Of the many topics that we discussed throughout this semester, one that I found most interesting is the educational practice of Backward Design(BD).I found this method of structuring education to be very interesting because I see many poor ways in which it is being used in education right now, but I also see really effective ways in which it can be used as well. As future educators, we should be looking for the most effective ways to be utilizing teaching techniques, like BD, so that we can promote as much learning as possible in the classroom.

In Module 5 of our class, we watched this video in which Grant Wiggins talks more in-depth about BD, how it should be utilized in the classroom.

I resonated a lot with what Wiggins had to say in this video, especially when he talked about the importance of setting goals for students, so that teachers can assess what students have learned at the end of the course. However, Wiggins, like many other educators, has seen many problems in the way students are assessed in our current system of education. A big cause of this problem is the No Child Left behind Act that the federal government passed back in 2001. Even though this act was created with good intentions, the repercussions of it have been astounding. Jay McTighe and John L. Brown talk more in-depth about these problems that NCLB has caused in their journal, Theory Into Practice. They say, “In many regions, state and district efforts to meet the NCLB continuous improvement targets have resulted in a variety of instructional practices at odds with what educational research confirms are requirements for promoting genuine student engagement, understanding, and longitudinal achievement progress.”(Brown, McTighe 235) From this we see how NCLB has been very detrimental on student learning in the classroom, as well as how teachers evaluate their students, both of which are pivotal aspects of effectively using BD.

In light of all of these problems that NCLB has caused, I really resonate with what Harold I. Lawrance has to say in his Journal, The Mathematics Teacher. He says, “I am in favor of testing, setting clear objectives based on a state’s standards, and implementing assessments as a tool to measure how well schools are doing in meeting those standards. However, having seen how state tests have compounded problems for some school districts, I wonder if there is a better, more efficient way to achieve these goals.”(Lawrance 13) Like Wiggins said in the video, it is very important when using BD for educators to set clear objectives for learning. However, in order to achieve these objectives that teachers have set for their students, we need to look at what we are trying to make students learn, how we are making them learn, and how we assess for these learning objectives.

Thinking about what we should be teaching students, I am reminded of talking about Bloom’s Taxonomy of Learning in one of our lectures. In looking at Bloom’s taxonomy, we see that the end goal of educating students should be to make them creative, critical, and autonomous learners, that can effectively apply the course material outside of the classroom.  However, as Grant Wiggins has stated in the video above, teachers are not effectively assessing for the end objective of Bloom’s taxonomy. Instead, most teachers just assess how much of the information from the course their students can reiterate back to them through things like tests. This way of assessing students does not motivate them to become better learners, but instead to just get an A in the class. A quote from Anita Woolfolk’s book, Educational Psychology : Active Learning Edition, really encapsulates how assessments should be utilized. “The assessments you give should support students’ motivation to learn–not their motivation to get a good grade.”(Woolfolk, 626) We clearly see how students are being poorly assessed for what we learning objectives we want them to have. The question that is posed then is, how do teachers properly assess for these learning objectives?

One of the most significant things that I have learned about this semester, is project-based learning(PBL). PBL is a teaching technique that I feel really helps put students in a position to attain the this end objective of Bloom’s Taxonomy that we want students to have. Daniella K. Garran also talks about how effective PBL is in her journal The History Teacher. She says, “Though they can be time-consuming, projects are critical for helping students develop curiosity, enthusiasm, independence, and knowledge.”(Garran 381) Yes even though PBL is time consuming, the learning that comes from it is definitely worth the time spent. Thus, PBL is a really great way in which teachers can assess students for these set learning objectives.

Through looking more in-depth at Backward Design, I feel that I have acquired more knowledge about  important pedagogical concepts like Bloom’s Taxonomy and project-based learning. Thus, I hope to bring this knowledge about effective uses of Backward Design, through things like project-based learning, into my classroom one day, so that I can help promote the most amount of learning in my classroom as possible.



Garran, D. K. (may 2008). Implementing Project-Based Learning to Create “Authentic” Sources: The Egyptological Excavation and Imperial Scrapbook Projects at the Cape Cod Lighthouse Charter School. The History Teacher, 41(3), 379-389. Retrieved May 10, 2017, from


Lawrance, H. I. (august 2010). One Mathematics Teachers Thoughts on Assessment. The Mathematics Teacher, 104(1), 12-13. Retrieved May 10, 2017, from


McTighe, J., & Brown, J. L. (Summer 2005). Differentiated Instruction and Educational Standards: Is Détente Possible? Theory Into Practice, 44(3), 234-244. Retrieved May 10, 2017, from
Woolfolk, A. (2017). Educational psychology: active learning edition. Boston: Pearson.

