A Theoretical Curriculum Model for Implementing Constructivism in an Orff-Schulwerk-Based Classroom

November 27, 2011 / By: Rachel Hartwig

The purpose of this study was to examine constructivist theory and explore current constructivist practices in education today. This curriculum project focused on the implementation of constructivism in an Orff-Schulwerk-based music classroom through the development of a set of theoretical lesson plans for grades K – 5.

The lesson plans were designed around six elements of constructivist learning: 1) beginning with a musical problem or task, 2) organizing learning in various groupings, 3) connecting to prior knowledge and experience, 4) asking questions, 5) providing opportunities for students to exhibit understanding, and 6) inviting reflections. Lessons were also guided by general musical understandings, cognitive growth patterns of children, and Orff-Schulwerk curriculum goals. 

As a result of this study, I have a greater understanding of what it means to teach in a constructivist way to promote minds-on learning and encourage conceptual understanding in students. Further exploration of this study may include implementation of constructivism in an Orff-Schulwerk-based classroom and the results on students’ learning. Results may also include challenges of constructivist teaching, changes to current teaching practices after exploring constructivist theory, and implementation of constructivist teaching practices in music classrooms that are not based on the Orff-Schulwerk approach.