How To Lessen Learning Loss During COVID: Deductive Thinking

| by Thuy Truong, M.A. Ed., TPT Teaching and Coaching, 2/16/2021|

I was helping a student with chronic writer's block for a few months, and he overcame that rough patch with the strategies I had created for him in just a few weeks. However, when I gave him a writing prompt, he still stumbled a bit as if he had forgotten despite he already had the skills to get the job done. In other words, a student needs to be taught the skills needed to complete the assignment but also the skills on how to approach the assignment. This situation has not been unique to this specific student alone as I had observed this recurring phenomenon in my 15 years of teaching high school and college. The conclusion that I had come to is that students need to be taught life skills in conjunction with academic skills to avoid learning loss. Life skills help learners deepen what they have learned and transfer those skills beyond the classroom walls. As a professional educator, I believe the following life skills should supplement a student's education in order to accelerate career and life success.

Deductive Thinking

Based on the traditional dictionary definition, the word deduction means "inference of particular instances" based on the given facts. In simpler terms, this means an individual has the ability to figure out the unknown using what is known. Without deductive thinking, when a student learns how to write an essay, they just know how to write an essay, they cannot transfer this knowledge to writing a friendly letter, a cover letter or other types of writing. You may ask: Why is that? In order for deductive thinking to flourish, the student must be a fully committed detective in the learning process. The student must know both the what and the how. The student has to hunt for both facts and conclusions in the learning process. Also, the learner has to use one's imagination to arrive at the conclusion (despite not told) instead of viewing clear cut examples or simplified versions of the expected assignment. The student will be comfortable with thinking in gray instead of just black and white. Deductive reasoning is a muscle. Like any muscle in our body, one must use it extensively for it to become an intellectual powerhouse.

Ways Students Can Practice Deductive Reasoning: