How to teach Gen Z to be Collaborative, Innovative and Responsive

Monday, February 06, 2017

When I was eight years old, my third-grade teacher, Ms. Calov, taught me to be an inquisitive learner. Through her contagious enthusiasm, she turned me from an ordinary kid who did only what was required, to a perceptive student who asked for more projects and always connected what I learned to the world around me.

The kinds of soft skills I learned from Ms. Calov are increasingly important for Gen Z, the generation cohort after millennials. To be prepared for the jobs of today and tomorrow, these students need to be collaborative, innovative and responsive to their environment. Here's a look at how today's teachers are fostering curiosity, creativity and other skills in their students, with help from technology.

- Mark McCrindle

Encouraging collaboration

School is no longer just a place to learn math, science and writing. It’s a place to learn interpersonal skills that will never become outdated—like how to collaborate, resolve conflict, clearly communicate ideas and teach others. Technology can encourage this kind of interaction. For example, since Gen Z is the first digital-native generation, teachers are asking students for help using technology and to show their peers how to use new tools. Students are working on group projects when they’re in separate physical locations, developing their ability to communicate through written feedback and explain the thinking behind their suggestions.

Encourage lifelong learning and innovative thinking

Teachers today are encouraging students to have a love of learning and adopt an entrepreneurial mindset, so they can adapt to new careers and industries. The average employee tenure in the U.S. is 4.2 years, a decline from 4.6 years two years prior. In Australia, we’re experiencing a similar effect where employees are staying in jobs for a shorter duration—the Australian average is three years. This means Gen Z will have 17 different jobs in their life, and they’ll need to continue to learn new skills and how to use new tools as they progress in their careers. By designing learning tasks that have a real-world application, teachers are engaging their students as problem finders and problem solvers—roles that are crucial in any job.

Foster an adaptive mindset that’s ready for change

As the economy shifts and new jobs like VR engineers and cognitive computer analysts emerge, the next generation will need to be able to learn quickly and connect the dots between related topics. To teach these skills, many teachers are “flipping” learning —asking students to reflect on global issues and synthesize information from videos, podcasts and written material, instead of simply assigning a chapter in a textbook.

Six decades later, I still remember Ms. Calov. Her inspiration reminds me of a Mother Teresa quote: “I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.” Ms. Calov created many ripples by fostering a love of learning and empowering a community of learners. But with technology, every teacher can teach students lifelong skills to carry them through their careers.

Learn more by watching Mark’s recorded talk from Education on Air.

Welcome to our blog...

We have a passion for research that tells a story, that can be presented visually, that brings about change and improves organisations. And we hope these resources help you know the times.

Our Social Media Sites

Facebook | McCrindle Research Social Media YouTube | McCrindle Research Social Media Twitter | McCrindle Research Social Media Flickr | McCrindle Research Social Media Pinterest | McCrindle Research Social Media Google Plus | McCrindle Research Social Media LinkedIn | McCrindle Research Social Media Mark McCrindle Slideshare

