Friday, November 7, 2014

A Mighty Flame Followeth a Tiny Spark

Here is an embarrassing fact - all learning excites me!  But the new learning that has excited me the most is the Genius Hour model.  The very premise of allowing students to select an area of study sends a powerful message - "Your interests matter."  The fact that it is question based and process oriented teaches students to be active in their learning.  The many road blocks they face over the course of a project teaches them determination and grit.

Genius Hour really is just a fancy name for an old idea.  A person has a question or problem and seeks to find an answer or solution.  But giving the idea a name, also gives it a voice.  I admit that I was not always comfortable with the idea that students could direct their own learning.  After all, I went to graduate school, darn it, I should know what they need to learn.

But the world has changed and so must our schools.  Learners need to be empowered to learn.  We need to get excited about ideas.  We need to create, build, remodel and redesign.  We need to fail and we need to succeed.  We need to collaborate and share.  Teachers get to do this.  Why not students?

Genius Hour meets all of the essential learning needs - plus it is a ton of fun.  All the learner needs is a tiny spark and the space to discover.  Was there ever a better time to be a teacher?

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