Genius Hour is an innovative way to breathe life into your students by giving them more autonomy. When students are more motivated and engaged, they’re more likely to be lifelong lovers of learning.
What is Genius Hour?
Genius Hour is an educational method for increasing student engagement by allowing them to explore topics that interest them.
This concept is rooted in what Google calls “20% time”, where employees are allowed to spend 20% of their work time on side projects that interest them. Popular services Gmail and Google News were a result of this policy.
With Genius Hour, students have the freedom to choose a topic that they’re passionate about and then given guided autonomy to learn about the topic, set goals, and present their ideas.
While one of the primary goals of Genius Hour is creating autonomy, not having clear guidelines and expectations would result in chaos.
We recommend developing the following guidelines for your students:
- Set clear goals
- Establish a timeline
- Do plenty of research
- Collaborate with other students/peers
- Be creative
- Present your findings
- Reflect on the project
4 Benefits of Genius Hour
1) Student Engagement
In Intrinsic and Extrinsic Motivation, K. Ann Renninger emphasizes that focusing on individual interests will give you insight into understanding what motivates and engages your students.
2) Critical Thinking
By having your students incorporate research, reflection, and presentation, they will naturally develop their critical thinking skills throughout the course of the project.
Your students will encounter hurdles throughout their projects, but by using the established guidelines and collaborating with each other, they will have a greater chance of success.
4) Lifelong Learning
Additionally, by incorporating the above guidelines and allowing your students the freedom to pursue what interests them will help them grow their skills and increase their love of learning.