Last 150 Articles


Tasmania cartodb marrickville office opening shopper's pick leadership workshop earnings investing long weekend builders 2012 census fail business performance engagement sector wide ferry GPO city The Daily Edition train internet financial independence local NT Births employment Australian Families aged care puzzle world youth day tips professional services Sydney social trends suburb food demographics housing suburbs optimistic optus my business awards 2020 Canberra gen z social research research school satisfaction students World Water Day trends analyst millionth fresh school organisations Res Vis mccrindle in the media cancelling event potts point interactive environment curiosity McCrindle Speakers data analyst Do It Yourself finance litter Crime Rates education future not-for-profit internships motivate salary teaching family generation visual dream travelling aged care keynote speaker retirement culturally diverse teach friends experience the changing face of balance home owner gender university degree ashley fell church learner communication Caregiver demographic cost of living seasons Australian demographics world CBD qualitative research Bathburst FPA forum families learn ABS Valentine’s Day follow work-life workshop hornsby Hills Shire Council demographer generation Z ease of travel tv Myth goals social issues baby name predictions wage staying in urban thought leadership apartment unaffordable conference speaker communications challenge anzac healthy future ageing population teleworking Queensland meetings Generation Y new office work mates annual income emerging technologies housing growth forecasting royal baby wages wolloomooloo Wodonga divorce rate commuters mccrindle research equip Channel 7 affordability shopping school students mother's day Macquarie University monarchy high density living house prices paying to work presentation ACT mythbusting professional development Gen Y tuesday woolworths census baby names report bondi 24,000,000 priorities eliane miles teachers repayments population environmental scanning pharmacies area New Zeland education sector thrive high density kate middleton 10 years ACF overcast Aussie capital cities middle class sunny days 2017 plans presentations cooking workplace culture ethnography February 16 shifts year 7 leader rising house prices Financial Planning Association of Australia change economy emerging trends social change mining boom child care cash New Zealand princess charlotte names baby names australia report sector wide study sydney metro tattoos speakers sydney speaker greatness daily commute education research events FOMO states office the australian dream baby names sydney event easy rider Sydney keynote speaker Australian Communities Trends Social Trend schools students 1994 office space suburban living investment optus Queensland: QLD organisational culture society trends cultural diversity nfp Western Australia professional speaker men data capital city infographic communicate VET sector earn Australian Population social lives professional survey design global careers education future report relevant Christmas lunch market research in depth interviews demographic trends prince george Wellington slideshare online budget ACF 2016 research pack resource real snapshot financial dreams aussie culture award Territory manly DIY high density apartments norwest group session low density christianity internship megatrends affordable shbc trend tuesday cancelling plans Engineering Manager Andrew Duffin politics Real Estate Institute of Victoria wedding publication financial fears insights growing population Australian communities buildings Scouts sydneycity entertainment focus groups gen alpha REIV Conference innovation baby educated fears statistics engage 2016 study online shopping personalities university 1975 NBRS Architecture Research Executive media activity house schools conference moreton bay spend mccrindle tea community safe couple small business quote storytelling rich future proof offenders jobs of the future research data public speaker acf15 social life typical australian product Generation X graphs work resilience state researcher mentor public speaking networking trends of 2016 contiki future of education Aussies media release christian Real Estate lalor park sector water divorce home stats participants trend Northern Beaches Christian School social household twentyseventeen pyrmont IT Specialists bus consumerism ageing australian communities trends report social shifts 23 million urban living index menai brand conference presentation year 12 REIV National Conference personal growth property trades average aussie mythbusters future proofing clothing collaborative royal charity rule keeper home ownership national crime rates coffee economic Australian Census Sydney Hills Business Chamber January 26th stay home hello fresh Duchess of Cambridge media VET waverton social researchers leadership village rental stress society Australian schools sustainable debate children financial future employers australia staff Northern Beaches 1980 report sunburnt country business financial omnibus English research visualisation social analysis cloudy days young people futurist NSW travel infographic wall Hornsby Shire Council video socialites owning a home Australia Day case study group property price darwin victoria life winter define non profit Kiwi proactive bureau VIC baby name trends authenticity house price rise learning styles households social enquiry easter Deaths socialising parenting winter blues identity logan in the media weekly earnings survey Australian Dream millenials 2013 royal family South Australia Merry Christmas housing trends responsive insight christmas trends of 2017 DESTEL James Ward dreaming Tuesday Trends EFF land of the middle class blaxland Royals baby name population milestone social researcher poor religion Australian Home SA australians staying home more generation alpha celebration digital townhouses Geoff Brailey 2015 relational results sentiments click SMSF tertiary education millennials Financial Planning Association mover and shaker wealth and income distribution cars young australians business index friendship research services Vocational education housing affordability grave decision Christmas presents census 2016 Skilling story 2016 census skills "know the times" community event google for education new york times future-proof income entrepreneurial mortgage pharmacy culture forecast consumer housing market Gen X program cold huffington post media commentary learning weather ideas hopes 2016 census results event global generations wealth distribution Australians social media Northern beaches Event toys tableau keynote public holiday renter of the future geomapping parents emerging generations list baby boom meals growth energy recap Australian Trends house price national wealth increasing densification panel crows nest research report hobart Mark McCrindle medicine Melbourne living cancel plans marriage demographic transformations car HSC national private wealth population growth vegemite 1968 sydney hills Assistant Store Manager high school tea Australian Bureau of Statistics focus group data visualisation NBRS trends urban taskforce Love conferences Education Future Forum going out 24 million sun marketing dare to dream investor debt criminal The ABC of XYZ generations poker master urban living Population Clock Australia Day 2017 mccrindle Word Up neutral bay newspaper ultimo grandparents the average aussie transport vegetarian TDE career rise of local generational trends #censusfail 40 million Financial Planning Week gold coast ashley mckenzie entrepreneur census results Christchurch residents student hills shire faith sports collaboration wellbeing australian social research community engagement ipswich faux-cilise SMART intern Kirsten Brewer google educhat volunteers PSI faux-cilising Netflix visualisation know the times technology brisbane moderators guide outsourcing renting global financial crisis local communities eliane cost social commentator wealth and income mobile father's day NEETs lifestyle rain System's Architect customer happiness perth award winner brand experience New South Wales baby boomers goal Tuesday Trend WA holiday news narcissism australian communities forum rent social impact sydneysiders the hills shire spirituality post rationalism JOMO belief jobs innovative earning not for profit language marriages alpha Wagga Wagga breakfast workforce Work place domestic social commentary daily telegraph mateship royal influence women 2014 selfie unemployment training Adelaide youth unemployment commute etiquette summer deloitte Channel Seven communities supply and demand population map faux-ciliser brands youth government TAS the hills workplace Christmas season holidays teacher crime Northern Territory property market dessert entrepreneurs of today wealth changing face of sydney Charlotte education analysis future of work facts future