This article describes how a middle school Language Arts teacher in Omaha, Nebraska has used genius hours to extend student learning and build agency, all while strengthening community. Jen Schneider introduced Genius Hour by allowing students 1 hour a week to work on a self-selected project. Students must set out to answer a question and then make and share something with peers and other audiences. In addition to academic benefits, this article outlines how this approach has built relationships between students, encouraged collaboration between teachers, and built school culture. It also explores how these projects have connected students to the wider community, allowing them to showcase their voice to find mentors, solicit donations of materials, and make an impact.
This article would be a great conversation starter at schools looking for innovative ways to strengthen school culture and personalize learning. For teachers ready to jump in, this blog article from MindShift offers tips to help students manage their own learning and stay on track while completing a genius hour project.
Source Organization: EdSurge