Deductive Method of Teaching

  • Anagha Vallikat
    Anagha Vallikat

The deductive method of teaching involves a teacher-centered approach to presenting new content to students. It begins by providing rules to learners along with examples, which are followed by specific activities, so that they can practice. This method is suitable for slow learners who need a clear base to start and are also more accustomed to the traditional approach. Read on to know more about deductive methodologies of teaching.

Deductive Method of Teaching

This teaching method involves three general initiatives:

i. Activity planning:

In this, teachers determine the concept which needs to be taught to ensure that the point of the lesson is firmly driven home. It will help in covering all the important points without missing any.

ii. Activity execution:

This involves establishing a connection between the concepts that had been taught in the previous class and what will be taught at present. Teachers can ask students questions related to the previous class to gauge their understanding before proceeding further.

iii. Activity evaluation:

It includes asking questions to distinguish between concepts and questions related to individual topics taught so far. This can be in the form of multiple-choice questions for making a distinction or short-answer-type questions to be explained with relevant examples. It will help teachers in evaluating individual efforts of students. Anyone who missed a class can also be identified and special attention can be paid to him/her.  

Example of the deductive method of teaching:

Let us consider a scenario where a new grammar concept is being taught in the class. While teaching it, the instructor first explains the concept and its rules for correct usage. Then different ways are used to let students practice the concept. For example, the teacher writes simple sentences to explain the rules of the past and present tenses. After this, they hand out worksheets wherein students are asked to convert past tense to present tense and vice versa.

Here are some of its drawbacks:

i. Grammar is taught in an isolated way.

ii. Least attention is paid to meaning.

iii. Practicing it is quite mechanical.

When can the deductive method of teaching be useful?

This can be a good teaching practice when:

i. Teaching a difficult concept.

ii. Students are highly motivated.

iii. Students are being prepared for writing exams.

Advantages of the deductive method of teaching:

The benefits of deductive methodologies of teaching are as follows:

i. Students solve problems more quickly and efficiently.

ii. It is easy to cover most of the materials through this method.

iii. Quick learning is encouraged as it is a short and time-saving technique. While teaching mathematics, the solutions to problems require less time because of the pre-established formulae.

iv. It is a more efficient method in the long run.

v. Encourages students to memorize the rules and is beneficial for the 'practice and revision' stage.

vi. The deficiencies of the inductive learning approach aren't present in this learning method.

Drawbacks of the deductive method of teaching:

Here are some disadvantages of this method:

i. It is not fit for improving students' reasoning capabilities.

ii. Sometimes beginners may find it tough to comprehend an abstract formula due to a lack of acquaintance with various concrete instances.

iii. The technique needs students to blindly memorize a lot of formulae, which might make them feel overwhelmed. Because of this, they often tend to forget the formulae. Inability to recollect them during an exam renders all efforts futile.

iv. Eventually, memory is prioritized over understanding and intelligence in this technique, which is educationally unsound.

How is the deductive method of teaching different from the inductive method?

The inductive method mainly involves learning through observation, unlike the deductive learning method which includes observing the discoveries that have been made. There is an information flow from specific to general in inductive teaching but in the case of deductive learning, the flow is in the reverse order (general to specific). The inductive method is more versatile than the deductive method which is more traditional. Students are assigned different tests and experiments related to topics in the case of inductive learning. On this basis, observations are made.

It is the teacher's perspective on which the deductive learning method is based but inductive learning is based on an individual's perspective. For smaller groups, inductive teaching is suitable but for larger groups, deductive learning is better.

Conclusion

Learning is a never ending process and one should always be eager to unlearn, learn and relearn new things with time. This will ensure continuity of the process but during this, it is the responsibility of a teacher to make sure that the content is delivered correctly and in a comprehensible way. Institutions across the world use inductive and deductive learning, which have their advantages and drawbacks. Among the two, the deductive teaching method is the best for short lessons as it takes less time. But students' participation is limited. Whatever may be the method, efficient planning and delivery have to be the main purpose for best results.