Genius Hour Project in Brazil: An Experience Report with 5th Graders, 10-Years-Old Students

Proceedings of ‏The 2nd World Conference on Teaching and Education

Year: 2021


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Genius Hour Project in Brazil: An Experience Report with 5th Graders, 10-Years-Old Students

Christiano B. Machado, Rosa R. M. Vale, Maria Lúcia L. Silva, Maria Alice Aguiar, Tatiana C. Paraizo



Many technology companies have implemented what is called the Genius Hour: employees have time, within working hours, where they can devote themselves to projects of their own interest. In this context, this project has been adapted by A.J. Juliani to the classrooms as an inquiry learning instructional technique and a project-based learning. To the best of our knowledge there is no report in the literature about Genius Hour approach in Brazil, a country with its own educational challenges and issues. In this case report, we aim at presenting an experience report about the Genius Hour Project in Brazil, with 5th graders, 10-year-old students. Children define the subjects of their projects following an awareness-raising work based on the question, “How can I use a passion of my life to answer a problem or question that I have”? Students receive weekly guidance from a PhD. teacher with background on health, mathematics, music, pedagogy and engineering. The family gets involved in the process. Other school professionals are involved (eg. computer science, arts) are invited to support the students. Since 2018, we have already accomplished a total of 142 projects. This pedagogic approach brings to school the four pillars of 21st century education (learning to know, learning to live together, learning to do, and learning to be), looking for an entrepreneurial education. Students could develop important characteristics to be a successful entrepreneur. Besides, the school created a student-centered environment, developing critical thinking, social learning and opportunities to boost individual strengths.

Keywords: problem-based learning, elementary school, radical autonomy, entrepreneurship.