Heuristic (/hjʉˈrɪstɨk/; or heuristics; Greek: “find” or “discover”)
Refers to experience-based techniques for problem solving, learning, and discovery.
My whole life, I’ve had to learn the hard way. Figuring out what I wanted to do with my life was no different. I majored in English. I did promotions for a baseball team for a year. I worked as a cashier in a department store. I was broke and moved back home. I decided I needed to go back to school. I was going to teach high school English.
Forgetting that I myself hated English in high school, I persisted. Talk about books all day–sweet. Summers off–awesome. I’ll be the teacher that everyone comes to–cool. I completed all my coursework and it was now time for the classroom. It was during the first hour that I asked myself, “what are you thinking?” A question, mind you, that everyone who knew me kept asking when I explained to them my life plan.
That afternoon, after running around campus looking for other options, I ran into my future adviser’s office and simply said, “tell me about this instructional design thing.” Within five minutes, I knew it was for me. Not wanting to appear too eager, I thanked him for his time and told him I’d continue to think about it. I ran to straight to the administration office and promptly changed my major.
I haven’t looked back since.
It’s those experiences that last with us forever. I believe the only way to help people learn and grow is to provide meaningful experiences that they will remember.