Genius Hour Elective (Scheduled time)

Students have the opportunity to find and pursue individual passions while supporting other students' journey.

Photo of Florence Scott
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Students who are provided the opportunity to find and pursue individual passions can learn to more effectively support each other.  

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Photo of Dea Jones
Team

I've done something like this in my classes. We called it passion projects. The kids LOVED it! You might want to look at info on 20% time. There is a wonderful livebinder out there. Just google genius hour. Lots of great resources to help you with ideas and implementation! Here is the link: http://www.livebinders.com/play/play?id=829279

Photo of Erin Quinn
Team

I love genius hour. I want to think more about how a student's regular classes could become more like genius hour. Can they be interested, curious, passionate, and engaged in all their learning, not just a part? Something I've been thinking about a lot lately.

I'm curious to know how you imagine genius hour connecting with empathy. I'd love for you to sketch this idea out even further! Let me know if I can support you. :)

Photo of Florence Scott
Team

Thanks for the feedback! I agree that students need to feel in control over their educational plan in order to feed their passions!

As to genius hour connecting with empathy, I see it working in two different ways.
First, students in middle and high school are often grouped by ability and/or academic plans. Therefore, they often travel from class to class with primarily the same students. An elective genius hour would expand their normal social circles, which increases awareness of others' interests and passions. Furthermore, they may find similar interests with students who they may not normally interact. This would increase empathy by simply exposing them to new people with new interests and passions.
Second, students who feel nurtured and supported are more likely to nurture and support others. They would have great opportunities to grow their individual talents and passions while supporting each other, especially when it's effectively modeled by the adult.

Thanks for helping me focus the thoughts on this!

Photo of Erin Quinn
Team

I get where you're going with this now. Absolutely this is connected to empathy! I wonder if you could structure the genius hour to deliberately REQUIRE students to seek out perspectives other than their own?

Photo of Florence Scott
Team

Oh, what a great suggestion! I'll have to think on that to see how it might look! Thank you!