Passion projects – learning without limits
How do we as educators provide students an environment to discover who they are, help them unlock the passions they hold, and guide their journey of self-discovery while also teaching our mandated curriculum? The answer is simpler than you might imagine: provide time for students to explore their passions. Devoting a portion of work time to exploring passions is not a new concept. Almost 70 years ago, 3M encouraged their employees to devote 15 of their work time to research and create innovative projects that captured their interests and passions. Google did something similar when they encouraged their engineers to take 20% of their time to work on something company-related that interested them personally. Both companies valued a spirit of innovation and productivity.
Introduction from: Bring JOY to the Classroom with Passion Projects
“If you can’t figure out your purpose, figure out your passion. For your passion will lead you right into your purpose.” - Bishop T. D. Jakes
From: Passion-Based Learning
Anissa Ramirez writes: When writing my recent book for TED, Save Our Science, I learned about the alphabet soup of instructional strategies out there, with the common theme of enticing and engaging learning. Let's name a few of these pedagogies: there is inquiry-based, project-based, design-based and problem-based learning, for example. Each of these methods has a central theme buried under all that jargon. If we were to compare the learning process to fishing, we want to draw students in (with the worm) and keep them engaged (with the hook).
These pedagogies provide the motivation and the momentum using different approaches. You can hook a student's attention if they get their hands dirty (inquiry-based learning); have learning interactions with other students (project- and problem-based learning); or need to perform a specific task (problem- and design-based learning). All these methods are ways - with their direct discovery, problem-solving, hands-on learning and collaborative methods - used to keep the embers of passion for learning alive. A love of learning is a key skill for the 21st century.
Passion and customisation are at the core of Learnlife’ methodology. We want every learner to have their individual needs and passions met every day. To this end, learning guides will help learners to explore existing passions and discover new ones. Our goal is to move from teacher designed projects to projects that are co-created by learners with the support of their learning guide.
In the ‘Familia’ (self-directed) group of learners, the intention is to free up as much of a day as possible for learners to work on their own passion projects. It is in this context that deep learning can be better facilitated.