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 It’s a place to learn interpersonal skills that will never become outdated—like how to collaborate, resolve conflict, clearly communicate ideas and teach others.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


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