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Merits and Demerits of Heuristic Method


                      For Bruner (1960), they are methods and strategies that can help in problem-solving.

  • Schoenfeld (1985) heuristic has now become nearly synonymous with mathematical problem-solving.

Heuristic Method Definition

A heuristic method is an approach to finding a solution to a problem that originates from the ancient Greek word ‘eurisko,’ meaning to ‘find,’ ‘search’ or ‘discover.’ It is about using a practical method that doesn’t necessarily need to be perfect.

Merits of Heuristic Method

The merits of the heuristic method are:

  • It helps achieve cognitive, effective, and psychomotor objectives, i.e., it helps in the child’s overall development.
  • Students are put into the situation to learn by self-experience. It indeed develops self-confidence and self-reliance in the learners.
  • It helps in developing a scientific attitude and creativity in the learners.
  • The teacher encourages the learners to explore the environment in search of the solution to the problems. By doing so, some new knowledge is discovered by them.
  • The teacher is always ready to provide individual guidance regarding the solution to the Problem. Thus the interaction between the teacher and the learner takes place in a cooperative, conducive environment.

Merits and Demerits of Heuristic Method

Example 1:

Show that (-2/5 + 4/9) + (-3/4) = -2/5 + (4/9 + (-3/4))

  • Step 1: Identifying and Defining the Problem

The child should understand that there are two sides: Left Hand and the other is Right Hand. The values in brackets should be solved first. Students should understand the formulas of plus and minus signs.

  • Step 2: Analyzing the Problem

After going through the Problem and defining that which of pain is it, the student should analyze its type of situation, formula, logic, and how it should be solved.

  • Step 3: Formulating and Tentative Hypothesis

After defining the type of Problem and analyzing how it should be solved, he will be able to hypothesize that he should first solve the L.H.S by opening the brackets. He first solves the values inside the brackets according to math’s rule.

  • Step 4: Testing Hypothesis

After going through the given data, the child would be able to calculate the answer by proving that both sides are equal.

  • Step 5: Verifying of the Result

After solving the whole Problem and verifying the hypothesis, the student should be able to conclude that:

  • L: H:S = R: H:S
  • His interest will develop, and he would apply the same technique to the other given problems.

Demerits of Heuristic Method

  1. Since it needs to be applied after critical thinking and excellent teaching methodology, it cannot be taught at the primary level.
  2. At Higher School Level, this methodology is applicable. But some of the students are below average and more likely cannot understand this. Thus, this method is frustrating to them.
  3. Most of the students lack confidence and cannot ask directly to the teacher. However, it becomes difficult to seek guidance for this method then, so they cannot understand it and fail.
  4. It requires highly qualified experts to be taught.
  5. It is a long-term method; thus, it is challenging to cover the syllabus in time.
  6. For a beginner student of primary level, this methodology is not suitable; thus, it fails to satisfy the teaching-learning process.

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