Thursday, September 29, 2005

Inductive? Deductive? Just give me the answer.

I am fortunate to be a Spanish teacher. I can honestly say that today I did my first official deductive Spanish lesson, a grammar lecture, first of the year. Throughout the day the room was silent except for the scribbling of notes. My students were quiet, and seemed comfortable, as if they were more accustomed to this rigid, structured inundation of meaningless grammatical terms. For today, it wasn’t a bad change of pace. In fact I am happy to show them how Spanish can be a completely different than the way we learn most days, when I talk and jump around and point and have them do the same in order to come to some sort of conclusion as to what means what.

Surprisingly I have discovered inductive lessons tend to frustrate my students, to loose their attention. They want the straight, neat and tidy answers: x=y, a+b=c. Filling in blanks, using individual logic skills, reaching an independent conclusion apparently requires too much energy and leaves too much room for error. I’m not certain why they still get worked up when I don’t give them the answer right away in deductive form since eventually I always do give them the correct information. Needless to say, their hesitancy only indicates to me that the box continuously be pushed.

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