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Deduction and Induction


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The Induction-Deduction Opposition: Ambiguities and Complexities of the Didactic Reality Wilfried Decoo
Published in IRAL: International Review of Applied Linguistics, vol. 34, n° 2 (May 1996), 95-118. ("didactic" = pertaining to teaching and learning in a school context) Abstract An analysis of some of the scientific literature reveals that the terms "induction" and "deduction" often point to various concepts. A number of modalities need to be discerned, especially in the realm of "induction". Experimental comparisons of different methodological approaches may also neglect, to some extent, the complexities of what is really taking place in the classroom setting. The purpose of this article is not to take sides in the methodological controversy, but to contribute to a greater awareness of terminology identification and of the tangents, plural forms and crossings between didactic strategies that draw on "induction" or "deduction". Les termes "induction" et "déduction", tels qu'une analyse de la littérature scientifique nous les révèle, renvoient souvent à des concepts différents. Il semble utile de discerner les différentes modalités, en particulier dans le domaine de "l'induction". Les comparaisons expérimentales de différentes approches méthodologiques semblent négliger, du moins en partie, les aspects complexes de la réalité en classe. Cet article ne prend pas position dans la controverse méthodologique, mais désire contribuer à une plus grande prise de conscience d'une part des problèmes terminologiques, et d'autre part des tangentes, des formes plurielles et des correspondances entre les stratégies didactiques qui se réclament d'"induction" ou de "déduction".

0. Introduction
Already during the Reform Movement of the 1880's, the staunch conflict between direct and indirect methods used the opposition "induction versus deduction" as a way to identify "natural

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