Inductive instruction is the teaching practice of allowing students to “notice” relationships and modeling in the learning processes. “Noticing” helps keep the topic or concept in the students short or long term memory better than traditional teacher driven instructional methods, or deductive instruction. Inductive instruction is student focused and allows students to learn on an individual basis. In a lesson that involves inductive instruction, the teacher teaches about a topic or concept by providing students with examples that show how the concept is used. The teacher explains the concept or skill and how it should be used.
There are several ways in which students can learn to “notice.” Teachers can model the skill in regular dialog. This practice is especially useful in the language classroom where students can hear the way their teacher models correct grammar skills. Teachers can also provide students with a print rich environment, which would allow students to “notice” posters and displays in the classroom.
Some lessons do not always lend themselves to inductive instruction. Some can include both inductive and deductive aspects. Inductive instruction promotes active participation of the learners. Students who learn inductively tend to have a higher rate of understanding and memory over those taught with deductive instruction. As with anything there are downfalls. One possible negative is that inductive instruction does take more time than teacher focused deductive instruction. This might be a concern for teachers who have to deal with increasing curricular demands.