Heuristic Method of Teaching Science:
Experts are of the view that Heuristic has been derived from a Greek word Heuriskin, which implies to discover. The method known as Heuristic method was discovered on the idea that by placing a student in the position of a discoverer, he would learn much more than being merely told about things.
The credit of discovering this method goes to the Professor Armstrong, who was of the view that information of scientific facts and concepts cannot be imparted properly through lectures or through written matters in the form of text books. He was of the opinion that students should be given opportunity to gather scientific information on their own.
It was on the basis of his this ideas that he discovered the method of Heuristic. This method of teaching aims at primarily to develop scientific outlook among the students, which is considered to be one of the main objective of science teaching by majority of experts.
Through this method, students are made active independent enquirers and they are indulge in various activities through which important scientific information can be gathered. Thus they become active participators instead of passive recipient of the knowledge with the help of this method.
Under this method, it is believed that every science lesson should be presented in the form of an enquiry in front of students. The main feature of scientific work is that it springs from a desire to know from our own knowledge some definite thing concerning which curiosity has come to an end.
In this method, a problem is being put in front of the students by the teacher and he ask them to solve it on their own. For this, they are provided with essential facilities and equipments by teacher. Not only this, teacher also provides them with proper guidance and instructions as how to solve it.
Students are permitted to have discussion with each other, after which they can take steps to solve the problem. Assistance and guidance in reasonable manner is being provided by the teachers to students in order to solve out the problems effectively and properly. Thus, it can be said that main objective of this method is to provide training in method to the students. Less consideration is being paid to the knowledge. This is a formal method of teaching rather than informal.
When Heuristic method is being used by the teacher, then each student is provided a sheet of instructions and they are required to perform the experimental works which are related to the problem provided to them. By following the instructions provided in the written form, students perform the experiment.
Teacher keeps on guiding the students for conducting the experiment properly from time to time. Whatever students do, they keep note of them in their note books. After making experiment, they also derive conclusion from experiments and suggest the methods by which problem can be sort out.
When to Use:
Thus from the above discussion it is clear that this method should be used only when the number of students getting education in the class is less and the teacher is highly qualified and able to keep control over the actions or activities performed by various students at a time. Not only this, there should be proper provision of various equipments and apparatuses in the school, as without them, it is not possible for the students to play active role in learning process.
Thus various teaching methods which are generally used by science teachers have been mentioned in this chapter, but it is very important to choose the most appropriate kind of method. It is important to remember that the choice of a method depends on the objectives of education and the conditions under which learning is to take place.
Objectives of learning have been explained in brief in this chapter and teacher has to analyse himself the condition prevalent in the classroom. It is only after analysing these facts that he should choose teaching method, otherwise, he will not be able to achieve set objectives successfully.