Using genius hour to increase student engagement within the BC curriculum
Engaging students in learning is often a challenging task, especially during the middle grades where the demands of school become more challenging for learners (Sanacore, 2008). Many students are passionate and keenly interested in many things and immerse themselves deeply in learning to those ends. This research project outlines an instructional approach which connects utilizing such student motivational interests within the learning requirements of the BC Curriculum. Through this teaching method known as Genius Hour, students are given an opportunity to bring their passions and curiosities into the classroom in a way that aligns with much of the curriculum. Through the exploration of various research and literature related to motivation and engagement, Genius Hour, 21st century learning, and the BC Curriculum, this project led to the creation of a research-informed handbook for using Genius Hour within the BC Curriculum. The handbook provides guidance for using Genius Hour in upper elementary and middle school grade classrooms with the intent of having students deeply engaged in the learning process in a way that allows them to develop many important 21st century skills.