Deduction and Induction Essay
The Induction-Deduction Opposition: Ambiguities and Complexities of the Didactic Reality Wilfried Decoo
Published in IRAL: International Review of Applied Linguistics, vol. 34, n° 2 (May 1996), 95-118. ("didactic" = pertaining to teaching and learning in a school context) Abstract An analysis of some of the scientific literature reveals that the terms "induction" and "deduction" often point to various concepts. A number of modalities need to be discerned, especially in the realm of "induction". Experimental comparisons of different methodological approaches may also neglect, to some extent, the complexities of what is really taking place in the classroom setting. The purpose of this article is not to take sides in the methodological …show more content…
induction and deduction in a more theoretical educational framework. An overview of some of the literature on the subject will then allow us to see how these modalities fit in the views of a number of authors. In the second part we will move into the didactic reality of the teacher and the learner, to identify some of the ambiguities of the theoretical framework and to draw possible didactic conclusions.
1. Induction and deduction in a more theoretical educational framework
1.1. The traditional dichotomy
Deduction is understood as the process that goes from the general to the specific, from consciously formulated rules to the application in language use. It evokes the image of the grammar-based methods and of cognitive approaches. In contemporary terminology it is easily identified with learning. Induction is the process that goes from the specific to the general, namely first the real language use, from which will "emerge" patterns and generalizations. It evokes natural language learning and a variety of direct methods. In contemporary terminology it