Educational Philosophy 

Nicole Dagro

New York Institute of Technology

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My Educational Philosophy



I have researched 2 current noteworthy educational philosophers whose views are most similar to mine. Below I have listed 5 tenets of my educational philosophy.  Below that, I have compared and contrasted my philosophy to these noteworthy philosophers.  I have given examples of how my tenets would translate into technology instruction.


I believe my personal educational philosophy is most in line with John Dewey and Lev Vygotsky.


A Quick Overview of My Five Tenets...

1.  Constructivism: Students will remember and learn more when they can relate to it by building that knowledge themselves. 


2. Think outside of the box Students must be able to think about a topic or concept abstractly and look deeper into a topic.


3. Active Learning: Students should be active, not passive learners.


4. Cooperative Learning:  Students learn a great deal when they are learning from their peers.


5. Scaffolding:  Students learn through observing and then through doing. 


*To view a more detailed explanation of my philosophy, please scroll down through the rest of my page.



My Philosophy as Compared and Contrasted With Noteworthy Philosophers

(5 tenets compared)


  1. The first tenet of my philosophy is constructivism.  Constructivism is when students build their own knowledge based on your guidance.  Dewey did not believe in repetition and memorization. He believed that students should engage in real-world activities. Students should be provided with opportunities to think from themselves and articulate their thoughts. 

 I believe that students will remember and learn more when they can relate to it by building that knowledge themselves.  Students need to learn how to conduct their own research and obtain information.  It will benefit them in life and in becoming informed, active citizens.  Students need to be taught certain skills and facts, but they also need to be able to obtain information on their own.  Students should be given problems and be able to explore and solve them based on information they obtain and critical thinking skills they have been taught.



  1. The second tenet of my philosophy is to think outside the box. Dewey said that “thinking is the method of an educative experience.”  It is good for a child to feel comfortable in what they are learning, but it is the job of the teacher to encourage them to think and grow. 

 I believe students must be able to think about a topic or concept abstractly and look deeper into a topic.  This can mean that while teaching a new topic, reinforce what they already have learned so they feel comfortable, but ask questions and encourage them to think about the new topic.  In order to allow a child’s mind to grow, you need to create links for them to better understand.



  1. The third tenet of my philosophy explores the idea of active learning.  Dewey believed that students would learn more by being active rather than passive. 

 I believe that when students are listening to a teacher, they are only learning the auditory method.  When students are active they are learning in different ways.  They are listening, seeing, and experiencing.  Students are more likely to remember material and gain a deep understanding of it, if they are learning in multiple ways.  Active learning allows them to do so.



  1. The fourth tenet of my philosophy is cooperative learning.  Vygotsky thought students learned best when constructing their knowledge in a group setting.  He believed that real life experiences are essential to a student’s social development and that one will learn more when working with someone else. 

 Students learn a great deal when they are learning from their peers.  They are willing learners because it is a change of environment for them.  They are also more likely to listen to and take the thoughts of their peers into consideration because they can relate to them.  If students are learning in a group setting they are learning life skills because they will be working in a group setting probably for the rest of their lives.



  1. The fifth tenet of my philosophy explores Vygotsky’s idea of scaffolding.  He said that a student can learn through the examples of adults and then gradually develop the ability to complete tasks on their own.

Students learn through observing and then through doing.  Once the student can see an adult perform a certain task, then they can perform that same task.  After a while, they will not need the adult to perform that task.  Students learn how to complete activities and think on their own.  As a teacher, I believe that it is important to model and then ask to the students to perform what they have learned and then give them activities to showcase that new knowledge.




 How My Philosophical Tenets Translate to an Enhanced Technology Program

(With examples)


  1. Technology could be a wonderful learning tool when using constructivism.  Allowing a student to conduct research using the Internet and to present that information using any technology at their disposal is a great alternative to lecturing and testing.  They should be able to show you that they know how to conduct research and present their findings in a creative way.  This allows you to see how much the student has actually learned because in this type of project they are not regurgitating the information back to you.  They have constructed the information themselves.  Student interaction is the key to learning effectively.

Example: Give your students a research project. Have them research the topic using the Internet.  Allow them to explore the vast amount of resources available.  Then have them present their findings in a creative project.  They should present it any way they want.  This will allow them to construct their own knowledge and conduct real world activities.



  1. By using technology, students are exposed to an array of ideas, resources, and people.  Students must take all of those resources and determine whether they are useful or not and biased or not.  Then they can form their own opinions and discover new information and connections.  This forces them to think outside of their comfort zone.

Example: Have students evaluate a website pertaining to a topic you are covering in class. Have them evaluate the resource and form their own opinions based on what they see.  Students will be evaluating material and evaluating means they will be thinking outside of the box.  This is higher order thinking.



  1. Technology allows students to be active learners.  They are given the gift of technology to use, explore, and master.  When students use technology, they can research, create, and learn new skills.  This brings them out of the role of the passive learner and into the role of the active learner.

Example: Have students create a digital story on their topic of choice; something they enjoy.  The will be using technology to create this story.  This makes them active learners by using the technology and guiding their own learning experiences.



  1. Technology can help foster cooperative learning.  Students can use technology to create group projects and research new information with their peers.  Once they have found this information they can then discuss it and brainstorm with their peers.

Example: Set up stations around the room based around the computers.  The computers at each station should be on a different resource.  Break students up into groups and have them explore each station.  Students will be exploring new material while bouncing ideas off one another and critically thinking about the new information to make connections and conclusions.



  1. The idea of scaffolding can be related to technology.  A teacher can use a piece of technology equipment, for example a computer, and show the student a skill.  This skill could be effective researching.  After the teacher has shown them this skill, with the guidance of a teacher, the student can perform this skill.  After using this skill several times, they will not need the guidance from the teacher any more. 

Example: Have students create a website.  Show the students the necessary skills to build one.  After you have built one and taught them the necessary skills, have them build one themselves, with guidance though, until they can create a website with no guidance at all.




Carvin, Andy John Dewey and Lev Vygotsky. Retrieved February 3, 2008, from EdWeb: Exploring Technology and School Reform Web site:

Learning Point Associates, (2008). Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD). Retrieved February 3, 2008, from Learning Point Associates Web site:

(2005). Vygotsky's Social Development. Retrieved < xml="true" ns="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" prefix="st1" namespace="">December 1, 2006, from Encyclopedia on Educational Technology Web site: