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Genius Hour: Inspiring Passion-Driven Learning for Students

Genius Hour is a concept wherein a specific time during the school day or week is dedicated for students to explore their passions and encourages creativity in the classroom. It allows students to choose what they learn during this set period.


Origins

The idea originated in the 1950s with 3M, a multinational conglomerate. However, it gained widespread popularity when Google adopted it. “Google Genius Hours” allows employees to spend 20% of their workweek on projects they are passionate about, provided these projects furthered the company’s goals. Innovations such as Gmail, Google News, and Google Glass are a result of this initiative. The principle is giving employees the freedom to pursue their passions can yield the most innovative results.


Implementing Genius Hour in schools

Genius Hour in schools would typically involve one hour a day or two hours a week where students work on independent projects they are passionate about. For example, students might paint, learn sports techniques, write poetry, teach a younger sibling or even develop a website. 


Teachers can involve themselves in this process by guiding students until they are comfortable working independently. Teachers can show students how to conduct research, where to start learning a new skill, or how to delve into a specific topic, without trying to dictate or assign tasks to students.


Steps to follow 

  • Choosing a topic: Students should be given time to explore different topics. They should choose something they are passionate about and willing to focus on for an extended period.

  • Project approval: After selecting a topic, students present their plans for teacher approval. They submit an outline detailing their project plans and what they hope to learn.

  • Completing research: Students can use technology, books, and other resources to research their topic. They can be guided in finding useful videos, blog posts, encyclopedia articles, or interviews as part of research.

  • Presenting their findings: Once the research is complete, students can start their projects. They can choose any format to present their findings


Examples of how to use the time

  • Art: Art involves everything from painting on canvas to designing a dress. Students can learn new skills like pottery, designing, comic creation and so on.

  • Sports: Students could learn new sports techniques, possibly even creating a tutorial video to share their new skills.

  • Writing: Students interested in writing can start a blog, write poetry engage in slam poetry or even begin a novel.

  • Theatre: Students can learn acting, script writing, directing and  stage designing 

  • Technology: Tech-savvy students can develop a website or app, documenting their process and learning new programming languages along the way.

  • Teaching: Students passionate about teaching can also spend this time teaching younger siblings or peers, creating lesson plans and educational materials.

  • Multimedia: A creative student could start a podcast or YouTube channel, focusing on topics they are passionate about.


Genius Hour fosters independence, creativity, and a love for learning, making it a valuable addition to the holistic development of students. Implementing it in our school practices would be an innovative and engaging step forward. 


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