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 It’s a place to learn interpersonal skills that will never become outdated—like how to collaborate, resolve conflict, clearly communicate ideas and teach others.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


organisational culture shbc townhouses culturally diverse Vocational education Northern Beaches Christian School video ACF research report TED talk population map school satisfaction Mark McCrindle annual income environmental scanning media business performance economy population poker master goals tattoos australian communities forum Queensland: QLD staying in speaker NFP event happiness school students wealth distribution 2012 names bureau Hills Shire Council HSC gen z the great screenage travelling jobs huffington post ACT Report moreton bay Kirsten Brewer McCrindle Speakers gold coast balance local office space 1980 Social Trend Aussies social gender perth survey design Lower Hunter Region keynote speaker slideshare McCrindle Speaker parents jobs of the future financial princess charlotte news mccrindle in the media hills Australian Population Christmas data volunteers Australian Trends entrepreneur baby names report giving wealth generation alpha workplace career focus groups middle class conference presentation winter blues showreel australian communities trends report monarchy resilience capital city supply and demand alpha baby name trends Christmas day Christmas in Australia identity travel area research eliane miles population growth financial dreams Australian Home know the times cloudy days community engagement Australian Dream sydneysider Mount Annan-Currant Hill grave decision New South Wales The Daily Edition census 2016 JOMO public speaking social impact who is generation z Australia Day clothing future proofing baby student generations graphs Willowdale future of shopping Northern Beaches conference futurist cold census fail tips rent VET sector urban youth social shifts mentor Duchess of Cambridge NSW quote Channel 7 australia Christmas lunch sydneycity sentiments research pack pharmacies growing population property price long weekend internet belief cash moderators guide case study transport in depth interviews housing market trends of 2016 SA employmer Australian communities 2016 census results life weather demographic trends city Black Friday Sales cica marrickville language 24,000,000 ACF2017 cultural diveristy sydney metro millennials McCrindle Keynote Speakers earning church WA etiquette salary emerging generations Research Director consumerism world youth day daily telegraph SMART Gen Z Expert social lives hobart millionth teaching mover and shaker conference speaker Engineering Manager twentyseventeen baby boom click tv money educated Sydney keynote speaker urban living schools national wealth demography Performance Sentiment Index authenticity communications bus hello fresh teach celebration rain hopes potts point faith families offenders household finance suburbs high school social commentator ferry professional services outsourcing capital cities royal influence communities housing affordability social change home ownership fears Skilling neutral bay personalities university storytelling not-for-profit recap Scouts TAS coffee resource speakers internships the lucky country snapshot litter Caregiver teleworking new york times customer non profit housing growth property market bondi future social analysis nfp builders royal baby entrepreneurs of today proactive Christmas research tuesday 10 years 1994 leadership workshop Aussie going out Territory overcast report buildings trends analyst university degree qualitative research Word Up professional South Australia ipswich toys speakers pack rich Sydney Lifestyle Study Sydney population acf15 stay home System's Architect pharmacy vegemite lalor park google Work place meetings VIC social commentary Deaths TEDx Tuesday Trends professional development business index growth of sydney social issues wolloomooloo emerging trends schools students relational urban living index government gig economy Charlotte state food professional speaker panel housing food bank NEETs ideas shifts commute global retail commuting work-life fresh daily commute the australian dream women property development facts priorities CPI ACT entertainment market research work mates communication australian social research NBRS generation Business analysis financial fears teacher cost sports world village Black Friday in Australia World Water Day group session newspaper royal family Mark McCrindle in the media dreams optus my business awards cars sector wide study conferences domestic property future proof data visualisation energy father's day trend tuesday budget investing sydney speaker divorce sector infographics selfie IT Specialists curiosity brand experience education sector hunger Lower Hunter Northern beaches Event Births repayments spend waverton tableau TED cancel plans students cancelling plans live the dream land of the middle class rise of local rental stress easy rider australian baby name home sydney hills Australian schools mateship logan Sydney social media population milestone cooking purpose family australians staying home more train volunteering data shopping interactive demographic society tea weekly earnings analysis digital economy visual friends learn SMSF 1968 high density children Northern Territory workshop cancelling event FPA research