“heuristic: A rule of thumb or procedure that works to provide a satisfactory if not optimal solution to a problem; a technique of discovery, invention, and problem solving through experimental or trial-and-error techniques. Some examples of heuristics include throwing out parts of a problem and solving the simplified version; breaking a problem into parts and solving each one separately; and means-end analysis–defining the current situation, describing the end state, and then taking steps to reduce the differences between them.”
Excerpted from: Ravitch, Diane. EdSpeak: A Glossary of Education Terms, Phrases, Buzzwords, and Jargon. Alexandria, VA: ASCD, 2007.