I concur wholeheartedly that time and repetition result in ...results!
And I think you're touching on an age-old argument regarding MA instructors who have seen "combat" versus ones that haven't.
In the case of this topic, on one side you have a scientific group. On the other you have an experienced teacher. Each have their own agenda and each have their own experiences to pull from.
Who is right? Is there a right? There isn't to me. The important thing is that we, as MA instructors, acknowledge that some people learn by feeling/touch. Some learn by seeing the material being demonstrated in person or in some sort of media presentation (books/video/etc.). Some must hear information to make any sense of what's being discussed.
The truth is that as human beings, we receive information in many different ways..."learning styles"! Not just one.
An example of poor teaching would be a PowerPoint presentation to a group of blind students or audio tapes teaching to the deaf. You wouldn't do that in your classes and neither would I! But some folks do, just in a more subtle fashion.
For example, I once went to a seminar once where the instructor was so softly spoken that everyone spent the entire time trying to figure out what the hell he was saying. It was distracting and ridiculous. Another seminar, the instructor was so loud that it was equally distracting. And how many seminars have you been to where there was just too much talking? Me too! I just wanna try it! How about instructors who spend an age teaching the topic, then yell at you that you're doing it wrong after you've tried it (unsuccessfully) exactly once?!? Sheesh, that's some bad teaching going on there! Maybe his ongoing group of students can learn that way, but I can't. I need to practice and play with something for a while.
This issue is even more important with children. They are still forming in all ways, so it's important to teach them using every learning style possible. Tactile, auditory, visual.
Having said all of that, I thoroughly enjoy not saying a word for an entire class. I do so at least once a month in all of my classes, with adults and children. It's refreshing, frankly. To deprive ourselves of one or more of the senses/learning styles is enlightening and fun for me as an instructor! Alternatively, I turn off all of the lights and we train in pitch black. This is fun and "mixes things up."
So, to me, "learning styles" are all about the senses and the engagement or disengagement of them. It should be a natural process that is fluid and situational to the individuals present. There is no best way, clearly. You can't force one or the other on anybody - that would be counterproductive.
Should you trust a teacher or a group of scientists? Neither! It's interesting what both sides are presenting.
No, the important thing about this thread is that the process of constant, ever-evolving self-evaluation for MA instructors is vital, in my opinion. We must never stop caring about how we are presenting information to our students. Ever. Quality control is job number one!
How many instructors have you come across that are stuck where they are as teachers and individuals? I'll bet you can come up with a ready list. I can too. It's the ones that aren't that I'm drawn to. And those are the ones to emulate...
Thanks for your response! Good points, all. Newbie instructors should pay attention to this stuff - this is some deep stuff about being the best MA instructor possible.