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- Matrix Methods and Approaches to language teaching
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Students have different intellectual capacities and learning styles that favour or hinder

knowledge accumulation. As a result, teachers are interested in ways to effectively cause

students to understand better and learn. Teachers want to bring about better understanding of the

material he/she wants to communicate. It is the responsibility of the educational institutions

and teachers to seek more effective ways of teaching in order to meet individual’s and society’s

expectations from education. Improving teaching methods may help an institution meet its goal

of achieving improved learning outcomes.

Teaching methods can either be inductive or deductive or some combination of the two.

The inductive teaching method or process goes from the specific to the general and may be based

on specific experiments

or experimental learning exercises. Deductive teaching method progresses from general concept

to the specific use or application.

These methods are used particularly in reasoning i.e. logic and problem solving.

For example, “Ram must be in either the museum or in the cafeteria.” He is not in the cafeteria;

therefore he is must be in the museum. This is deductive reasoning.

As an example of inductive reasoning, we have, “Previous accidents of this sort were caused by

instrument failure, and therefore, this accident was caused by instrument failure.

The most significant difference between these forms of reasoning is that in the deductive case the

truth of the premises (conditions) guarantees the truth of the conclusion, whereas in the inductive

case, the truth of the premises lends support to the conclusion without giving absolute assurance.

Inductive arguments intend to support their conclusions only to some degree; the premises do not

necessitate the conclusion.

Inductive reasoning is common in science, where data is collected and tentative models are

developed to describe and predict future behaviour, until the appearance of the anomalous data

forces the model to be revised.

irrefutable theorems are built up from a small set of basic axioms and rules. However examples

exist where teaching by inductive method bears fruit.

1) MATHEMATICS:

A) Ask students to draw a few sets of parallel lines with two lines in each set. Let them

construct and measure the corresponding and alternate angles in each case. They will find them

equal in all cases. This conclusion in a good number of cases will enable them to generalise that

“corresponding angles are equal; alternate angles are equal.” This is a case where equality of

corresponding and alternate angles in a certain sets of parallel lines (specific) helps us to

generalise the conclusion. Thus this is an example of inductive method.

B) Ask students to construct a few triangles. Let them measure and sum up the interior angles

in each case. The sum will be same (= 180°) in each case. Thus they can conclude that “the sum

of the interior angles of a triangle = 180°). This is a case where equality of sum of interior angles

of a triangle (=180°) in certain number of triangles leads us to generalise the conclusion. Thus

this is an example of inductive method.

C) Let the mathematical statement be, S (n): 1 + 2 + ……+ n =. It can be proved that if the

result holds for n = 1, and it is assumed to be true for n = k, then it is true for n = k +1 and thus

for all natural numbers n. Here, the given result is true for a specific value of n = 1 and we prove

it to be true for a general value of n which leads to the generalization of the conclusion. Thus it is

an example of inductive method.

2) LANGUAGES:

A) Development of a story from a given outline is an example of inductive method because the

student may develop any story from the given outline (specific) based on his/her imagination.

B) Writing a letter to his father describing a particular event of his life, is an example of

inductive method because, the event and the language (use of words) differs from student to

student (general) while the format of the letter is always specific as it always starts with

“Respected Father”, then is the body of the letter and finally the closure is done by “your

(loving) son/daughter” followed by name.

C) Writing an essay on “the book I like most”, is an example of inductive method because

while the format of essay i.e., introduction followed by body and finally, the conclusion, always

remains the same (specific) but the book and the reasons for liking it and the words used differ

from individual to individual (general).

3) CHEMISTRY:

Elements in the periodic table are divided into several groups which have similar properties and

electronic configurations etc. Thus if the properties of individual elements in a group like

chemical reactivity, melting point, boiling point, ionization energy etc. are known the properties

of the elements of the entire group can be predicted with very few exceptions. Thus it proceeds

from specific to general and so is an example of inductive method.

4) PHYSICS:

By noting the amount of work done in lifting a body from the ground to a height h, we can derive

the relation between the potential energy of the body (P.E.) with the height attained by it from

the ground, which is P.E. = m g h, where, g = 9.8 m/sec2, the acceleration due to gravity acting

vertically downwards. The height being specific, it proceeds from specific to general and so is an

example of inductive method.

5) BIOLOGY:

prominent characteristics, such as Lemna (Duckweed), Eichhornia (water hyacinth) hydrilla,

Opuntia, Accacia, Calotropis (AK); for understanding the ecological adaptations of plants into

three groups on the basis of plant water relationships as Aquatic (Hydrophytes), Terrestrial

(Xerophytes, Mesophytes) and Halophytes. As it proceeds from particular to general, therefore it

is an example of inductive method.

b) The children are explained the consequences of depletion of resources like coal, petroleum

and then let them reason the need for conservation of resources and methods for it. As it

proceeds from particular to general, therefore it is an example of inductive method.

6) ECONOMICS:

By studying the factors affecting inflation which are specific, like the supply and demand of

goods in an economy etc, we can predict as to whether the rate of inflation will rise or fall during

a given period of time (general) which ultimately gives an estimate of the cost of living in an

economy and calculating the cost of living index number, the govt. is able to decide regarding

the extent of increase in the dearness allowance (DA).

