Creativity Reading Response 14: Mathletes

I am not awful at math. I actually was in honors math classes in high school but they weren’t the highest level I could’ve been at. My brother who is a year younger than me was in the same classes at the same time. Actually, all three of my brothers have been better at math than me all of my life, so I have always shied away from fit because it never felt like my place. I found it interesting that Piirto said that “first-borns make up more than half of active scientists” because I am a first born but all of my younger siblings are definitely more science-minded than me (257). I could always edit their papers or do other more creative pursuits.

I guess, technically, math and science can be considered creative. Piirto in Understanding Creativity talks about the process of mathematical insight, saying: “First there is the mental preparation. Second is the incubation. Third is the illumination. Fourth is the verification” (253). This is very similar to how you go through creative processes and creative problem solving. You use arts and math to solve a variety of problems and math formulas are innately creative. How? Because someone had to go about many different processes to figure out what could best work consistently to explain phenomena.

Gender has been tied to arts vs. math since the beginning of time, which I think has entirely to do with how we are socialized. Women are not consistently welcomed into the STEM sphere, which affects how much they want to develop their ability in those areas or not. Piirto says it has to do do with how more women are low in ego-assertiveness and most men are high in it, thus women don’t have “the drive” for math and science. I think that has completely everything to do with the fact that men have always been given more of a voice in the classroom and workplace. Most young girls feel unsure or turned away from STEM by the time they hit middle school because they are pushed to be more artsy and let the boys be good at math. I think the world needs more of the scientific and mathematical creativity that women bring to the table since they view things in different ways than men.

Creativity isn’t really defined by subject matter, so those subject matters shouldn’t try to define who can be creative within them.


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