Turning Your Approach to a Lesson Upside Down

If you’re looking for a fresh take on your favourite (or not so favourite lesson), how about designing your lesson upside down? Jennifer Gonzalez, from @cultofpedagogy, has a wonderful video giving an example of how to teach an inductive learning lesson. Although this strategy is not suitable in all situations, it is a powerful tool to add to the toolbox when you are in need of a change-up and the content fits.

In a conventional, deductive approach to learning, students are 1) presented with the overall concept or rule and then 2) work with examples to apply the concept or rule. In an inductive lesson design, this order is reversed.


  1. Students study examples of the content.
  2. Students make generalizations leading to an understanding of the rule.

By incorporating an inductive approach to learning, we simultaneously create a learning opportunity that allows students to access higher level thinking. Students are propelled into analysing and making connections between the examples that are presented to them.

Check out the video for a fantastic example of how one teacher used this for an exploration of natural selection and adaptation (1:23).

If you regularly use this strategy, or just tried it out for the first time, let us know how you applied inductive learning in your classrooms.

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