Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Randy Pausch

A picture of Randy Pausch and his familyRandy Pausch's The Last Lecture

Well, I am going to be completely honest. I rarely get choked up when I read or watch something, but I seriously almost started crying at the end of this video. I know we are supposed to be discussing Randy Pausch's teaching methods, but I cannot get over his ending comments. It makes me so sad knowing that he would be my Mom's age, but pancreatic cancer took his life. He appeared to be an extremely intelligent man, who loved his life and family. He truly cared about his students and enabling them to accomplish their dreams. I think Randy Pausch gave excellent advice, and he definitely made a huge impact on society.

His idea of head fake or indirect learning is probably the best idea for teachers. Head fake is when you are teaching something important but trick the students into believing they are learning something else. I remember numerous times when my teachers used this technique, and I know it almost always works. The most prominent example I can recall is the use of games to help the students learn. I also liked Randy Pausch's idea of experience. He said that experience is what you get when you didn't get what you wanted. I think this a great way to view the learning process. We do not always come to a conclusion or succeed in the way we would like. The experience we get, however, is more important because we learn and grow from it. To follow this idea, he said that the "brick walls," or things that hold us back in life, are put in our life for a reason. They show how bad we want something and are willing to fight for it. As teachers, we have to be careful of what we wish for, and we must be conscience of the good and bad ways of informing our students. If we go about things in the right way, we may just be able to have our cake and eat it too.

Randy Pausch also discusses the role of the professor. As a teachers, we should work on enabling our students to reach their childhood dreams. We should never restrict them, so he suggest that we give them whatever rules they want. The most important things to consider are creating a good learning environment, do not limit them, and keep pushing the students towards their dreams. A good learning environment includes freedom to grow and learn. He said that he does not use book learning in his classroom, but instead, he lets the students work in groups, and he takes numerous field trips for extra experiences. He said that feedback is imperative, and Randy Pausch believes that having fun while learning is hard yet to accomplish, but excellent if it happens.

In his concluding thoughts, Randy Pausch said the best encouragement comes from parents, mentors, teachers, and colleagues. He believes that loyalty is a two way street, and that people should believe in themselves, never give up,tell the truth, be earnest, apologize, focus on other people, show gratitude, do not complain, do not bail, work harder, be good at something, find the best in everybody, be prepared, and most importantly, have fun. The biggest thing is that brick walls allow us to show our dedication, and this separates us from people who do not want to achieve their dreams. We should cherish what we learn and use it. As teachers, we should try to achieve our childhood dreams and enable others' dreams. He ends his speech saying that this lecture was a head fake teaching us that we should remember the lessons we have learned, so we will know how to lead our life. The lecture he gave was not for the listeners, but for his children to remember.

To listen to his full Lecture

Comments for Kids

This week I read Jesus' Ode to Bubblegum:

Oh bubblegum, oh bubblegum
You are so chewy and awesome
I love your size and flavor
Especially when you’re in a jaw breaker
Watermelon, sour apple, and cherry
Mint, spearmint, grape, and blueberry
I especially like it when you’re so sour
It makes it so hard, for you, to devour
I don’t have gum, so I go to the store
Which is a waste of time because you’ll end up losing your flavor

I thought this was extremely creative, and I loved the individuality and voice that could be heard through the words. He did a great job rhyming, and I really enjoyed reading his work.

Jesus' Blog


Chelsie Funderburg said...

"A good learning environment includes freedom to grow and learn." I love this! It so right!

Jesus' poem is so creative! He did a great job rhyming about bubblegum!

John Hadley Strange said...


"The lecture he gave was not for the listeners..." And yet it was.

I also get choked up every time I watch the video. Which is every semester. It reminds me about the things I want to have happen in EDM310. Still working on that, but not letting the brick walls stop me!

An ode to bubblegum! Wow. I remember when ....!