THE EFFECT OF BILINGUALISM ON MATHEMATICAL CREATIVITY IN EARLY CHILDHOOD
University of Haifa, Israel
The present study is aimed at examining the possible effect of bilingualism on creativity in mathe-matical problem-solving among very young bilingual and monolingual preschoolers. An additional fac-tor that has been considered in this study is the form of bilingual education. Accordingly, three groups of children (mean age = 45.4 months at the beginning of the study) participated in this study: (a) 13 bilingual children from a bilingual (Hebrew/Russian) kindergarten, (b) 10 bilingual children from a monolingual (Hebrew) kindergarten, and (c) 14 monolingual children (Hebrew) from a monolingual kindergarten. All children performed the Creating Equal Number task on mathematical creativity. The results reveal that both early bilingualism and some forms of bilingual education seem to influence the children’s mathematical creativity. Moreover, differences between bilingual children from the bilingual kindergarten and monolingual children were most prominent (in favour of the bilinguals).
Keywords: bilingualism, bilingual education, mathematical creativity, early childhood.