2.3.5 Teaching Methods in Lower Secondary Education

The curriculum for compulsory subjects distinguishes between a content-defined core area and an autonomously decided supplementary area. It is up to the teachers to determine the nature of the content area and the amount of time they want to spend on this. Two thirds of the number of hours available per week are set aside for the core area.  (Federal Ministry for Education, Arts and Culture, 2008a, 3. part, paragraph. 1.-3.)InnovationActivities for curriculum development are currently taking place in the context of the "New Middle School" school pilot studies. Forms of team-teaching with one teacher qualified for lower secondary and one for upper secondary education, as well as the concept of all-day schooling account for some of the most fundamental innovations in lower secondary education, which has an effect on arts and cultural education.The teaching goal of the "New Middle School" pilot is to offer "more art and cultural projects" to enhance "creativity". Theatre, dance, music, painting and other creative forms of expression are offered as they affect the creative development of young people. (Schmied, 2010).In practice it turns out that artistic specialisms are seldom chosen: The Burgenland pilot region reports none in 2008/2009.Modellplan BurgenlandThe Austrian Art and Technical Teachers Professional Association (BÖKWE) has expressed concerns that art education [Bildnerische Erziehung], textile design [Textiles Werken] and technical crafts [Technisches Werken] are in danger of disappearing from curriculum of the "New Middle School" (BÖKWE, Salzburg Declaration , 2009).Specialism Creativity - cultural expressivityThe European School of the University College of Education of Upper Austria leads the specialism Creativity - cultural expressivity.Europaschule LinzMusic Middle SchoolSpecialist lower secondary schools are taking part in the New Middle School pilot study, such as the music high school in Thüringen/Vorarlberg which was promoted to music middle school (see also 2.3.9.).New teaching methods through new teaching materialsIn recent years publishers include multimedia information technology possibilities in their teaching methods for music. These influence the music teaching methodology. The publication Haydn für die Schule and Klassik aktiv offer flash animations for example, which allow pupils to control the playback of examples of music in an interactive way.Helbling Verlag