Bringing Genius Hour to Your Library: Implementing a Schoolwide Passion Project Program

110p. index. Libraries Unlimited/Teacher Ideas. Dec. 2017. pap. $40. ISBN 9781440856525.
Genius Hour is defined here as "a movement in education where students are allowed to regularly use a portion of class time to learn about whatever they want." The idea of libraries as hubs for student innovation, with librarians as future-ready guides, has obvious appeal to anyone struggling not just to create a relevant library program but also to prove that program's worth to administrators. This volume on implementing a schoolwide Genius Hour program begins with a compelling argument for self-selected, self-directed projects as the best preparation for life beyond school and librarians as the ideal leaders of that charge. In initial chapters, Rush offers valuable information on proposing Genius Hour to school leadership and getting buy-in from key members of the faculty, along with realistic and helpful caveats that individual circumstances may vary. Tables and sidebars provide effort-saving extras, such as talking points for PTA meetings and sample time lines. Unfortunately, information on logistics is often too vague, and the bulk of suggestions make the most sense in an elementary school environment, though the book's stated scope is K—12. Some concerns, including aspects of dealing with technology, grading, funding, copyright, and privacy, are glossed over too lightly, given their potential to cause problems.
VERDICT This title emanates can-do spirit and a willingness to think big, but those seeking case studies and concrete details on how to adapt this style of curriculum integration to local use, and for all grade levels, will need to look for additional writing on the subject.

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