Friday, May 20, 2011

Module 7: Heuristic Method


           The word ‘Heuristic’ has been derived from the Greek word ‘Heurisco’ which means ‘I find’ or ‘I discover’ . This method implies that the attitude of students shall be that of the discoveries and not of passive recipients of knowledge. Armstrong originally introduced this method for learning of science. This method emphasis experimentation as the teacher becomes on looker and the child tries to move a head independently without any help. This method makes the student self-reliant and independent. But the teacher should develop the heuristic attitude by making a lot of preparation. The question should be so planned that it may be possible for the students to find the solution independently by proceeding in the proper direction.

          According to H.E.Armstrong, “This is the method of teaching which places the pupils as far as possible in the attitude of a discoverer.”
          According to westaway, “the heuristic method is intended to provide training in method. Knowledge is a secondary consideration altogether.

Example 1:
          The population of a city is 50,000. The rate of growth in population is 4% p.a. what will be the population after 2 years?

Teacher         :        what we have to find out in the given question
Student         :        population after two years.
Teacher         :        how can we find it?
Student         :        first we find the population after 1 year.
Teacher         :        what is the growth of every year?
Student         :        rate of growth is 4% p.a.
Teacher         :        what will be the population in the end of first year?

Student         :        population after 1 year = 50000 + 50000x 4/100
                                                          = 50000 + 2000 = 52000
Teacher         :        what will be the base population for second year?
Student         :        the base population of second year is 52000.
Teacher         :        how can we find the growth?
Student         :        the growth of second year = 52000 x 4 /100 = 2080
Teacher         :        what will population after two years?
Student         :        population after two years = 52000 + 2080 = 54080

Example 2:
Prove that a0 = 1
Teacher         :        what is 10/5?
Student         :        2
Teacher         :        what is 5/5?
Student         :        1
Teacher         :        what is 7/7?
Student         :        1
Teacher         :        what is a/a ?
Student         :        1                          
Teacher         :        what is am/am ?
Student         :        1.                                 Equation I
Teacher         :        how do you get the result?
Student         :        if we divide a number by itself , we will get 1.
Teacher         :        how can you write am X 1/am  ?

Student         :        am-m = a0                   Equation II
Teacher         :        what do you infer?
Student         :        a0    = 1

Ø  This is a psychological method as the student learns by self-practice.
Ø  It creates clear understanding
Ø  It is a meaningful learning
Ø  The student learns by doing so there is a little scope of forgetting
Ø  It develops self-confidence, self-discipline in the students
Ø  The students acquire command of the subject. He has clear understand and notions of the subject.
Ø  It gives the student a sense of confidence and achievement.
Ø  The methods make them exact and bring them closer to truth.
Ø  It inculcates in the student the interest for the subject and also develops willingness in them.

Ø  It is not suitable for lower classes as they are not independent thinkers. Discovery of a thing needs hard work, patience, concentration, reasoning and thinking powers and creative abilities.
Ø  It is very slow method. That is time consuming method.
Ø  It is lengthy.
Ø  The students have to spend a lot of time to find out minor results.
Ø  The teacher may find it difficult to finish the syllabus in time.
Ø  It does not suit larger classes.
Ø  It suits only hard working and original thinking teachers.
Ø  A method is successful if well-equipped libraries, laboratories and good textbook written in heuristic lines but such facilities are lacking in our school.

          Heuristic method is not quite suitable for primary classes. However, this method can be given a trail in high and higher secondary classes.


  1. Very nice info. I usualy use this word only in web development. Like this: