribute Inventory. Correlation results indicated statistically significant correlations between the total creative score and sub-dimension scores. A significant difference in creative problem-solving skills was not found between gender and school type. Grade level was found to affect divergent thinking, convergent thinking, motivation, and general knowledge and skills only at a small level. However, as the grade level increased, the divergent thinking scores increased linearly. The convergent thinking, motivation, environment, general knowledge and skills, and total creative scores dropped in the 10th grade, but increased in the 11th and 12th grades. 



  • Abraham, A. (2016). Gender and creativity: an overview of psychological and neuroscientific literature. Brain Imaging Behavior, 10, 609–618. 10.1007/ s11682-015-9410-8
  • Baer, J., & Kaufman, J. C. (2008). Gender differences in creativity. The Journal of Creative Behavior, 42(2), 75-105.
  • Baer, J., Kaufman, J. C. & Gentile, C. A. (2004). Extension of the consensual assessment technique to nonparallel creative products. Creativity Research Journal, 16(1), 113-117.
  • Baran-Bulut, B., İpek, A. S., & Aygün, B. (2018). Adaptation study of creative problem solving features inventory to Turkish. Abant İzzet Baysal University Journal of Faculty of Education, 18(3), 1360-1377.
  • Berberoğlu, G., & Kalender, İ. (2005). Inverstigation of student achievement across years, shool type and regions: The SSE and PISA analyses. Educational Sciences and Practice, 4(7), 21-35.
  • Biçer, A., Lee, Y., Perihan, C., Capraro, M. M., & Capraro, R. M. (2020). Considering mathematical creative self-efficacy with problem posing as a measure of mathematical creativity. Educational Studies in Mathematics, 105(3), 457–485.
  • Büyüköztürk, Ş. (2012). Sosyal bilimler için veri analizi el kitabı [Guidebook of data analysis for social sciences]. Pegem A.
  • Büyüköztürk, Ş., Çakmak, K. E., Akgün, E. Ö., Karadeniz, Ş., & Demirel, F. (2016). Bilimsel Araştırma Yöntemleri [Scientific Research Methods]. Pegem A.
  • Campbell, J. R., & Uto, Y. (1994). Educated fathers and mothers have differential effects on overseas Japanese boys' and girls' math achievement. International Journal of Educational Research, 21(7), 697-704.
  • Can, A. (2013). SPSS ile bilimsel araştırma sürecinde nicel veri analizi [Quantitative data analysis in the scientific research process with SPSS]. Pegem A.
  • Cercone, K. (2006). Brain-based learning. In E. K. Sorensen & D. O. Murchu (Eds.), Enhancing learning through technology (pp. 292-322). Idea Group.
  • Chamberlin, S. A., & Moon, S. M. (2005). Model-eliciting activities as a tool to develop and identify creatively gifted mathematicians. Journal of Secondary Gifted Education, 17(1), 37–47.
  • Charles, R. E., & Runco, M. A. (2000). Developmental trends in the evaluative and divergent thinking of children. Creativity Research Journal, 13, 417–437.
  • Cho, S. (2003). Creative problem solving in science: Divergent, convergent, or both? In U. Anuruthwong & C. Piboonchol (Eds.), 7th Asia-pacific Conference on Giftedness (pp. 169-174). National Taiwan Normal University.
  • Cohen, L., Manion, L., & Morrison, K. (2007). Research methods in education. Routledge.
  • Çokluk, Ö., Şekercioğlu, G., & Büyüköztürk, Ş. (2016). Sosyal bilimler için çok değişkenli istatistik SPSS ve LISREL uygulamaları [Multivariate statistics applications for social sciences in SPSS and LISREL]. Pegem A.
  • Cook, N. A., Wittig, C. V., & Treffinger, D. J. (2011). The path from potential to productivity: The parent's role in the levels of service approach to talent development. In J. L. Jolly, D. J. Treffinger, T. F. Inman, & J. F. Smutny (Eds.), Parenting gifted children (pp. 243-257). Prufrock Press Inc.
  • Cooper, R. B. & Jayatilaka, B. (2006). Group creativity: The effects of extrinsic, intrinsic, and obligation motivations. Creativity Research Journal, 18, 153–172.
