Yesterday, the CMEG-5 conference started. The 5th International Conference on Creativity in Mathematics and the Education of Gifted Students is held in Israel, and it closes on Thursday. One of the interesting plenary lectures is held by Gerald Goldin of Rutgers University, USA. The title of his presentation is “The Affective Dimension of Mathematical Inventiveness”, and here is the abstract with references:

The affective domain includes emotional feelings, attitudes, beliefs, and values, as well as many complex psychological and social constructs in which these occur.

Recent research points to the fundamental importance of affect in mathematical learning and problem solving. Some aspects of the structure of mathematics, as a disciplined way of generating knowledge and as a traditional school subject, can raise high affective barriers to students’ curiosity and inventiveness.

In this talk I shall first highlight some theoretical ideas important in current research, including: affect as an internal, interactive representational system; affective pathways; meta-affect; mathematical intimacy, integrity, and personal identity; and archetypal affective structures. I shall then discuss how we can develop affective processes and structures – in our students and in ourselves – that foster mathematical ability and mathematical creativity.

References:

DeBellis, V. A. & Goldin, G. A. (2006). Affect and meta-affect in mathematical problem solving: A representational perspective. Educational Studies in Mathematics, 63 (2), 131-147.

Epstein, Y., Schorr, R. Y., Goldin, G. A., Warner, L., Arias, C., Sanchez, L., Dunn, M., & Cain, T. R. (in press). Studying the affective/social dimension of an inner-city mathematics class. Proceedings of the 29th Annual Conference of PME-NA (Lake Tahoe, Nevada, November 2007).

Goldin, G. A. (2000). Affective pathways and representation in mathematical problem solving. Mathematical Thinking and Learning, 2, 209-219.

Goldin, G. A. (2002). Affect, meta-affect, and mathematical belief structures. InLeder, G., Pehkonen, E., & Törner, G. (Eds.), Beliefs: A Hidden Variable in Mathematics Education? Dordrecht: Kluwer (pp. 59-72).

P.S. Goldin’s article can be read in its entirety in the conference proceedings, which is freely available as a downloadable PDF!