Thursday, May 03, 2007

I heard a statistic this evening that gives cause for reflection. Less that 3 percent of college graduates are subsequently employed in their chosen field of study. Can that be true? I know that even if that number is an exaggeration, the numbers would still be alarming. But in an economy as fluid as ours, new occupations are created each day, calling for sets of combined skills unimagined at the time of the job applicant's birth. In the meantime, we educate our students based on the experience from the last generation.

I learned a new word this week:


1. Of or relating to a usually speculative formulation serving as a guide in the investigation or solution of a problem: “The historian discovers the past by the judicious use of such a heuristic device as the ‘ideal type’” (Karl J. Weintraub).
2. Of or constituting an educational method in which learning takes place through discoveries that result from investigations made by the student.
3. Computer Science. Relating to or using a problem-solving technique in which the most appropriate solution of several found by alternative methods is selected at successive stages of a program for use in the next step of the program.


1. A heuristic method or process.
2. heuristics (used with a sing. verb) The study and application of heuristic methods and processes.

[From Greek heuriskein, to find.]

Heuristic education isn't efficient. It involves trial, error, discovery and exploration of the unknown. It most commonly involves the hands, and is at the core of the great debate mentioned in the earlier post.

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