  • Cropley, A. (2006). In Praise of convergent thinking. Creativity Research Journal, 18(3), 391-404.
  • Csikszentmihalyi, M. (1996). Creativity: Flow and the psychology of discovery and invention. Harper Perennial.
  • da Costa, S., Páez, D., Sánchez, F., Garaigordobil, M., & Gondim, S. (2015). Personal factors of creativity: A second order meta-analysis. Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology, 31(3), 165-173.
  • DeMoss, K., Milich, R., & DeMers, S. (1993). Gender, creativity, depression, and attributional style in adolescents with high academic ability. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 21(4), 455–467.
  • Ervynck, G. (2002). Mathematical creativity. In D. Tall (Ed.), Advanced mathematical thinking (pp. 42–53). Springer.
  • Fraenkel, J. R., & Wallen, N. E. (2006). How to design and evaluate research in education. The McGraw-Hill Companies.
  • Gaglione, M. (2021). Nurturing creative problem solving in social sciences in middle school students [Unpublished doctorate dissertation]. St. John's Unıversıty, New York.
  • Gagné, F. (2010). Motivation within the DMGT 2.0 framework. High ability studies, 21(2), 81-99.
  • Guignard, J. H., & Lubart, T. I. (2007). A comparative study of convergent and divergent thinking in intellectually gifted children. Gifted and Talented International, 22(1), 9-15.
  • Guilford, J. P. (1959). Traits of creativity. In H. H. Anderson (Ed.), Creativity and its cultivation, (pp. 142-161). Harper.
  • Gute, G., Gute, D., Nakamura, J., & Csikszentmihalyi, M. (2008). The early lives of highly creative persons: The influence of the complex family. Creativity Research Journal, 20(4), 343-357.
  • He, W. J., & Wong, W.C. (2021). Gender differences in the distribution of creativity scores: Domain-specific patterns in divergent thinking and creative problem solving. Frontiers in Psychology, 12, 1-14.
  • Hennessey, B. A. (2019). Motivation and creativity. In J. C. Kaufman & R. J. Sternberg (Eds.), The Cambridge handbook of creativity (2nd ed.), (pp. 374–395). Cambridge University Press.
  • Hennessey, B. A., & Amabile, T. M. (2010). Creativity. Annual Review of Psychology, 61, 569–598.
  • Hong, E., & Aqui, Y. (2004). Cognitive and motivational characteristics of adolescents gifted in mathematics: Comparisons among students with different types of giftedness. Gifted Child Quarterly, 48(3), 191-201.
  • Hong, E., & Milgram, R. M. (2010). Creative thinking ability: Domain generality and specificity. Creativity Research Journal, 22(3), 272-287.
  • Kahveci, N. G., & Akgül, S. (2019). The relationship between mathematical creativity and intelligence: a study on gifted and general education students. Gifted and Talented International, 34(1-2), 59-70.
  • Kanlı, E. (2019). Yaratıcılık [Creativity]. In E. Kanlı (Ed.), Yaratıcılık ve alan uygulaması [Creativity and field application] (pp. 1-29). Nobel.
  • Karagöz, Y. (2021). SPSS-AMOS-META Uygulamalı Nicel-Nitel-Karma Bilimsel Araştırma Yöntemleri ve Yayın Etiği [Applied Quantitative-Qualitative-Mixed Scientific Research Methods in SPSS-AMOS-META and Publication Ethics]. Nobel.
  • Karasar, N. (2016). Bilimsel irade algı çerçevesi ile bilimsel araştırma yöntemi: Kavramlar, ilkeler, teknikler [Scientific research method with scientific desire perception framework: Concepts, principles, techniques] (31st ed.). Nobel.
  • Kattou, M., Kontoyianni, K., Pitta-Pantazi, D., & Christou, C. (2013). Connecting mathematical creativity to mathematical ability. ZDM Mathematics Education, 45(2), 167-181.
  • Kaufman, J. C., & Baer, J. (2004). Sure, I’m creative-but not in mathematics!: Self–reported creativity in diverse domains. Empirical Studies of the Arts, 22(2) 143-155.
