[This word, especially the first three definitions, nicely encapsulates my approach to teaching.]

heu*ris*tic adj

  1. serving to indicate or point out; stimulating interest as a means of furthering investigation.
  2. encouraging a person to learn, discover, understand, or solve problems on his or her own, as by experimenting, evaluating possible answers or solutions, or by trial and error: a heuristic teaching method.
  3. of, pertaining to, or based on experimentation, evaluation, or trial and error methods.
  4. Computers, Math. Pertaining to a trial-and-error method of problem solving method used when an algorithmic method is impractical. –
  5. a heuristic method of argument.
  6. the study of heuristic procedure….

 Flexner, Stuart Berg, and Lenore Crary Hauck, eds. Random House Unabridged Dictionary. New York: Random House, 1993.

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