Applying the inductive teaching model in teaching

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I think that the main goal of "models of teaching" is not only a cognitive goal, but also to let students learn how to learn. This should be the basic goal of education. Joyce, Calhoon , & Hopkins,( 2009 )have argued that the central focus of elementary/secondary education should be devoted to helping the students build their capacity to learn, essentially, learning how to learn. It should be put in consideration that the secondary students are more mature and can learn more and more complex models and refine and consolidate ones they have explored while younger.

The basic benefit of placing learning to learn at the centre of education will enhance, rather than reduce, the learning of content, skills, and processes in the core curriculum areas. We can consider the best curriculums are those which can be devoted to learning how to learn. We can consider the best schools are those which can make learning to learn central. The core mission of the student is to increase his/her learning capacity. The basic goal is reached when the student's ability to learn and confidence to do so are well developed. (Joyce et al.,2009)

Effective teaching models:

There are a variety of teaching models that a teacher can apply; however, we must consider some important factors when we choose the appropriate model, e.g. individual pupils' achievement; raising standards; the variety of experience that every classroom presents; changes to curriculum models and subject specifications ; the community in which school is situated; and about the aims and values of the education system. Reviewing and refining the teaching process is necessary for teachers to be able to meet the demands of the changing classroom. The teacher should know about how the content is defined for the range of pupils that he teaches and about the common misconceptions that are a feature of his subject and how to deal with them, e.g. by using appropriate models and analogies. The combination of knowledge, decisions and action should provide an impetus for effective teaching in the classroom. Effective teachers promote effective learning in a culture of high expectations. Pupils achieve more when lessons are well structured and sequenced, when teachers make objectives clear and where pupils know what they are supposed to be learning. Effective teachers interact with pupils through targeted prompting and feedback and review learning and pupil progress regularly. They see the development of themselves as teachers as a continuous process. Some teaching models not only help to develop pupils' understanding of the subject-matter being taught, but can also, if approached in the right way, provide pupils with a tool they can use to support their own learning - both now and later in life. Inductive teaching, for example, requires pupils to sort, classify information and generate hypotheses and/or rules. The process of thinking inductively can be a powerful tool for solving problems, as can deductive reasoning. Teaching in these ways can provide pupils with skills and techniques they can use later in life. This will only happen, however, if the teacher not only teaches the lesson, but also makes explicit what they are doing through the use of metacognitive processes and by involving the pupils in 'thinking through' the lesson.

Teacher and teaching models:

As a teacher you make decisions all the time about how you will apply your different knowledges in order that pupils might learn effectively. You will identify appropriate learning outcomes and plan how best to ensure that these outcomes are to be met in the lessons you teach. This will involve selecting and preparing resource materials to enable all pupils to progress in their knowledge, skills and understanding. The knowledge that you have about your subject, the curriculum and the decisions that you make will inform how you teach and how you organise the classroom to focus on pupils' learning. Your knowledge about the pupils and their rates of progress will change your view of the teaching process for each class that you take: you will mend your 'teacher actions' to foster appropriate learning opportunities. You may have found that you are applying a variety of pedagogic approaches dependent upon the subject content and upon the pupils you are teaching. Skilful teachers create effective learning situations and promote powerful learning. The impact of the teacher and the approaches to teaching that are selected cannot be overstated.

Inductive teaching:

Inductive teaching is a model in which pupils learn how to organise and categorise data: the subject knowledge, skills and understanding they are learning. They also learn how to test and use those categories in challenging their level of understanding. In this model thinking skills are highly developed. It encourages pupils of all abilities to process the information according to pupils' logical order. This teaching model is very effective in helping pupils to learn how to build knowledge. It is also helpful in teaching pupils the constructivism of information. Inductive teaching is intended to help pupils to master large amounts of information. The inductive model requires pupils to sort classify and re-sort data to begin to make hypotheses that can be tested in future work. It is used when teachers want to explore the concepts that support subject knowledge, and want pupils to recognise the ways in which their knowledge is constructed.

According to Joyce and Weil, Hilda Taba utilized three main assumptions in developing her teaching model(joyce& weil, 2000,p.131).

Thinking can be taught. 2. Thinking is an active transaction between the individual and data. 3. Processes of thought evolve by a sequence that is "lawful".