visualisation christmas 2017 study responsive future-proof TDE menai #censusfail casual employers hills shire innovative mother's day baby boomers sydneysiders households sydney event suburban living 24 million local community internship low density infographic Christchurch define renting tertiary education New Zeland socialites Geoff Brailey faux-ciliser award winner vegetarian generation Z mythbusters breakfast choice workers sydney market statistics darwin aussie culture ultimo marriages plans Crime Rates contiki healthy future society trends hornsby thrive Do It Yourself Channel Seven results ACF17 McCridle Jura Australia Myth PSI Tuesday Trend affordability Maxim Accounting faux-cilising the hills eliane religion optus demographics Tasmania not for profit research Western Australia sector wide sun Adelaide holiday geomapping Australia street screenagers Black Friday researcher consumer politics Australian Communities Trends Australian community trends year 12 housing trends spirituality marketing Queensland growth medicine ashley fell water Christmas presents retirement media activity winter the changing face of rule keeper economic Cobbitty-Leppington award Love research data financial future megatrends school survey donate social research brands Population Clock average Australian thought leadership employmee education future report car stats real marriage manly data analyst workplace culture media release wealth and income distribution employment mythbusting volunteer Australian Census organisations summer kate middleton aged care presentations Generation Y list Hunter Valley deloitte the hills shire debate Hornsby Shire Council collaborative ageing intern donation house price rise office opening owning a home charity learning Assistant Store Manager NT cartodb suburb typical australian dessert ashley mckenzie Gen Y education future Australia Day 2017 young people friendship teachers christianity national crime rates insight impact wage personal growth local communities educhat skills Jura Coffee relevant holidays shopper's pick urban taskforce DESTEL VET wealth and income program Real Estate debt gen alpha youth unemployment younger generations divorce rate dreaming crows nest high density living goal mccrindle research Christmas season REIV National Conference Gen X Bathburst NBRS Architecture staff Sydney Hills Business Chamber training small business trends technology January 26th gig prince george Andrew Duffin census data ACF 2016 crime volunteering house EFF renter of the future trades 2016 census victoria commuters education communicate dream 2016 research on coffee blaxland financial independence ethnography the average aussie mccrinlde Financial Planning Association national private wealth house prices greatness Canberra anzac Christmas day weather workforce optimistic ABS ageing population What is food insecurity? trends of 2017 generational trends baby name predictions new office public speaker lifestyle publication criminal Kiwi 2013 australian community trends report 1975 equip product dare to dream speajer wages parenting CBD presentation unemployment wealth inequality digital baby names australia report online Wellington mccrindle google for education living engagement Res Vis grandparents leadership cost of living financial planning education research global financial crisis work sunny days TEDx Speaker Wagga Wagga 2014 affordable wellbeing innovation apartment Generation X norwest visualisation story men Netflix 40 million Australian demographics mining boom networking social enquiry child care entrepreneurial average sydneysider 2020 social life census research services engage office social researchers sydney property market residents investor states high density apartments Royals Australian Families forecast keynote sunburnt country February 16 easter public holiday home owner Valentine’s Day aged care puzzle Australian Bureau of Statistics work from home woolworths apartments professional presenters changing face of sydney infographic wall socialising charities SRE mobile 23 million micro post rationalism urban development millenials social trends insights sustainable safe poor young australians US increasing densification food insecurity investment Sydney’s south west year 7 wedding income 2015 challenge event social analyst cultural diversity online shopping Financial Planning Week group change forum australian real estate English REIV Conference public transport coffee lovers Retail participants leader media commentary Melbourne rising house prices Financial Planning Association of Australia not for profit Merry Christmas demographer learning styles shopping centre chairty narcissism events community event Australians unaffordable Research Executive future of work follow emerging technologies christmas DIY Wodonga future of education demographic transformations focus group GPO New Zealand The ABC of XYZ motivate collaboration business christian couple Elderslie-Harrington park mccrindle tea trend average aussie FOMO royal learner house price Macquarie University omnibus micro apartments census results global earn Real Estate Institute of Victoria earnings Education Future Forum ease of travel data social researcher experience mortgage 2017 faux-cilise careers screenage community environment meals forecasting care support pyrmont James Ward brisbane culture seasons "know the times" paying to work baby names global generations in the media brand