In the inductive process, students seek patterns and use them to identify their broader meanings and significance. In the deductive process, meanings or rules are given, and students have to then apply them.
I’m a huge fan of using inductive learning, and plenty of research (which you’ll find in the resources on this list) document its effectiveness.
I’ve written many posts about it, and thought it would be useful to bring together a few of my best ones, along with resources developed by others, that explain the inductive process and how to apply it in mainstream and English Language Learner classrooms (feel free to make suggestions of ones I’ve missed):
The British Council has shared a short post that Paul Kaye wrote six years ago that does a great job explaining the difference between inductive and deductive, and he provides a number of practical examples from the language-learning classroom. Check out his article, Presenting New Language.
Here are two British Council posts where I wrote about it:
I’ve written several posts at The New York Times explaining the concept:
Get Organized Around Assets is an article I wrote for ASCD Educational Leadership. It includes a section on teaching inductively.
How to Teach an Inductive Learning Lesson is by Jennifer Gonzalez.
Picture Word Inductive Model with High school Newcomers by Wendi Pillars is an exceptional step-by-step description of how to use one of my favorite ELL teaching strategies.
How to Help Our Learners Discover English is from Gallery Languages.
Inductive and deductive grammar teaching: what is it, and does it work? is from the English Language Teaching Global Blog.
Thinking Inductively: Students focus on A Close Reading of poet Seamus Heaney’s “Blackberry Picking” http://t.co/IKXMu8zssZ
— ReadWriteThink.org (@RWTnow) July 6, 2015
How To Teach With The Concept Attainment Model is from Teach Thought.
Pattern learning key to children’s language development is the headline of a report on a new study. It just reinforces the value of inductive teaching with ELLs.
Here’s good background on the Concept Attainment Model.
More good info on concept attainment.
Why I Love This Strategy to Introduce Concepts is from Middleweb.
This page from Sacramento State University is a good resource on concept attainment.
Guided Discovery in Teaching Essay Writing is from Clare’s ELT Compendium.
I’ve previously posted about the Smithsonian Learning Labs (see Smithsonian Learning Labs Now Lets You Create Free Virtual Classrooms & Assignments). They just shared a great blog post talking about how teachers can create neat online categorization activities for students, and included two different examples.
This is your brain detecting patterns is from Science Daily.
A little labeling goes a long way is from Science Daily. It’s related to labeling and categorizing.
— Larry Ferlazzo (@Larryferlazzo) April 5, 2020
Learning through ‘guided’ play can be as effective as adult-led instruction up to at least age eight is from Science Daily. It sounds like their definition of “play” is inductive teaching and learning.
Sort, Rank, & Justify: The powerhouse instructional strategy you can use for ANY topic https://t.co/3b5zx0EP01
— Amber Teamann (@8Amber8) April 26, 2023
Teaching Math Through Discovery is from Edutopia.
Are Inductive Teaching Methods Compatible with Cognitive Load Theory? is an important new study. It’s behind a paywall, but there are ways around that (see The Best Tools For Academic Research).