Three principles from brain research—emotional safety, appropriate challenge, and self-constructed meaning—suggest that a one-size-fits-all approach to classroom teaching is ineffective for most students and harmful to some.
A few years ago, I eagerly signed up for a one-day computer class on using a particular graphics and layout program. I was highly motivated: I had an immediate need to know the content, was excited about becoming more competent with computers, and had invested heavily in the success of the day through paying a hefty tuition and making a long, early-morning drive in heavy traffic.
The instructor knew his stuff. I know that because he talked nonstop throughout the day and never seemed (as far as I could tell) to repeat himself. As we sat at computers, he told us step-by-step what to do. He had hooked up a computer to a projector so he could also show us, but he either forgot to do so or felt it unnecessary to demonstrate the obvious.