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 It’s a place to learn interpersonal skills that will never become outdated—like how to collaborate, resolve conflict, clearly communicate ideas and teach others.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


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