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The Inductive Model and Inquiry Based Learning July 9, 2013

Two instructional strategies that we focused on during this second module are the Inductive Model and Inquiry-Based Learning. The Inductive model encourages students to generate ideas, analyze and make connections between the ideas, and describe the observed relationships. It is the process of reasoning from the particular to the general. (Williams, 2013)  There are eight stages of inductive teaching which are brainstorming, grouping, providing rationales, naming lists, cross-categorizing, grouping in a different way, identifying subgroups, and summarizing concepts. (Dell’Ollio (2007), pp. 156-160) One of the most intriguing components of the Inductive Model for me was the use of a study print at the outset of the lesson. Such a print prompts students to start thinking about the subject matter without any leading questions or specific information and leads into the brainstorming stage. (Dell’Ollio, 2007, pg. 154) As I consider this strategy for students in kindergarten I immediately can identify several units that would benefit. For example, at the beginning of our Trees unit our study print could be a picture of a prominent tree in the middle of a park. Students would brainstorm responses to the question “What do you see in this picture?”

Inquiry-Based Learning engages students in authentic experiences wherein they must solve one or more problems. Students work to solve the problem following systematic and scientific procedures and then communicate their findings to others. (Del’Olio, 2007) In the primary grades this strategy can be applied in science during a sink and float lesson. Students are presented with a variety of small objects and they must generate a hypothesis as to whether or not each one will sink or float. They then address the questions of: What can we do to find out? What materials do you need? How can we record what we learn? In alignment with the stages of the scientific method as described in Del’Olio’s text (2007, pp. 330-335) students gather their supplies, follow through with their plan for discovery, record their learning, analyze their data, reach conclusions, and finally communicate their findings to others. At the primary level these stages will likely be very basic with support from the teacher but I envision that all of the stages can be addressed and experienced even in the early grades.

The Inductive Model and Inquiry Based learning are both strategies that are student driven. Students engage in a common activity and generate ideas, decide their next steps, record their conclusions and communicate them to others. Such strategies engage students and give them experiences that allow them to connect their new knowledge to other learning in a variety of contexts.


Dell’Olio, J. M., Donk, T. (2007). Models of Teaching. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage

Williams, T. (2013, July). Induction models of instruction. Survey of instructional strategies. Lecture conducted from Seattle Pacific University, Seattle, WA


3 Responses to “The Inductive Model and Inquiry Based Learning”

  1. Leslie, your classroom examples give life to these two instructional strategies. Your blog is organized and an easy to follow recap of the ideas we read about this week.

  2. Hi Leslie,

    The thing I love about inquiry based learning is that it is so authentic and meaningful for the students. Learning by doing will stick in their minds far better than learning a concept from a book or lecture. I just did the sink or float activity with my 4 year old son and he really got into it. He eventually started doing his own sink or float experiments and reporting the results back to me. This seems to be the ultimate goal of such instruction, to become independent scientists and thinkers.

  3. Leslie,
    The idea of a concept print before a lesson really stuck with me as well. Its a great way to reinforce or teach vocabulary, access kids’ prior knowledge and get them excited about what you are going to be talking about. I also love the inquiry based model because it gives kids a real chance to be problem solvers. Thanks for sharing.

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