To encourage the holistic development of students, it is important to recognize their interests. It further contributes towards providing them with high-quality learning experiences. Giving them the opportunity to explore areas of interest, such as the environment, will increase their likelihood of engaging with the process of learning. It is critical not to make the assumption that just because a student shines in a particular subject, sport, or creative endeavor, that is their true passion. Letting the students time and opportunities allows them to discover their interests and discover what they actually enjoy doing so that they can develop the knowledge and skills required to succeed in the areas in which they are passionate. The heuristic method of teaching is an excellent example of an experience-based technique that promotes problem-solving, learning, and discovery. The word Heuristic is derived from the Greek language that means "to find" or "to discover." Professor Henry Edward Armstrong of Imperial College in London was a staunch supporter of the Heuristic method of teaching.
According to Prof. Armstrong, "The soul of the learning of science is exploration. The students should explore the facts and principles themselves". Which indicates that the students primarily learn through exploring. The task of the educator is that of a guide who corrects errors at the appropriate time. Children learn new things as they work on experiments. Students work as explorers in this method. At first, they are unaware of the experiment. To obtain the necessary information and principles, he must conduct several experiments. He must conduct research on the subject.
Steps Involved in Heuristic Method
- Determination of the problem
The student is set free to discover the facts for themselves using experiments, apparatus, or books. Naturally, the activity method will be used, and the actual method will be systematic. The fact is invented or discovered by the child. Rather than putting ready material in front of them, the teaching method focuses on the process of brain development.
- Formation of a plan
There are multiple techniques to deal with problems. This section is related to determining the best procedure for the current problem. The method of working backward can help with this; people accept to have an answer and use it as a starting point to pursue the issue.
- Execution of plan
After deciding on a system, the plan can be quickly implemented. In any case, it is critical to concentrate on the timetable and show control, because the arrangement will not simply appear.
- Evaluation and Adaptation
Students are directed to properly observe facts, systematize knowledge learned, and arrive at generalizations through their own attempts. Things that are working well should be kept up, while those that are causing problems should be changed.
The role of teachers is as follows:-
- The teacher assists in recognizing the problem that the students will investigate.
- The teacher encourages the students to share their ideas, test them, and challenge them.
- The teacher never offers any suggestions or solutions to the students.
- The teacher maintains a compassionate, polite, and respectful demeanor and is open to all points of view and ideas.
- The teacher only supports and guides the student if he or she requests it, but always supervises the learners' work without interfering.
Principles of Heuristic Method of Teaching
- The Principle of Activity
The method relies on the activity principle or acquiring knowledge by doing. Self-activity is a component of the method. This will assist the student in discovering things on their own.
- The Principle of Laws of Learning
Problems should be assigned based on the learners' age and capabilities. This is a reference to the Law of Readiness. The method emphasizes activity on the part of the educator, which refers to the Law of Exercise. When students are led to derive facts for themselves as a consequence of their own activity, they are forced to work in accordance with the Law of Cause and Effect.
- The Principle of Logical Thinking
The method employs both deductive and inductive logical thinking procedures. In this manner, the student is led to learn the fundamentals through a variety of examples, experiments, and so on.
- The Principle of Purposeful Experience
The method's essence is one of purposeful, self-experience. The students gain an understanding of what they are doing. They learn to think critically.
Advantages of Heuristic Method of Teaching
Some of the noteworthy advantages of this method are as follows:
- Students are able to develop a scientific attitude through experimentation.
- Through self-activity, students learn to be self-sufficient, self-reliant, and self-confident.
- Students are better prepared for life as a result of the method.
- Hard work and integrity are encouraged as habits.
- Students' introspection and awakening grow.
- There is no need for homework because the entire task is done in the class itself.
- The acquired knowledge is more stable and long-lasting as the facts are learned by the students themselves.
In the heuristic method, the teacher serves as both a guide and a collaborator. This teacher, as a friend of the students, should continue on the path of fact-finding. They are to ensure that the atmosphere in the classroom is one of freedom and that the work assigned to the children promotes self-development, spontaneity, and self-expression.
This technique proves useful not only in the teaching of scientific subjects such as Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, and Nature Study but in all subjects across the syllabus. A close examination of this method reveals that it is, in fact, this heuristic attitude that should characterize all subject teaching. It is in contrast to orthodox teaching methods in which students are passive recipients of knowledge and don't have much input. This can be applied to both inductive and deductive lessons, and thus the heuristic method of teaching is problem-solving.