Sunday, June 30, 2013

Blog assignment # 10

What Can We Learn About Teaching And Learning From Randy Pausch?

There were so many amazing things in the video Randy Pausch's Last Lecture that it is hard to find a place to start. Randy Pausch had cancer and was given 3 to 6 months to live. Most people would focus their last lecture around family or faith but he did not He focused his lecture on childhood dreams and enabling the dreams of others. When Randy talked about his childhood dreams, he said he wanted to play in the NFL. Although he never made it he said that that he learned lessons that were more valuable than the dream itself. This is a great message because it tells people that just because one did not succeed in what he or she wanted to accomplish does not mean that pursuing their dream was a waste of their time. This message tells people there are always opportunities to learn and improve no matter how old someone is. Randy goes on to say that "most of what we learn we learn indirectly". He gives an example of the first little league football team he played on. Although he was learning the fundamentals of the game of football, what he was really learning was how to work hard, show sportsmanship, and work with team to accomplish a goal. This same concept can be applied to project- based learning. In project-based learning, students are not just working to get the assignment finished, they are learning how to work with others, how to communicate, and how to express ideas. He then quoted his mentor John Snoddy who said "wait long enough and people will surprise and impress you". I think this is a very important lesson for teachers to learn from this lecture because it is saying never give up on someone,even a student who does not show much potential because you never know what they are capable of.

Randy Pausch goes on to talk about enabling the dreams of others. Enabling the dreams of others is the reason many people become teachers. I became a softball coach to help girls get college scholarships by playing a game that they love. I believe throughout this whole lecture the main point he wanted to audience to understand was that learning is a lifelong process; it’s never over, and people should take every opportunity they get to learn something new. I believe he also wants the audience to know that they should never give up on their dreams no matter how far away they seem. My favorite quote he used in this lecture was "brick walls are not there to keep us out but to show how badly we want something". This is something I will teach to my students, even though there are challenges don’t give up on something you really want because they are capable of breaking down those walls.
photo of Randy Paushs


  1. When Randy Pausch said he was not going to lecture about his family or his faith I was surprised. I was thinking since it was his "last lecture" that those are the main things he'd be talking about. But, the things he talked about were very interesting and it still made an impression on myself, and I'm sure many others.

    You should put a link to his last lecture in your post! You did a good job summarizing some of this main points, but was there anything that you will take with you as a teacher from him?

  2. "brick walls are not there to keep us out but to show how badly we want something" I also want to teach my students this statement. I enjoyed reading your summary.

    Do you remember any of your childhood dreams?

  3. I hope what you have learned from Dr. Pausch you will put to work in your classroom. Project based learning is the way to go!

  4. Good post. I hope you can use some of these inspirations that Dr. Pausch gives for your goals in life. We all can learn something from this video!

    Stephen Akins