Genius Hour

The Problem

So much of the time, children in primary school are never given the opportunity to pursue and research things that they are passionate about. We expect our students to develop 21st Century competencies and be brilliant problem solvers, yet all of the learning experiences they engage in are staged or carefully planned and delivered by the teacher. Demet implements Genius Hour in her class twice a year, for 10 weeks at a time.

“I believe that students need to be the leaders of their own learning and teachers need to embrace and acknowledge that engagement occurs at a much deeper level when the learning is relevant.”

Demet’s Solution

  1. Demet started by sharing the goals and aim of this initiative, which were;  to allow students an opportunity to discover/investigate one of their passions and reflect on/share their learning with others and to promote, support and model creative, innovative thinking and inventiveness. Students were expected to have a produce a product or achieve some sort of goal at the end of the ten weeks.
  2. She guided students in developing a driving question based on their passion. Students had to then write up a proposal and pitch it to the rest of the class that included a purpose, audience, timeline and resources needed to complete the project. 
  3. Students reflected on the process each week. If at any point in time they felt lost or uninspired, they were required to set a meeting with me to find a solution. Failure is an option. Simply learning from your mistakes teaches you a lot.
  4. At the end of the ten weeks, students presented their projects to the rest of Year 4 and everyone learnt something new at the end of the cycle – including the teachers.

Like the Idea?

Demet is really happy for you to give the genius hour a go in your classroom. Shoot an email to educhange@educationchangemakers.com if you want to get in touch with Demet and we can connect you. Feel free to cheer her on in the comments below as well. Be nice to each other friends, its a jungle out there! 

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