>Go find a couple of kids (or adults!) who haven’t yet learned to ride a bike and see if you can teach them — through the power of your explanations alone!<
I did exactly this with a few navy friends whose parents never had the time to teach them, it worked fine.
>how to cycle without scraping their shins.<
This is a shifted goalpost, most people consider falling and getting back up to be part of learning to ride a bike.
>And if you are successful, be critical with yourself: how much of your success is due to the bike rider figuring it out on their own? And how much of it is due to your verbal instructions?<
This applies just as much to tacit knowledge, the difference is that I can give functional instructions to a large group (especially if paired with video material for physical tasks). Further, most students can learn on their own but won't. The point of the instructor is to be motivational by whatever means are permitted in addition to being informative.
This explanation bit deserves some attention. In pedagogy, this is known as ‘transmissionism’, and it is regarded amongst serious educators with the same sort of derision you and I might have about flat-earth theories today.<
This is true in the same way that it's true most economists today aren't Keynesian anymore. It's because the parts of the theory that worked have been absorbed into broader teaching theories and practices. Learning styles haven't been strongly been supported by science for awhile but educators still learn the approach because it adds another tool to the box.
None of their broader arguments are necessarily wrong but when the given counterpoints are so weak it's hard to feel like the rest of the explanation is more than coffee talk.