1) MATHEMATICS:

A) We have an axiom that “two distinct lines in a plane are either parallel or intersecting”

(general). Based on this axiom, the corresponding theorem is: “Two distinct lines in a plane

cannot have more than one point in common.” (Specific). Thus this is an example of deductive

method.

B) We have a formula for the solution of the linear simultaneous equations as and(general).

The students find the solutions of some problems like based on this formula (specific). Thus this

is an example of deductive method.

2) LANGUAGES:

because for the given passage (general) we always have certain key points which are included in

the summary (specific).

B) Explaining a poem in prose with reference to context is an example of deductive method

because the poem being given (general), we always try to pen the specific idea or thought of the

poet in prose. Hence it is an example of deductive method.

3) CHEMISTRY:

The experiment of salt analysis is an example of deductive method because here, we firstly

perform the preliminary test also known as dry test (general) to ascertain as to which group it

may probably belong. The group being ascertained, we proceed to perform specific confirmatory

test to identify the particular salt. Thus it proceeds from general to specific.

4) PHYSICS:

By using the properties of semi-conductors (general), we make several instruments like diodes

and transistors which have (specific) uses like the light emitting diode (LED) is used in remote

control instruments; the photo diode is used for counting the exact number of people present in a

stadium at a particular interval of time. As it proceeds from general to specific thus this is an

example of deductive method.

5) BIOLOGY:

a) This method can best be made use of in the study and understanding of diseases where the

symptoms and precautionary measures of various diseases caused by bacteria, virus and other

organisms can be explained and children are asked to identify the same on the basis of their

understanding.

b) Classification of animals into chordate and Non-Chordate on the basis of their differences.

Since, the differences are general in nature, and the classification as mentioned above is

particular in nature, it proceeds from general to particular. Thus this is an example of deductive

method.

The examples cited above are not exhaustive. Many more examples can be given and from

variety of subjects as well.

Logic and Problem solving are two more areas where these methods find extensive usage.

The major task of logic is to establish a systematic way of deducing the logical consequences of

a set of sentences. In order to accomplish this, it is necessary first to identify or characterize the

logical consequences of a set of sentences. The procedures for deriving conclusions from a set of

sentences then need be examined to verify that all logical consequences and only these are

deducible from that set.

From its very beginning, the field of logic has been occupied with arguments, in which certain

statements, the premises, are asserted in order to support some other statement, the conclusion. If

the premises are intended to provide conclusive support for conclusion, the argument is a

deductive one. If the premises are intended to support the conclusion, only to a lesser degree, the

argument is called inductive.

A logically correct argument is termed “valid”, while an acceptable inductive argument is called

cogent. The notion of support is further elucidated by the observation that the truth of the

premises of a valid deductive argument necessitates the truth of the conclusion. It is impossible

for the premises to be true and the conclusion false. On the other hand, the truth of the premises

of a cogent argument confers only a probability of truth on its conclusion: it is possible for the

premises to be true but the conclusion is false. For example let the premise is: “All teachers are

scholars” and the conclusion be: “There are some scholars who are not teachers”. Let the premise

be true then obviously, the conclusion is false. Hence it is a cogent. Again let the premise is “no

policeman is a thief” and the conclusion be “no thief is a policeman”. Let the premise be true

then the conclusion is also seen to be true. Thus it is a valid (deductive) argument.

Problem solving is another area where inductive and deductive processes may be used.

develop more inclusive or general conceptions. After aspirin was synthesized, for example, some

people who swallowed the substance reported that it relieved their particular headaches. Through

induction the reports of these specific individuals were the basis for developing a more inclusive

notion: “aspirin may be helpful in relieving headaches in general”.

“Deduction” is reasoning from general propositions –or hypotheses-to more specific instances or

statements. Thus, after the general hypothesis about the effectiveness of aspirin had been put

forward, physicians began to apply it to specific, newly encountered headache cases. The

deduction was that, if aspirin is generally useful in managing pains in the head, it might also be

helpful in easing pains elsewhere in the body.

Although a person may deliberately choose to use induction or deduction, people typically shift

from one to the other depending on the exigencies of the reasoning process.

S.NO

INDUCTIVE METHOD

DEDUCTIVE METHOD

1.

2.

It is a method of discovery.

It is a method of verification.

3.

It is a method of teaching.

4.

5.

It is a slow process.

It is quick process.

6.

7.

It is full of activity.

8.

To conclude, we can say that inductive method is a predecessor of deductive method. Any loss of

time due to slowness of this method is made up through the quick and time saving process of

deduction. Deduction is a process particularly suitable for a final statement and induction is most

suitable for exploration of new fields. Probability in induction is raised to certainty in deduction.

The happy combination of the two is most appropriate and desirable.

There are two major parts of the process of learning of a topic: establishment of formula or

principles and application of that formula or those principles. The former is the work of

induction and the latter is the work of deduction. Therefore, friends, “Always understand

inductively and apply deductively” and a good and effective teacher is he who understands this

delicate balance between the two. Thus: “his teaching should begin with induction and end in

deduction.”

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