I find Jonas’ point D and Darrell’s comments about learning styles interesting. I agree that students have different strengths (visual, auditory, kinesthetic), and that perhaps instead of focusing on how each student learns best, we should focus more on the most effective way to present the specific lesson at hand.
But isn’t it true that teaching an effective lesson will naturally hit many, if not all of the learning styles, especially at the elementary level? I don’t think that we should completely do-away with what we know about learning styles, because it helps us remember to keep variety in our lessons, to not just tell students, but show them, and to give opportunities for movement and hands-on learning.
I agree with Jonas that “Teaching geometry does not call for the same approach as teaching poetry appreciation.” How is a brand-new teacher to know what instructional styles are appropriate for each content area besides finding out by personal trial-and-error? Are there resources out there about this?