  • Kaufman, J. C., & Beghetto, R. A. (2009). Beyond big and little: The Four C model of creativity. Review of General Psychology, 13(1), 1-12.
  • Kaufman, J. C., & Sternberg, R. J. (2007). Resource review: Creativity. Change The Magazine of Higher Learning, 39(4), 55-60.
  • Kim, H., Cho, S., & Ahn, D. (2003). Development of mathematical creative problem solving ability test for identification of the gifted in math. Gifted Educational International, 18, 164–175.
  • Kwon, O. N., Park, J. S., & Park, J. H. (2006). Cultivating divergent thinking in mathematics through an open-ended approach. Asia Pacific Education Review, 7, 51–61.
  • Leikin, R. (2009). Exploring mathematical creativity using multiple solution tasks. In R. Leikin, A. Berman, & B. Koichu (Eds.), Creativity in mathematics and the education of gifted students (pp. 129–145). Sense.
  • Leikin, R., & Pitta-Pantazi, D. (2013). Creativity and mathematics education: The state of the art. ZDM Mathematics Education, 45(2), 159-166.
  • Liljedahl, P., & Sriraman, B. (2006). Musings on mathematical creativity. For the Learning of Mathematics, 26(1), 17–19.
  • Lin, C. (2010). Analyses of attribute patterns of creative problem solving ability among upper elementary students in Taiwan [Unpublished doctorate dissertation]. St. John's Unıversıty.
  • Lin, C. Y., & Cho, S. (2011). Predicting creative problem-solving in math from a dynamic system model of creative problem solving ability. Creativity Research Journal, 23(3), 255-261.
  • Mann, E. L. (2005). Mathematical creativity and school mathematics: Indicators of mathematical creativity in middle school students [Unpublished doctorate dissertation]. University of Connecticut.
  • Mann, E. L. (2006). Creativity: The Essence of mathematics. Journal for the Education of the Gifted, 30(2), 236-260.
  • Mann, E. L. (2009). The search for mathematical creativity: Identifying creative potential in middle school students. Creativity Research Journal, 21(4), 338-348.
  • MoNE, (2019). PISA 2018 Türkiye ön raporu [PISA 2018 Turkey preliminary report]. Author.
  • MoNE, (2021). 2021 Yılı merkezi sınav puanı ile öğrenci alan liselerin taban/tavan puanları ve yüzdelik dilimleri [Base/ceiling scores and percentiles of high schools admitting students with 2021 central exam scores].
  • NCTM, (2000). Principles and standards for school mathematics. Author.
  • Niu, W. & Zhou, Z. (2017). Creativity in mathematics teaching: A Chinese perspective. In R. A. Beghetto & J. C. Kaufman (Eds.), Nurturing creativity in the classroom (pp. 86–107). Cambridge University Press.
  • Niu, W., Zhou, Z., & Zhou, X. (2017). Understanding the Chinese approach to creative teaching in mathematics classrooms. ZDM Mathematics Education, 49, 1023–1031.
  • Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development [OECD]. (2019). PISA 2021 creative thinking framework. OECD Publishing.
  • Özyaprak, M. (2019). Matematik ve yaratıcılık [Mathematics and creativity]. In E. Kanlı (Ed.), Yaratıcılık ve alan uygulaması [Creativity and field application] (pp.159-211). Nobel.
  • Paf, M., & Dinçer, B. (2021). A Study of the relationship between secondary school students' computational thinking skills and creative problem-solving skills. Turkish Online Journal of Educational Technology-TOJET, 20(4), 1-15.
  • Pitta-Pantazi, D., & Christou, C. (2009). Cognitive styles, dynamic geometry and measurement performance. Educational Studies in Mathematics, 70(1), 5-26.
  • Polya, G. (2014). How to solve it: A new aspect of mathematical method. Princeton University Press.
  • Posamentier, A. S., & Krulik, S. (2008). Problem-solving strategies for efficient and elegant solutions, grades 6-12: A resource for the mathematics teacher. Corwin Press.
  • Prabhu, V., Sutton, C., & Sauser, W. (2008). Creativity and certain personality traits: Understanding the mediating effect of intrinsic motivation. Creativity Research Journal, 20(1), 53–66.
