Deductive Teaching or Inductive Teaching; Which is Better ?

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   There are innumerable ways to instruct a child in school. Two of them are deductive and inductive. Deductive is the process of supplying the generalization, or explanation, and supplying specific information to support it. The learner’s role is one of passive acceptance. Much of the content taught in school is presented this way. Another term for this type of teaching is the expository method of teaching. 

   Pros to Deductive Teaching: The inductive process of teaching is a procedure of confronting a specific event, problem, or issue; acquiring and describing a body of information relating to the event, problem, or issue; analyzing casual relationships; and stating explanations that are logically supported by the data. This is the same as the inquiry method of teaching, where the children must be actively involved in learning by showing some initiative to search for an answer. Pupil achievement is measured either by the amount of information that can be recalled, or how effectively information gathering skills can be used. This is much easier to grade then the inductive process of teaching. It is easier for the students because the learner is not required to exercise the same degree of self direction as would be expected in the inductive process. The deductive method is easier to make for tests for, and considerably easier to grade than if you had a paper full of ones own opinions and conclusions of something. Finally the teacher is in charge of the classroom, the students, and the lesson, where in the inductive process the class in somewhat in charge and the teacher is there to guide them along. 

   Cons to Deductive Teaching: This type of instruction is just the transmission of information The teacher does all the talking, which most of the time is too much, and the students sit like robots absorbing everything that is shoved at them. Too much stress is placed on the unimaginative use of textbooks. There is too much rigidity, emphasis on factual learning, memorization, and too much misuse of lecture methods. The teacher is the boss and does not have to be a flexible, warm and friendly teacher, concerned for higher level thought processes. This method does not motivate learners to search out data to test hypotheses that they have proposed. You the student do what the teachers says and that's it. Deductive teaching does not concern itself with the social values of the learning experience. Its main purpose is purely and simply getting across to the learner what is specified by the curriculum requirements. The child is not expected to go beyond the tasks outlined by the teacher, unless the teacher gives extra credit for it.

Defense: Deductive teaching if, well done, can be an effective teaching strategy for any grades as long as the teachers does not talk too much, or over explain a concept. There is little use for this knowledge if the student cannot see why it should be learned. Teach the child the facts and then have him see why these facts are important by using them in everyday life situations, and the student will remember more of that lesson than if that lesson just involved digesting facts and figures.

Application: To apply this is easier said then to write it down in examples. One way that teachers can facilitate this type of learning is giving the students the facts, going over it with them, testing them on it, and when they have mastered it, then give these problems, or put them in situations where they must use what they just learned to that situation. For example teach them about money, and when they mastered most of the concepts, have them run their own little store using real or play money. This will give them the chance to practice what they learned to do in their books. Concepts learned such as adding, subtracting, and giving change can be tested and put to good use. Another way is to again give them the facts, and then ask questions from an experiment they did. An example of this would be in Science. Give them the facts about the sun, and growing plants, and the terminology used. Then do an experiment with plants of different shades of greed, and some with no green. Cover some of them up with foil, and leave some out in the hot sun. Ask them questions on the possible end results to these plants, and based on what they learned before, why. Then compare their answers to what really happens. There is no one correct way of teaching but a little of both is surely much better than sticking to just one method. 

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Fred Fernsler has 1 articles online

A teacher of 21 years with a BA in Elementary Education and Special Education as well as a Masters in Administration and Supervision. Living on Guam for the past 30 years but grew up in Chambersburg Pa. 

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Deductive Teaching or Inductive Teaching; Which is Better ?

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This article was published on 2012/11/23