According to ( Joyce & Weil, 1980 ) they stated that Taba,H identifies three inductive thinking tasks and then develops three teaching strategies to induce these tasks. Each task represents a stage in the inductive thinking process as Taba describes it. The first is concept formation(the basic teaching strategy),the second is interpretation of data, and the third is the application of principles.

Concept formation: this stage involves (1) identifying and enumerating the data that are relevant to a problem, (2) groping those items according to some basis of similarity, and (3) developing categories and labels for the groups. To engage students in each of these activities, Taba invented teaching moves in the form of questions. These eliciting questions are matched to particular types of activity. For example the question, "what did you see?" might induce the student to enumerate a list. The question, "what belongs together?" is likely to cause people to group those things that have been listed . the question , "what would we call these groups?" would be likely to induce people to develop labels or categories.

Interpretation of data: Taba's second teaching strategy (interpretation of data) is built around the mental operations she refers to as interpreting, inferring, and generalizing. Identifying points requires the student to differentiate among characteristics of particular data. Explaining items that have been identified requires students to relate points to each other and determine cause-and-effect relationships among data. Making inferences is the generation of implications that lie beyond the cause-and-effect relationships. As in the case of the concept-formation strategy, the interpretation of data strategy is propelled by the teacher's eliciting questions.

Application of principles the third cognitive task around which Taba builds a teaching strategy is that of applying principles to explain new phenomena (predicting consequences from conditions that have been established). This strategy follows the first two; so a unit or course would lead the students from concept-formation activities to activities requiring interpretation of data, and then to activities requiring application of principles. At each stage students would be required to expand their capacity to handle information, first developing new concepts, then developing new ways of applying established principles in new situations.

How can inductive teaching model be applied in teaching English as a foreign language in non-speaking-English countries like Egypt?

I think it is quite possible to apply inductive model in teaching English as a foreign language in the English language curriculum in Egypt. It is suitable for lessons which contain categorised lists. However, in such area the inductive model is expected to cause students to collect information and examine it closely, to organise it into concepts and to learn to manipulate those concepts. If this strategy is used regularly, it will increase students 'abilities to form concepts efficiently and will increase the range of perspectives from which they can view information.

Lets choose a lesson like prefixes and suffixes, as it is taught in the first year secondary in the English curriculum in Egypt, and see how can inductive teaching model be applied in teaching such a lesson. So I will list this lesson's episodes as follow:

Learning objectives:

Students should be able to use prefixes properly to form words that are different in meaning.

Students should be able to use suffixes properly to change words into different parts of speech.

Students should be able to categorize given words in lists according to their parts of speech based on specific suffixes.

Students should be able to categorize given words in lists according to specific prefixes.

Activities and procedures:

I can prepare a deck of cards with one word on each card. I select words with particular prefixes and suffixes. I put in words that have the same root words but different prefixes and suffixes. Thus , this deck of cards will be used as a database.

Then students can be divided into small groups of six or seven. I give several cards to each group. I keep the remainder, counting on gradually increasing the amount of information students get. I encourage each student read a word on one of the cards and describe something about the word; Use the word in a sentence to illustrate the meaning. Other students can add to the description. In this way the structural properties of the word are brought to the students' attention.

After the students have familiarized themselves with the assortment of words, i ask them to put the words into groups. The students begin studying their cards again, passing them back and forth as they sort out the commonalities.

With prompting and carefully worded instruction, students can gradually sort the words according to the prefixes and suffixes

When the students finish sorting the words, I ask them to talk about each group, telling what the cards have in common. With help and prompting, students can discover on their own all the major prefixes and suffixes and reflect on their meaning.


Learning to process information inductively has a vital place in teaching students how to learn better. As (Joice.B, et al.,2009) stated " As Taba said , so many years ago, babies are born with the capacity to classify and they begin to use it right way. Within a few months we can see their learning in two ways: one is in the development of categories about their immediate environment and the second is in language development."

If students in a group regularly engage in inductive activity, the group can be taught to use a wider range of sources of data. The students can learn to examine data from many sides and to scrutinize all aspects of objects and events. Also if a classroom of students works in groups to form concepts and data and then the groups share the categories they develop, they will stimulate each other to look at the information from different perspectives.