If you have ever taken any teaching training courses, then it’s very likely that you have been taught about different teaching methodologies. Fundamentally, there are two distinct approaches to teaching: deductive and inductive. Each approach has its advantages and disadvantages, but the main difference lies in the teacher’s role. Deductive instruction is where the teacher introduces concepts and then expects students to perform tasks to apply the concepts. This approach is teacher- centric. Inductive instruction is, however, more student-centric. It uses a strategy called “noticing” and introduces concepts to students and makes them do different exercises that require applying the concepts. Let’s take a closer look at the two approaches to understand them better.
Basics of online teaching courses: What is a deductive method of teaching?
As discussed above, deductive instruction is more teacher-centric. This is where the teacher introduces a new concept to students, explains it, and then encourages them to use the concept and practice it. When teaching a new grammar concept to students, the teacher will first introduce it and then explain the rules. Finally, the students will be able to practice using the concept in many different ways.
According to certain academicians, the deductive method is often attacked because it teaches concepts in an isolated way, and the practice is often mechanical. However, this method can be viable in certain situations, such as when dealing with motivated students, teaching a challenging concept, or preparing students for exams.
Basics of teaching training courses: What is inductive teaching?
Inductive instruction uses “noticing” to help students understand concepts. Instead of explaining the concept and following it with examples, the teacher gives examples that show how the concept can be used. The teacher’s main intention is to help students “notice” through examples of how exactly a concept works. Let’s say a teacher has to explain a grammar concept to the students, with a deductive approach, the teacher would first present students with examples for the concept. It is expected that the students will see how the concept has been used in the examples, and then they will be able to determine the grammar rule. The teacher can ask students to describe the rule at the end of the activity to make sure they have understood the concept.
Some more details about inductive and deductive methods of teaching.
The inductive teaching process or method goes from specific to general. It may be based upon experimental learning exercises or certain experiments. Whereas the deductive teaching process moves from the general concept to the specific application or use.
These methods are widely used in reasoning, i.e., these methods can be used to solve problems and logic.
To reason is to draw inferences relevant to a situation. Inferences can either be deductive or inductive. Ram, for example, is either in the shop or the museum. If he is not in the shop, he must be in the museum. This is called deductive reasoning.
Here is an example of inductive reasoning “Lily always leaves for work at 8:00 a.m. Lily is always on-time. Lily, therefore, assumes that if she leaves for work today at 8:00 a.m., she will be on time.”
The most important difference between deductive and inductive reasoning is that in the former, the truth of the conclusion is guaranteed by the truth of the conditions or premises. In the latter, however, the truth of the conclusion is supported by the truth of the premises, but it doesn’t give absolute assurance. That means, inductive arguments offer support to their conclusions only to a certain degree. The conditions or premises do not guarantee that the conclusion is the truth.
Inductive reasoning is used in science to collect data and develop tentative models to predict future behaviour until any anomaly in the data necessitates the model’s revision.
Logic and Mathematics are common areas where deductive reasoning is used. This is because elaborate structures of irrefutable theories are created from a limited set of axioms or rules. But there are instances where the inductive method too can be used for desired results.
These methods also find extensive use in areas such as logic and problem-solving. The most critical task of logic involves establishing a system for deducing logical
consequences from a set of sentences. You need first to identify or characterise each set of sentences to be able to deduce their logical consequences. It is essential to review the methods for drawing conclusions from a set of sentences. This will ensure that only the logical consequences deduced are deducible from that set.
The field of logic was dominated from the beginning by arguments. In these arguments, certain statements (called premises) are made to support another statement, the conclusion. Arguments that are designed to support a conclusion with conclusive evidence are called deductive. The argument is inductive if the premises only support the conclusion to a lesser extent.
Another area in which deductive and inductive processes are possible is problem-solving.
Inductive thinking involves analysing a series of specific pieces of information in order for one to construct more inclusive or general concepts from them. After aspirin came out, some people who took aspirin reported relief from headaches. Induction was used to develop a wider notion of “aspirin may help in relieving headaches in all people”.
“Deduction” involves reasoning from general propositions, or hypotheses, to more specific instances. Once the general hypothesis of the effectiveness and safety of aspirin had been established, doctors started to apply it in specific cases. It was concluded that aspirin might be useful for managing pains not just in the head but also in other parts of the body.
People who take online teaching courses don’t just learn to use deduction and induction, but also a combination of the two depending on the need. Talking about the effectiveness of the methodologies, each one has its own upsides and downsides. In fact, there is no single methodology that works across situations. The best method is usually the one that suits the subject matter on hand.