Fostering Creativity and Curiosity through Technological Problem-Solving

Call for Papers

LUMAT invites researchers, practitioners, and educators to contribute to the upcoming special issue on Fostering Creativity and Curiosity through Technological Problem-Solving.


Technological problem solving can refer to solving problems with technology as well as to solving technological problems. Both processes require technological literacy – “the ability to use, understand and make decisions about technology” – and engineering literacy – “the ability to solve problems and accomplish goals by applying engineering design process” (Sneider & Purzer 2014, 8). Dakers (2023) suggests that technology education poses students with two kinds of problems: problems of embodied applied problem-solving and problems of virtual creative problem-solving, with the former being much more common than the latter. In embodied applied problem-solving someone has typically already solved the problem and the students are expected to learn to do the same following certain rules and procedures. Through the problem-solving process students typically learn declarative and procedural knowledge (know-that and know-how). In virtual creative problem-solving, the problem needs first to be invented or discovered in order to be solved. This invention can lead to genuinely new problems with no model solutions or pre-defined problem-solving procedures and hence also leads to the learning of know-why type of knowledge. 

Curiosity, the desire to know, can relate to any type of knowledge: know-that, know-how and know-why. Technological problem-solving can elicit curiosity in myriad ways and directions. In general, curiosity is fuel for learning and wisely used technological problem-solving can motivate students to learn not only about the technologies at hand but also about the natural or social phenomena the problem relates to. Creativity, on the other hand, is best fostered by the use of open problems with sufficient freedom for students to define the problem and go about solving it.  

This special issue welcomes both theoretical and empirical contributions on the ways technological problem-solving can be used to foster creativity and/or curiosity. We hope to see manuscripts related to many different subjects or disciplines at all levels of education.  

Topics to be addressed can include – but are not limited to: 

  • Exploring how technological problem-solving can be used to elicit creativity and/or curiosity in specific subjects or themes. 
  • Investigating how the technological problem-solving process can be guided to allow sufficient freedom and variety to foster creativity. 
  • Discuss how technological problem-solving processes should be assessed to support the achievement of curiosity and/or creativity-related learning goals. 

Deadlines and special issue timetable:

  • Submission deadline (full paper): November 30, 2024 
  • After the deadline we will implement a continuous publication model after peer review and acceptance. 

We welcome both empirical as well as theoretical manuscripts in English, Finnish and Swedish

Acceptance criteria for the manuscripts are that they:

  • Are research-based and have not been previously published.
  • Contain the following subsections:
    • Context/relevance of the study: Why the research was conducted.
    • Aim/research questions: What guided the research.
    • Theoretical framework/conceptual rationale/pragmatic grounding: How the current research is connected to the earlier studies.
    • Research methods and research design: How the research was conducted (both empirical and theoretical manuscripts are welcome).
    • Results (in theoretical manuscripts, the discussion on how the manuscript contributes to the earlier research can be combined with the discussion section and Result section might be omitted.
    • Discussion/Conclusions/Implications: How the research questions were answered, how the research results contribute to the field.
    • References in APA 7 style: Use the template on the journal website.
  • Follow the academic research guidelines for ethical and professional academic publishing, such as: publishing original work, accurate and detailed findings and methodology, including those writers as authors that have contributed to the work significantly; including all the permissions to publish previously published content from the copyright holders; adhering to (personal) data protection legislation (confidential information, identifying individuals, etc.)
  • Are clearly written - English clarity and correct grammar are expected. If necessary, the authors are asked to proofread, and copy edit the manuscripts prior to the submission.

General paper submission guidelines can be found here.

Guest editors

PhD Johanna Naukkarinen, LUT University, Finland
PhD Sonja Niiranen, Tampere University, Finland


Sneider, C. & Purzer. S (2014). The rising profile of STEM literacy through national standards and assessments. In: S. Purzer, J. Strobel & M.E. Cardella (eds.) Engineering in pre-college settings: synthesizing research, policy, and practices. Purdue University Press. West Lafayette, Indiana. pp. 3–19.  

Dakers, J. R. (2024). What is technology education? LUMAT: International Journal on Math, Science and Technology Education, 11(4).