Reflection on Teaching

This has been an amazing semester. I have received so much knowledge on education through my foundations block, and this small blog post is not enough to show how much I have learned this semester.However, I will try and touch on a few of the many things that I have learned.

I would first like to talk about how my views of a good teacher have changed this semester. Before coming into the foundations block, I thought that good teachers were the ones that made the material the most presentable to their students. However, this view has been radically changed after taking these classes this semester. I now realize that good educators are the ones that can help their students think about creative/innovative ways in which to implement their material into the real world. Teaching is much more than just having students remember a bunch of material and have them recite it back to the teacher. There is no purpose of knowing any information if you cannot use it in creative and practical ways. This is sadly how many of the teachers in our education system teach right now, which is something that I really hope to change when I become a teacher.

Reflecting back the teaching standards we received at the start of the year, I really want to talk about standard #8, which is “Teachers know how to test for student progress”. I feel that teachers currently do not assess the true knowledge of their students, rather what information they can recite back to the teacher. This sort of knowledge is not practical at all, yet that is all that educators are assessing for in our current system of education. A really different and effective way of assessment that I learned about, in which I hope to assess my students, is project-based learning. Project-based learning really helps put students in positions to apply these concepts that they are learning about in class, into creative/innovative ways outside of the classroom. This should be what educators are really assessing for, and I feel that project-based learning helps to assess for these important skills that we should be teaching our students.

As I reflect back on this semester, I think the biggest thing I have learned from these classes, is how multi-faceted education is. Before going into these classes, I had no idea about all of the inter workings that are involved in education, as well as how many problems are currently in education. After this semester, I realize that there is so much that goes into being a teacher, especially in order to become a good teacher. As a future educator, I hope to become more knowledgeable and cognizant of all of the pedagogical practices, and problems that are involved in education in order to become the best teacher that I can be.

As I think about my online identity as an educator one day, I hope that I can look for more ways in which to process/synthesize all of these ideas that I am being taught, in order to make myself into a good and effective educator one day. It has been amazing to have become so much more enlightened about the education role this semester, and I am excited for all that I am going to learn in my classes to come.


Module 5 blog post

As we are coming to the end or our education foundations block here at UW-Whitewater, I have started to think more and more about how I want to teach when I do become an educator. In our educational psychology class the other day, we were talking about different ways in which we could design our lesson plans of our future students. The main way we discussed about in class, is the concept of Backward design.Basically, how backward design works, is that teachers make long term goals for their students ahead or time, and then they decide on what best ways would motivate the students to attain these goals, as well as what sorts of ways a teacher could assess if these goals have been attained or not.

I really liked the example that Grant Wiggins gave to help show how Backward Design should work. He mentioned how many schools value creative and critical thinking, and have it listed in their education plans. However, he says that most all schools in america do not do a good job at teaching students how to think creatively and critically. The reasoning that he gives for this, is because the way education is set up right now, students can get A’s in every single one of there classes, but yet still not have these skills that we want them to have, such as creative and critical thinking skills.Wiggins says that, in order to teach the student what we really want them to learn, we need to: set up long term goals for our students, make the material engaging to the students, and to assess whether or not our students attained the the goals that we wanted them to attain.Going off of what Wiggins is talking about, I would like to give a run-through of an example lesson plan that I could possibly use in the future for my students.

Mock Lesson Plan

Attached above is a rough draft of a lesson plan that I could conduct with my student in the future. Thinking through what sorts of things I wanted to integrate into my lesson plan, really helped me think through ways in which I want to conduct my classroom when I do eventually become an educator. the main goals that I am going to have for my students during each school year, is for them to develop better knowledge of mathematical principles, and how to apply them into the real world. For ways in which I conduct my lesson in class, I was thinking of possibly integrating a flipped classroom method. A good example of this would be a really good math resource that I have used in the past: Patrickjmt.

All of Patrickjmt’s videos are setup like this, and I have found many of his videos to be helpful in dealing with difficult mathematical concepts that I have been learning in my classes. How I am thinking of integrating this into my classroom, is by having my students watch supplemental videos of me going through a lesson, and then we can take the time in class to discuss the material addressed in the videos, as well as answer any questions about the material. I feel that flipped classrooms really make the learning more engaging for students, allows them a bit more freedom to go trough the material at a pace that they want to, and these videos give students something to refer back to if they forgot how to do something, as well as if they want to study a bit more for a test or something like that. Now as far as assessing the goals that I have for my students, there are many ways in which I was thinking of doing this. I could have my students do some sort of project that helps them apply the principles that we have been learning in class, which will then show me if they have attained this goal that I have for my students. I could have a simulation, or some sort of game that I conduct throughout a semester with my students to assess where they are. Lastly I could just go the traditional route of having my students take summative assessments also.

