http://www.20time.org/By Mrs. Joy Maimon, Language Arts Teacher
On a recent visit to the Chihuly Garden and Glass Museum at the Seattle Center, I watched a video documenting the artist’s process of creating his popular exhibit Lights Over Jerusalem. Chihuly explains that he never approaches a piece with a result in mind. Each new installation is an organic process that grows from the creativity of the moment.
Opportunities for creativity and open-ended learning can be hard to make time for in schools when we are focused on meeting curricular objectives to prepare our students for the demands of college and life beyond the school setting. But today’s rapidly changing world requires more than textbook knowledge, and our schools need to adapt to provide students the space for creativity, curiosity, and exploration.
With all of this in mind, I am very excited to introduce a new project in our 11th and 12th grade Language Arts class called 20Time.
Through my participation in the SAMIS Technology Initiative Cohort, I learned about the idea of a passion project, also known as 20Time or Genius Hour. 20Time is a self-directed project-based learning experience based on the research of Daniel Pink and a team of Google-certified teachers.
This program grew out of the work of forward-thinking companies like Google and Microsoft who know the value of encouraging workers to pursue personally meaningful projects as they exercise their critical thinking skills.
Each week for the next 12 weeks, 20 percent of our time will be devoted to a language arts-based project that our students choose based on their unique interests. During 20Time, I will guide, model, and hopefully inspire our students to find joy in wrangling with a challenge where there is no single “right” answer. I hope that through this process our students can experience the true enjoyment of learning without needing to ask “will this be on the test?”
At the end of the unit, each student will present an end-of-project speech or video sharing what they did and what they learned from this process. Stay tuned for a springtime update and reflection on this new learning adventure.
Read more about 20Time in education
Below: Derech Emunah students are excited about participating in the new, 20Time project.