Functional Fixedness is a cognitive bias that limits a person to using an object only in the way it is traditionally used. An example is using a fork. We all learn that a fork is used for eating. Have you ever used a fork for anything else not related to eating? Functional fixedness is using a fork for only eating purposes.
Encourging students to break from functional fixedness is a way to get them to become more creative and learn to think outside the box. In school they are asked to be creative, but they've also been learning that everything has a specific use or way of being done. Future innovators need to learn to break free of this in order to solve the problems of tomorrow.
Do you like video games? A great game for learning to break functional fixedness is called "Limbo", by Playdead.
"Science is a way of thinking much more than it is a body of knowledge" - Carl Sagan
Hi, my name is Michelle Walters, and I teach science at Altimira Middle School in Sonoma, California. This is where I will be posting interesting things we do in class this year, as well as other interesting science information.
"Science is fun. Science is curiosity. We all have natural curiosity. Science is a process of investigating. It's posing questions and coming up with a method. It's delving in." - Sally Ride