Heuristic involves or serves as an aid to learning, discovery, or problem-solving by experimental and especially trial-and-error methods. It also relates to exploratory problem-solving techniques that utilize self-educating techniques.

The prefixed self in self- education is actually redundant, like it is in self- discipline. Discipline, like education, is meant to be self-directed and self-monitored. You can no longer discipline someone than you can educate them. But yes, you can bind them in rules and you can school them.

When you take the free will out of education, that turns it into schooling.

~ John Taylor Gatto

The word education comes from the base word Educe which means to draw or bring out; to elicit. It does not mean putting in. To educate is to create an environment that would help bring out what exists within a student and to help develop fully what was latent.

Since human beings are no longer Heuristic, the word has been hijacked by Artificial Intelligence programmers as they struggle to make our wildest sci- fi a reality by creating robots who learn on the go. At least, the scientists have kept the word alive, or we might have forgotten that we are capable of self- learning!

Self-education is, I firmly believe, the only kind of education there is.

~ Isaac Asimov

Education has now turned into an unabashed putting in (even forcefully) instead of a drawing out. It tells instead of letting you buy. Your own intuition is pronounced to be invalid; your inner wisdom reduced to nothing but the impulses of your hormones. You are forbidden to question but compelled to accept. You are pulverized into concrete which may then conveniently be poured into molds of different shapes and frozen for eternity. I hope such is not the treatment meted out to robots. They won’t be as endlessly pliable as humans; they’d simply revolt!

The secret of education lies in respecting the pupil. It is not for you to choose what he shall know, what he shall do. It is chosen and foreordained and he only holds the key to his own secret.

~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

There is an unhealthy enthusiasm about formal education which is alarming. Instead of encouraging Heuristic methods, the emphasis is on straitjacketing the flights of the mind.

I will simply express my strong belief, that that point of self-education which consists in teaching the mind to resist its desires and inclinations, until they are proved to be right, is the most important of all, not only in things of natural philosophy, but in every department of daily life.

~ Michael Faraday

But the truth is, you are a Heuristic being. You learn best under your own steam, impelled by your inner wisdom. You weren’t meant to turn the enchanting wilderness of your mind into a over- manicured, regimented garden, bereft of the delight of unpredictability and the joy of the unexpected. Just as your North Star is a unique, unrepeated (and unrepeatable) destination, so also must be the skills and insights you need to develop in order to reach it. The best part is, you already know what you need to learn.

You only need to get out of your own way.

Thank goodness I was never sent to school; it would have rubbed off some of the originality.

~ Beatrix Potter

30 thoughts on “Heuristic”

  1. And here I was wondering that you’re going to talk about the alogrithms antivirus softwares use to detect malware, and how false positives may be eliminated.

    Oh well

    1. Sorry to have disappointed you Count! 🙁 But to talk of programming wouldn’t have been in keeping with my theme. Moreover, I am no longer a programmer- or a systems trainer.

      1. You once were? I vaguely remember a reference about in in you post about a friend (who was from Africa? )

        If you think about it, much of our rote learning based techniques are virulent and malware for the natural grasping and understanding of kids

  2. I love ralph waldo emerson . Well said. when will people in India understand that only the heuristic approach will lead to holistic education
    Good one again 🙂

  3. I don’t know, Dagny. The thing is, even when one teacher tries to bring out what is there in the child already, and help them understand it, another teacher is there to push inside what is textbook and help them to spit it out exactly as is “wanted”. I speak from my own experience when I say it. Even impulse or originality to get the right answer goes mostly unappreciated. Shame, really!

    1. From your comment I can sense your anguish Leo. As you said, it is a shame. And to a conscientious person, to stand by and watch while mediocrity has a field day, it is pure torture. I hear you. I know what you are talking about.

      Thank you for being the man you are. 🙂

  4. So true, all that information (a lot of it useless) is constantly rammed down our throats. My son constantly asks me what the purpose of all this useless information is. What can I say to him?

    1. To take a leaf out of Sherlock Holmes’ book, I would tell him to forget it all as promptly as he can. If he fills his head with useless info, how will he have room for important stuff? 😀

      Thank you Suzy! 🙂

  5. I couldn’t agree with you more , Dagny. Someone has aptly said that “I was born a genius, but education ruined me”. I have observed this when I am trying to explain a concept to a couple of kids and suddenly they come up with so many questions- very valid & connected to the topic but for which I just could not answer correctly. When I tried explaining, I realized that maybe I am putting my ideas into their heads rather than listening & understanding to what they have to say. I stopped explaining immediately.

    1. Thank God for teachers like you. May your tribe multiply Prathima! Thank you for being the kind of woman you are. 🙂

  6. Whoa! Superb post ma’m. Absolutely loved the last para. And I agree with the self learning part. Also loved the last quote. We are all like assembly package line production!

  7. Sad part is the schools or educators don’t pay heed to this…And why only teachers even parents insist on putting in and not drawing out…But it’s so true who would know better than an individual what needs to be learnt…

    Random Thoughts Naba

    1. Your theme sounds absolutely wonderful. I’ll get to your blog on Sunday for sure. Thanks for continuing to read me. 🙂

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