patch adams

Patch Adams (1998)

Concept featured in clip: Nature of science-thinking outside box
Location of clip:


Play Flickclip Here

Summary of clip: This clip involves Robin Williams talking to a patient in a mental institution. This particular patient always asks the other patients how many fingers he is holding up. Everyone always replies four and he gets mad because he thinks they are wrong. The patient tells Patch, "See what no one else sees, see what everyone chooses not to see, focus on the problem and you cannot see the solution, look beyond the fingers." Afterward Patch looks through the fingers and is able to see eight fingers.

Connection of flickclip to the concept: One of the most important parts of science is the ability to think outside the box in order to arrive at solutions. In this case, Patch is able to look at a problem in a different way and arrives at a totally different solution. This clip is perfect for the beginning of the school year to show students that there are many ways to look for the answers and that they should be as creative as possible. People looking at things from unique perspectives has resulted in many advancements in science.
Suggestions to teachers:
1. Suggested questions for students when viewing the clip:

a. Why was it so difficult for people to see anything other than four fingers? Was the four-finger answer more correct than the eight-finger answer?

b. What would happen if people looked at problems from the same perspective all of the time? What are some interesting things that have been developed because people looked at an old idea in new ways?

c. Why is thinking "outside the box" so important in a science classroom?

2. To incorporate thinking outside the box throughout the entire year, brain busters and other activities can be incorporated. These will reinforce students creative thinking at all times (E.g. A man in a suit lies unconscious among the rocks. Who is he? What happened? Answer: Superman)

3. Throughout the year, students should be encouraged to come up with new and fresh ideas while doing the labs, investigations and activities. Who knows maybe thinking outside the box by your students will lead to some new and important discovery!