As I think about it, there are so many ways in which I could teach my classroom in the future. I feel that it is very good that we, as future educators, are thinking through ways in which we want to conduct our classrooms in the future, so that when we do eventually become an educator, we will be able to help our students attain these goals that we set for our students.

Diversity in learning

Diversity in learning is such an interesting and important topic in the field of education. In order for us to become good educators one day, we need to be able to reach people from every kind of cultural/racial background. Sadly, however, the topic of diversity and race in schools, is something that our education system has done a poor job at addressing. So today I would like to talk about the evidence we see that proves there are still problems involving diversity in schools, as well as ways in which I plan on addressing this problem when I become an educator.

As we see from this video, many black students do not feel integrated into their school systems. Instead they feel singled-out and stereotyped before anyone gets a chance to know them. In the doll experiment in the video, we also see a majority of  very young black children recognizing the white doll as the “good” doll, because they are white and not black. These children have already made the connection that they are singled out, and that they are not as “good” as white people. How are black students supposed to go to school to get an education, when they feel put down because of all of these negative stereotypes? This is not even including the achievement gap between black students and white students, but that is a whole different topic to be discussed. The point that I am trying to make is, is that no matter how much people say that, “racism is no longer a problem in our country”, this is simply not true. I have heard so many stories about stereotypes and racial remarks in schools, like the ones in this video, that prove that there are still problems with race and diversity in schools, which needs to be addressed.

Now that we have seen this problem of race and diversity in schools, I would like to talk about some practical resolutions to this problem. We see from what Jane Elliot talks about in her videos, that people are taught how to be racist. It is therefore our job as educators to bring light into this topic, and to teach students that everybody is different, and we therefore cannot judge people on something as arbitrary as their skin color. In the book, Everyday Antiracism, I feel that Heather M. Pleasants really illustrates how I would want to help tackle this issue in my classroom. “My proposed antiracist move involves teachers’ individual out-of-school identities with students, which facilitates the formation of authentic relationships between teachers and students in which both parties see each other as complex and rich human beings.”(Pleasants 2008) As we can see, Pleasants is trying to break down the boundary that has been generated between white and black people over the past two centuries. In order for educators to achieve this, there needs to be a genuine relationship between the teacher and the student. Just like many other parts of the role, the teacher is the person that needs to be proactive with this area, because often times students are not going to be the ones to initiate this sort of conversation with their teachers. This is something that I am therefore going to try and integrate into my classroom one day, to help tackle this issue of race in the classroom. I hope to be someone that a student can have a genuine relationship with, and see that they are a unique individual that should not be judged on something so simple as their skin color.

Race and diversity in the classroom is such an important topic, which poses many problems in our education system. It is therefore vital that we as future educators be cognisant of this problem, work to establish healthy relationships with students of different color to break down this racial barrier, and to be constantly educated on this topic so that we can most effectively educate students of any sort of racial/cultural background in the future.



Sources that I referenced:

Pollock, M., & Pleasants, H. M. (2008). Everyday antiracism getting real about race in school. New York: New Press. p. 70
(2007, May 04). Retrieved April 06, 2017, from



Cognitive and Behavioral Aspects of Learning

For this blog post, I am going to be thinking through and answering this question:

What are the differences between the behaviorist and cognitive perspectives of learning?

I would first like to start by talking about the behavioral aspects of learning. We learned in class last week about constructivism. This view on education really focuses on the students perspective, and views that students learn from the experiences happening around them. This famous experiment that Bandura conducted on children, shows the effect that adults have on how children view the world.

This video really demonstrates this idea that the things happening around a person really affect how they learn and what they do. This relates into the behavioral aspects of learning because, as we see from this video, people get behaviors from their experiences and what is happening around them. For instance, a child that has their father leave the family at a young age learns that this happening in their life is normal. My dad had this happen to him when he was about 6 years old, and he told me that he really could not identify the negative impacts that this traumatic experience had on him until he was much older. This also brings up the problem of children misbehaving in schools. If a child learns that fist-fighting is allowed in their home, then how do you expect them to act at school? All of these things lead me to conclude that a lot of the behavioral aspects of learning happen within a person’s living environment.

Now to compare, I would like to talk about the cognitive aspects of learning. As we talked about in our textbook, what educators are trying to do is take this information that they are teaching the students, and move it into their “working memory”. The working memory can basically be defined as the information that someone has readily available to use when the time arises. For example, a contractor that is building a house has the mental wherewithal on how to build a house in their working memory, otherwise they would not be able to build houses, and therefore be out of a contracting job. Ways in which we see educators try to bring the material learned in the classroom into the students memory, is by having them do types of “rehearsal”. Rehearsal are just methods of trying to further the newly learned information, into working memory. An example of rehearsal, would be someone using flashcards in order to repeat the material to themselves over and over again until they finally have it in their working memory. Based on all of this material, I am lead to believe that the cognitive aspects of learning are a lot more focused on how to use the brain in order to learn material better.

