Inductive/Deductive Thinking

In 07 Observations on 2011/04/11 at 5:49 PM

There are two basic forms of valid reasoning: Inductive and Deductive.  INDUCTIVE reasoning argues from the PARTICULAR to the general. DEDUCTIVE reasoning argues from the GENERAL to a specific instance.

Writers and professors with an INDUCTIVE orientation start with details and gradually build to an understanding of the larger picture.

In a history course you can start with the details of historical events and build up to an analysis of the underlying motivations for those events.  This style is referred as a facts-to-idea style.

Writers and professors with a DEDUCTIVE orientation start with intuitive ideas or a concept and illustrate or prove them with supportive information or facts. This style starts with a big idea, but many persons get lost in the process and bogged down by too many details.

I use both methods in teaching history depending on the situation. I find it is best to use both methods in teaching because each mind functions differently:  some minds lean towards INDUCTIVE reasoning while other minds employ DEDUCTIVE reasoning more naturally.

It is a case of what in Spanish is termed: “Cada loco con su tema” which translates roughly as “Each nut has its theme.”



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