Inductive teaching is a powerful strategy for engaging all learners in a structured lesson. The process is described here, and main questions that you will need to consider are raised as prompts through which a model lesson can be developed.
The students do the learning, however we teach. We design the environment to make it likely that the students will learn. Weorganise the kids, assemble learning resources, and provide tasks. We teach the students to work in that organization, use those resources (including ourselves), and respond to those tasks. We draw on various models of teaching to help us design those environments, to help us decide how to organize the students, how to arrange materials, and what kinds of tasks to provide and in what order. Always wehave objectives in mind: the kinds of learning that we hope will happen.
Objectives of the Inductive Model
The inductive model is designed to accomplish some very broad purposes, but can be focused specifically as well. Some of the broader objectives occur over fairly long periods of time through many experiences with inductive processes: others can be accomplished quite quickly and efficiently.Thinking inductively
Every inductive experience should help students learn to work inductively collecting and organizing information, forming categories and hypotheses, developing skills, and using the knowledge and skills appropriately. Through these experiences, they learn how to construct and use information while consciously improving their skills in doing so. Thus, the model givesstudents a powerful tool for learning, one they can use from the time they enter school and which will serve them throughout their lives. As we teach, we want them to get better and better at learning by thinking. Essentially, we want to help them increase their intelligence.
Most inductive activity is the product of an individual mind. We think about data and formcategories within our own heads. However, our minds do not exist in a soda vacuum! The learning environment needs to operate so that the students learn to build and test ideas with others, helping one another and testing their minds against the ideas of others. Thus, we want to build a learning community in the classroom where individuals learn to share the products of their inquiries and where groups andthe whole class plan studies together.
Using the ideas in learning resource centres, books and electronic media connect the learner to all manner of sources for information and ideas. Students need to learn to mine those sources for information and to use their contents to test ideas and to find ideas to test.
Building conceptual control over areas of study
The inductive process asksstudents to form concepts by organizing, grouping, and regrouping information so that areas of study become clear and hypotheses and skills can be developed and tested.
Acquiring and retaining information and skills. Induction is built on collecting and organizing information and building conceptual structures that provide for long-term retention of information. The process of organizing data,building hypotheses, and converting information into skills is designed to increase the likelihood that what is learned “stays learned.”
The Flow of the Model
The concept we refer to as syntax depicts the structure of a model of teaching: its major elements or phases and how they are put together (Figure 21). Some models, such as concept attainment, have relatively fixed structures within which someof the elements or phases need to follow each other for maximum effectiveness. Other models have a rolling or wavelike structure where phases are recycled.
The inductive model has a rolling structure that follows the following procedure:
• Identify the domain
• Establish the focus and boundaries of the initial inquiry
• Clarify the long-term objectives.