The Inductive Method of Teaching

  • Anagha Vallikat
    Anagha Vallikat

When teaching anything, it is essential to do so efficiently.

While there are many methodologies of teaching, there are two major teaching strategies that are very popular: inductive method of teaching and deductive method of teaching.

This blog looks at how the inductive teaching method works and what makes it one of the best methodologies of teaching.

What is an Inductive Method of Teaching?

The inductive method of teaching is a student-centric approach based on the idea that students are more likely to learn when they are actively engaged in the learning process.

This approach challenges students to formulate their own beliefs or concepts by examining all the evidence provided and recognizing patterns to arrive at solutions.

Educators often use it to help nurture children's inquisitive nature and foster creativity and group problem-solving.

The inductive method can follow either of the two approaches:

  • Experimental: Where you experiment and explore to form a hypothesis
  • Statistical: Based on numbers

The inductive teaching method is unique because it does not rely on a strict lesson plan or prior knowledge or guidelines, unlike deductive teaching, where teachers give direct instruction on what they want students to learn.

The inductive method of teaching has many advantages and disadvantages.

Some advantages of this teaching method are:

  • Encourages student participation
  • Builds natural curiosity in students
  • Helps in developing a scientific mindset approach
  • Promotes learning by a ‘doing’ approach

Some disadvantages of this teaching method are:

  • Time-consuming
  • It might lead students to develop incorrect rules.


Steps Involved in the Inductive Method of Teaching

Following are the six steps involved in this method:

  1. Provide students with the relevant learning materials. These could be examples, images, keywords, data, etc.
  2. Instruct students to find something familiar in the material provided.
  3. Instruct them to identify patterns.
  4. Instruct students to identify a problem (from various points of view) that needs to be solved.
  5. Instruct students to generate a range of possible solutions to an issue or problem and then choose the best one.
  6. Instruct students to organize steps to complete a task and develop their conclusions to formulate the hypothesis.

What is the Difference between Inductive and Deductive Teaching?

In inductive teaching, the teacher observes his/her students and determines what they require. It is more hands-on and relies on observation.

In deductive teaching, the teacher has a predetermined lesson plan and teaches accordingly.

How Can Inductive Reasoning be Used in the Classroom?

Teachers can use inductive reasoning to help students learn and understand concepts better.

Teachers can allow students to share their thought processes while trying to answer and solve their concerns.

They are encouraged to participate in open discussions. But the teacher is required to be prepared for questions.

With the inductive method of teaching, students are free to form their hypotheses about what they are learning and how to learn it. This thinking starts with specific observations or facts and then works to find a generalized conclusion that explains the facts. It is one type of reasoning that builds conclusions from observation.

The inductive method can be used in any subject where factual or conceptual knowledge is gained.

Inductive Teaching vs Deductive Teaching

The inductive method assumes that general statements are generated from specific observations while the deductive method assumes that particular statements are generated from general observations.

The inductive method of teaching is often used with children because it allows them to discover the material on their own. It is also used in more informal settings, such as seminars or workshops.
Inductive teaching is based on an experiment-like approach to understanding the topic at hand while deductive teaching is typically more of a lecture.

How Does the Inductive Method Help a Teacher?

The inductive method of teaching allows a teacher to use open-ended questions and activities to guide students towards their understanding.
The teacher creates an environment where students can take risks to learn.
The role of the teacher is to create a productive learning environment. This is done by developing a curriculum in accordance with a macro teaching lesson plan, selecting appropriate materials, and introducing new material in a sequential order.
The teacher should provide opportunities to children to explore concepts, ask questions, and take risks.
There should be no attempt by the teacher to control or direct the process, as it could hinder the whole strategy.

Which Is Better?

When creating a lesson plan before a session begins, teachers have to decide how personalized a learning experience can be. They have to gauge the depth of understanding students require for a subject. And they also have to figure out if there is enough time available for them to practice the inductive teaching method, since it is a time-consuming activity.
Nevertheless, there is no best approach here. Each one has its pros and cons.

It depends on the teacher teaching the subject. The best scenario, in this case, is to use the inductive approach as well as the deductive approach to teach students different ways of thinking and understanding.
A person can make the transition from inductive reasoning to deductive reasoning and vice versa, and can use both at the same time.
Inductive reasoning is more often used in hypothesis generation, and deduction is often used in testing hypotheses.

Conclusion

The inductive method of teaching is pedagogical and challenges learners to construct their knowledge through their interactions with the material.

It considers a student a participant in the construction of knowledge. It focuses on their interaction with materials instead of just the information presented by the instructor, which is the case with the deductive method of teaching.

The main reason why inductive teaching is so effective is that it has a student-centric approach.