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 It’s a place to learn interpersonal skills that will never become outdated—like how to collaborate, resolve conflict, clearly communicate ideas and teach others.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


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