  • Renzulli, J. S. (2005). The three-ring conception of giftedness: a developmental model for promoting creative productivity. In R. J. Sternberg, & J. E. Davidson (Eds.), Conceptions of giftedness (pp. 246-280). Cambridge University Press.
  • Renzulli, J. S., & Reis, S. M. (2014). The schoolwide enrichment model: A how-to guide for talent development. Prufrock.
  • Runco, M. A. (2003). Idea evaluation, divergent thinking and creativity. In M. A. Runco (Ed.), Critical creative processes (pp. 69–94). Hampton.
  • Runco, M. A. (2008). Commentary: Divergent thinking is not synonymous with creativity. Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts, 2(2), 93-96.
  • Runco, M. A., & Acar, S. (2019). Divergent thinking. In J. C. Kaufman & R. J. Sternberg (Eds.), The Cambridge handbook of creativity, (pp. 224–254). Cambridge University Press.
  • Runco, M. A., Dow, G., & Smith, W. R. (2006). Information, experience, divergent thinking: An empirical test. Creativity Research Journal, 18(3), 269-277.
  • Russo, C.F. (2004). A comparative study of creativity and cognitive problem-solving strategies of high-IQ and average students. Gifted Children Quarterly, 48(3), 179-190.
  • Sak, U. (2016). Yaratıcılık gelişimi ve eğitimi [Training and development of creativity]. Vize.
  • Sak, U., & Maker, C. J. (2006). Developmental variation in children's creative mathematical thinking as a function of schooling, age, and knowledge. Creativity Research Journal, 18(3), 279-291.
  • Sheffield, L. J. (2009). Developing mathematical creativity—Questions may be the answer. In R. Leikin, A. Berman, & B. Koichu (Eds.), Creativity in mathematics and the education of gifted students (pp. 87- 100). Sense Publishers.
  • Sokić, K., Qureshi, F. H., & Khawaja, S. (2021). Gender differences in creatiıvity among students in private higher education. European Journal of Education Studies, 8(11). 87-103.
  • Sriraman, B. (2009). The characteristics of mathematical creativity. ZDM Mathematics Education, 41, 13-27.
  • Tabachnick, B. G., & Fidell, L. S. (2013). Using multivariate statistics. Pearson.
  • Taşcılar, M. Z. L. (2021). Özel yetenekli öğrencilerde motivasyon ve çalışma disiplini [Motivation and study discipline in gifted students]. In U. Sak (Ed.), Özel yetenekli öğrencilerin sosyal duygusal ve akademik gelişimi [Social, emotional and academic development of gifted students] (pp. 225-239). Pegem.
  • Taylor, C. L., & Barbot, B. (2021). Gender differences in creativity: Examining the greater male variability hypothesis in different domains and tasks. Personality and Individual Differences, 174, 1-9.
  • Teseo, R. F. (2019). Analyses of attribute patterns of mathematical creative problem-solving ability in 6th grade students [Unpublished doctorate dissertation]. St. John's University, New York.
  • Tordjman, S., Besançon, M., Pennycook, C., & Lubart, T. (2021). Children with high intellectual and creative potential: Perspectives from a developmental psycho-environmental approach. In R. J. Sternberg, & D. Ambrose (Eds.), Conceptions of Giftedness and Talent (pp. 251-279). Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Treffinger, D. J., Isaksen, S. G., & Stead-Dorval, K. B. (2006). Creative problem solving: An introduction. Prufrock.
  • Urban, K. (2003). Toward a componential model of creativity. In D. Ambrose, L. M. Cohen & A. J. Tannenbaum (Eds.), Creative intelligence: Toward theoretic integration (pp. 81–112). Hampton.
  • Walia, P. 2012. Achievement in Relation to Mathematical Creativity of Eighth Grade Students. Indian Stream Research Journal, 2(2), 1–4.
  • World Economic Forum [WEF]. (2020). Schools of the future. Retrieved from
  • Zazkis, R., & Holton, D. (2009). Snapshots of creativity in undergraduate mathematics education. In R. Leikin, A. Berman, & B. Koichu (Eds.), Creativity in mathematics and the education of gifted students (pp. 345– 365). Sense.


This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.