Skip to main content

Let the Creative Juices Flow During Genius Hour

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on email
Share on pinterest
Share on google
Share on linkedin
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on email
Share on pinterest
Share on google
Share on linkedin

The origin of “Genius Hour” and intended purpose is unknown, but what is obvious is the significant traction it has gained worldwide. Though the most notable company currently employing Genius Hour is Google, it has gained popularity ranging from businesses to classrooms.

The idea of Genius Hour is predicated on the idea that employees or students should be given time to pursue projects that interest them, even if there is no immediate purpose for such projects in the foreseeable future. What might begin as a small side-project based of personal interest can become a valuable asset to the business or concept to share with a classroom.

Businesses that utilize the Genius Hour typically allocate 20% of an employee’s day to spend working on their own projects and pursuing their creative ideas. The same principle seems to work well in the classroom. Teachers assign a specific time period of the day (sometimes immediately following lunch) for students to work on their “passion projects.” Students are typically given several days or weeks to conduct their own research and come up with a project they can show to the class.

Such freedom from regular class work might initially create hesitation within teachers. Students might wonder, “What do I do?” To initiate and sustain Genius Hour, it is important that educators play an active role in the student’s research. Successful teachers meet regularly with students during these segments and ask questions concerning hypotheses, application and related subject matter in an effort to prod the students’ curiosity.

Check out a few of these suggestions offered by TeachThought if you’re not sure where to start.

Three Teaching Tips During Genius Hour

Like most classroom activities, it takes careful planning and execution to get the most out of Genius Hour. Here are three things to you’ll want to do to facilitate a memorable and productive assignment:

  1. Set clear goals and expectations: Students should not equate Genius Hour with free time. Set demonstrable goals on a daily or weekly basis. This will give you a means of measuring their autonomy and give the students a way to affirm their progress. You’ll also want to give them a sense of purpose that exceeds academic merit. Show them they are in charge of their learning and encourage their curiosity to drive their work.
  2. Highlight the creative element: When designing the assignment, allow students to demonstrate their findings in unique ways. Illustrate through examples (such as videos, apps, and podcasts) the ways research has been presented by other students through different applications. Let these examples inspire creative alternatives to pen and paper where students can share their discoveries.
  3. Make it a social event: Use a few of the Genius Hour time slots to group students with teams or in pairs to share their progress and bounce ideas off one another. These group meetings will help stir ideas that have become stifled and encourage students to be proud of the results they find.

The effect Genius Hour has on corporations is similar to the effect it has in the classroom — it boosts curiosity and motivates students to make discoveries. As a pedagogical theory, it can be applied to nearly any subject in school, making it invaluable to teachers.

Learn more about the University of Louisiana Monroe’s online Master of Education, Curriculum & Instruction – Concentration in Special Education in Gifted Education program.


Teach Thought: 6 Principles of Genius Hour in the Classroom

Genius Hour: What Is Genius Hour?

Related Articles

Have a question or concern about this article? Please contact us.

Our Commitment to Content Publishing Accuracy

Articles that appear on this website are for information purposes only. The nature of the information in all of the articles is intended to provide accurate and authoritative information in regard to the subject matter covered.

The information contained within this site has been sourced and presented with reasonable care. If there are errors, please contact us by completing the form below.

Timeliness: Note that most articles published on this website remain on the website indefinitely. Only those articles that have been published within the most recent months may be considered timely. We do not remove articles regardless of the date of publication, as many, but not all, of our earlier articles may still have important relevance to some of our visitors. Use appropriate caution in acting on the information of any article.

Report inaccurate article content:

Need more information?

Submit the form below, and an Enrollment Specialist will contact you to answer your questions.

Discover what a ULM online degree can do for your future.

Submit this form, and one of our student support representatives will contact you to answer any questions and guide you through the process, from start to finish.

Or call 800-917-3236

Ready to go?

Start your application today!

or call 800-917-3236 800-917-3236

for help with any questions you have.