As we can see, there are differences between the cognitive and behavioral aspects of learning. The behavioral side focuses on the environment that student is being exposed, whereas the cognitive side focuses on what is going inside the persons brain. However, in both of these topics, the person is the focus, and the goal of looking at these aspects, is to decipher what causes people to learn more effectively, and what causes them to learn not as effectively. It is therefore very important that us future educators are making sure that we are knowledgeable of such topics, so that we can more effectively teach the students based on where there are at behaviorally or cognitively.



I used the video clip in the powerpoint from class and our text book:

Woolfolk, A. (2014). Educational psychology: Active learning edition. Pgs 312-326.

Module 1 Post


Today I will be reflecting on a two-part question dealing with educational psychology.

The first question: What is the relationship between research and teaching (practice) in education? How can you use information literacy to evaluate and select information about students and teaching? What does this mean for your future career?

As far as teachers and researchers go, I feel that the relationship between research and teaching is separate, but indirectly related as well. What do I mean by this? In this instance here are professionals whose jobs are to either teach, or to do research on educational phenomena, but not both at the same time. So, in this sense, researchers and teachers are separated by the fact that they have different occupations that use different processes. The teacher is trying to help the students learn/understand material, while the researcher is trying to analyze data from the classroom or school that they are observing. While researchers and teachers obviously have different occupations, they both have the same long-term goal in mind: Which is to teach students more effectively. This can be seen from the indirect relationship that researchers and teachers have. For instance, a researcher goes out into the field to observe and analyze some phenomena in education. After the researcher finishes their experiment and acquires all of the data, they usually write about their observations and publish it in a journal somewhere. From there, teachers can read and learn about the data that the researchers collected. Then teachers have the decision to take the information that they learned, and apply it to their classroom to try and create the most effective space for students to learn. From the information that I talked about above, I have decided that if I become a teacher one day, I will do my best to look into pertinent research articles that could help me acquire better teaching methods for the classroom.

Now for the second question: What do you think about homework for the topic and level of students you intend on teaching?

I feel that

Intro. Blog Post

Hello everyone!

So this is my first time blogging anything in general, so I am trying to get used to writing in this sort of context. However, I feel that this experience will prove to be very beneficial in the future. For these blogs in particular, I will obviously be talking about my experiences in my education classes here at Whitewater University. I am really looking forward to being able to take this time to reflect on the subject-material that I will be learning throughout the semester, and I hope that I can make some thought-provoking contentions in these blogs as well.

So who am I? Well, my name is Preston Boudreaux, and I am from Beloit, Wisconsin. I grew up with a loving family, that consisted of my three brothers(Tanner, Graham, and Camden), and my parents(Pam and Andre). I am currently studying to be a high school math teacher here at UW-Whitewater, and I hope to teach math at the high school level. So when and how did I start thinking about becoming a teacher? I think I first started becoming interested with the idea of teaching when I was a junior in high school. My mom, who was working in schools at the time, was constantly telling me about all of the benefits of being a teacher, such as: holidays off, summers off, health insurance, and being a positive influence on children. This sparked my first interest in pursuing education as an occupation. I had also taken a variety of math classes before this year, and found myself excelling in the area of mathematics. Math has just been something I have always been something that I could understand and do well at. I remember friends sometimes coming to me for help on their math homework. Since I am a person who really enjoys helping other people, I was more than happy to try and help them in anyway I could. After I was done helping someone, I often times felt that I was able to present the material in a way which helped bring more understanding of math concepts among some of my friends. Knowing that I was able to help someone else understand more about math, brought me joy. So, when it had come time to what occupation I should go into, I thought to myself, “I enjoy helping people with math. So, why not do it for a living?” That was probably the first time that I had accepted the idea of becoming a teacher one day, which is why I am here at Whitewater today. I am really not aware of any other influences that brought me here to pursue a teaching a degree, however. I had some fairly exceptional teachers growing up, as well as some pretty mediocre ones as well. However, there was never really one specific teacher that made me want to become a teacher. I think I just chose this occupation out of personal interest. I also have seen how many people in high school struggle with math, and I hope that I can help bring more understanding to students in this pretty difficult field of education. I just really want to help be a positive influence on children through teaching, during a very influential time of their lives.

I really hoped that you enjoyed learning more about me, why I decided to pursue teaching, and maybe learned something else about yourself as well. I am looking forward to what this semester has in store.

Thanks for reading!