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 It’s a place to learn interpersonal skills that will never become outdated—like how to collaborate, resolve conflict, clearly communicate ideas and teach others.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


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