In education, it is critical to incorporate students’ passions and interests into the regular curriculum. Genius Hour emerges as a transforming movement in classrooms, allowing kids to explore their interests and foster innovation.

The article discusses Genius Hour in detail, outlining its benefits, origins, and uses.

Genius Hour is a movement that allows students to explore their passions and encourages creativity in the classroom. It provides students a choice in what they learn during a set period of time during school. Determining where the idea was created is challenging, but at least two events have impacted Genius Hour. Watch the quick video for a better understanding.

The concept of genius hour originated in the IT sector, particularly at Google, where workers were formerly famously assigned an 80/20 work schedule, meaning they were to spend 20 percent of their time on innovation and 80 percent on daily tasks. Whether this actually happened is debatable; according to some  engineers, it was more of a 120 percent time setup, with workers required to put in much overtime to finish daily tasks and all that innovation.

Fortunately, an educational movement that gained traction a few years ago is much more compassionate toward elementary school pupils. Teachers allocate time during the school week for their pupils to work on projects or engage in “passion projects” as fast-finisher activities.

What are the three rules of Genius Hour?

Teachers in elementary schools follow three basic rules for Genius Hour projects: passion, drive, skills acquisition, and benefiting others.
Dan Wettrick, a teacher and author of Pure Genius, outlines these rules in his classroom:

  • “Do you have passion for this topic?”
  • “Are you driven to do it even when school is not in session?”
  • “What skills are you getting out of this project?”

Genius Hour entirely aims to help students explore their interests and develop thoughtful research questions. Students conduct research systematically and share their findings through various presentations. Reflection and question development foster more profound understanding and community engagement for future projects.

What are the benefits of using Genius Hour in the classroom?

  • Genius Hour allows students to explore their interests and passions independently, fostering creativity and critical thinking skills.
  • It provides a platform to dream big, experiment, and develop innovative ideas.
  • Research is essential in daily life. Students need to do research to work on something that will help them later.
  • There is a scope for diverse learning.

How can it be utilized in a classroom?

  • Allot one to two periods in a week. This will help them to endorse their passion.
  • Weekends can also be used for extracurricular activities or Genius Hour. Weekends are much lighter than any weekdays.
  • 80% of that Genius hour can be allotted to the students, and the other 20% can be used for discussions.
  • Teachers can push them to host a session or panel/group sessions.
  • Every Student can mix. Know each other and their subjects as well.

How can teachers engage with students during Genius Hour?

Collaboration between teachers and students can be a powerful tool in promoting self-discipline and self-management skills among students. To do so, schools should provide ample opportunities for students to engage in brainstorming sessions, panels, mind-mapping exercises, field trips related to their projects, group discussions, and feedback sessions. Teachers need to encourage peer feedback as this helps students improve their work and fosters collaboration and communication skills.

What are your views? How would you like to implement Genius Hour in your classroom?