Divergent Thinking and Convergent Thinking: Are They Promoted in Mathematics Textbooks?

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  • Erhan Bingölbali




Divergent thinking, Convergent thinking, Mathematics textbook analysis, Creativity, Open-ended tasks


This study explores whether mathematics tasks in primary school mathematics textbooks provide opportunities for divergent and convergent thinking. Four mathematics textbooks (one from each of first to fourth grades) are examined for this purpose. A task is divided into three segments for the analysis and the segments are named as the beginning, the intermediary, and the end. These segments are analysed in terms of the numbers of entry points, solution methods, and correct outcomes respectively. The modes of the segments enable us to identify six different tasks. Tasks that definitively have an open-ending (multiple correct outcomes) are considered to have divergent thinking features and those which have only one correct outcome are deemed to have convergent thinking characteristics. The study reveals that the textbooks provide opportunities for both divergent and convergent thinking, yet more chances are particularly given for convergent thinking. The findings are discussed in relation to divergent and convergent thinking alongside creativity and some implications are provided for textbooks studies.

Author Biographies

Erhan Bingölbali

Corresponding Author: Erhan Bingölbali, erhanbingolbali@yahoo.co.uk





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How to Cite

Bingölbali, E., & BİNGÖLBALİ, F. (2022). Divergent Thinking and Convergent Thinking: Are They Promoted in Mathematics Textbooks?. International Journal of Contemporary Educational Research, 7(1), 240–252. https://doi.org/10.33200/ijcer.689555