In formal classroom lessons, students often do not get a chance to explore their creativity or curiosity. The lessons are often quite structured and time-bound. This sometimes cages the creative thinking of students. So one solution that educators came up with is a genius hour. So what is a genius hour and how can teachers implement it in their classrooms? Let’s find out.
What is Genius Hour?
The genius hour for an elementary student is an education tool built to explore students creativity and passion. It is designed for the student to establish self-learning and passion-driven work. The teacher will provide the students with a set amount of time every week. In the said time, students can learn anything they are passionate or curious about They can work on their pet projects and explore their creativity.
The teachers goal here is to pique the students curiosity and encourage the habit of self learning. Such an exercise can help develop the students into lifelong hours. Traditionally, about 20% of the time spend in the classroom should be allocated to the genius hour.
Six Principles of Genius Hour in Classroom
- Sense of Purpose
- Designing Experience
- 80/20 Method
Let us see them one by one.
Sense of Purpose
During the genius hour, the motivation to learn something or explore something is not academic anymore. The students will not be tested on anything they learn during this time. So the students need to find their own motivation and sense of purpose to learn, create, explore something. The teachers will also need to adjust their approach accordingly.
The teacher will not be employing traditional methods of teaching in the genius hour. There will be packing of content or scaffolding of lessons. The learning is entirely up to the students. So they are able to create their own learning experiences, designed to suit their personalities and abilities.
In this given hour, students learn through the process of inquiry. They navigate through a lot of unmonitored and unfiltered content. In the process, they gather information and ideas that appeal to them. And then a sense of inquiry motivates them to study further.
The core of the genius hour is creating. It is the essence of this allotted time. The students will use their knowledge and new information to create something – ideas, products, etc. So they must make, create, publish, design in this experience.
Genius hour also tends to help students socialize more with their peers, teachers and other community members looking for expertise and guidance.
This is the only important rule of genius hour. It allows the students sufficient time to explore their interests and also does not impose on traditional classroom learning.
This non-traditional teaching tool has been gathering some rave reviews. Teachers often talk about the new-found purpose in students and their growing sense of autonomy. The ultimate aim is to develop inquisitive children that go on to become lifelong learners.