Monday, June 22, 2009

Randy Pausch's Last Lecture

In his last lecture, Dr. Randy Pausch of MIT included some life lessons which can also be applied in the classroom setting. These are some of those lessons. First, the proverbial brick wall that we may likely run into while pursuing our goals is there to help us realize how badly we want something. Another lesson is that the best way to learn is by doing. Finally, perhaps the most important lesson is to have fun while learning something new.

Most everyone has goals. According to Dr. Pausch, those walls are in place to seperate those who "want it" from those who don't. In other words, the brick wall engages perseverance. It is through perseverance that people are able to achieve their goals.

Dr. Pausch also endorses the idea of learning by doing. I have always thought that hands-on experience was much more enlightening that simply reading "how to". I hope that when I become an educator that I will have the opportunity to utilize this approach to learning with my students.

The most important lesson Dr. Pausch gives us is what he calls the "head fake". This basically means that while someone is having fun, they are actually learning something. I have always wondered why classwork could not be fun. It seems to me that if the students are engaged and enjoying what they are doing, that they would be much more likely to learn in the process. Dr. Pausch's experiences seem to support this. If the students have fun, you can sneak in the material, and this is the "head fake".

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