Creating constructivist opportunities: Integrating the arts in education

Dennis William Creedon, University of Pennsylvania


This study looks at how teachers in a small learning community of a large urban high school attempt to incorporate constructivist theory into their teaching and learning. In particular, this study examines how the teachers use the constructivist curriculum and integrated content of their external partner, the Opera Company of Philadelphia. During the year, it is discovered that arts teachers have greater ability in understanding and facilitating constructivist concepts. They successfully engage students in designing and producing student centered products. They also display greater flexibility in their use of time, methods of content presentation, and assessment. Insights on the causes for the varied response to constructivist theory are gained from site visits, classroom observations, interviews with administrators, community coordinators, and teachers, dinner meetings, field trips, and primary source documents. Themes which emerge from the data highlight the findings of other researchers on the problems constructivist theory holds for front end professionals in schools. These themes relate to time usage in schooling: time needs in staff development, planning time, and roister teaching time. This research is of interest to those engaged in school reform efforts and external community partners who offer programmatic supports to school reform efforts. The primary suggestion is that arts educators be enlisted as facilitators and designers of constructivist staff developments for their peers in schools.

Subject Area

Curricula|Teaching|Teacher education|Educational theory|Secondary education

Recommended Citation

Creedon, Dennis William, "Creating constructivist opportunities: Integrating the arts in education" (1999). Dissertations available from ProQuest. AAI9934160.