Every student has a passion project inside, waiting to emerge if invited to do so. These dreams lie just beneath the surface, built on experiences and stories, fears and achievement. They just need a spark to catch fire.
It is the job of teachers and other adults to provide that spark. We need to give our students the opportunity to shatter the rules, become their own teachers and captains of their own ship on a journey where they set the destination and the route.
Genius Hour — a regular time in class during which students get to pursue their own passion projects — is a gift that opens students up to the world of their own talents and interests. It allows them to reach beyond the routine, unlearn the rules they've been programmed to follow and embrace the uncertainty of their own audacious dreams.
How Genius Hour evolved
The concept of Genius Hour emerged from some of the world's most innovative companies, whose leaders invited employees to explore their own ideas for contributing to the organization's success. These leaders recognized that they needed to loosen the reins to create the conditions necessary for employees to think disruptively.
Angela Maiers is an award-winning educator, speaker and author of Classroom Habitudes and The Passion-Driven Classroom. She is the founder of Choose2Matter, a global movement that challenges students to work collaboratively to develop innovative solutions to social problems. Connect with her on Twitter via @AngelaMaiers.