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 It’s a place to learn interpersonal skills that will never become outdated—like how to collaborate, resolve conflict, clearly communicate ideas and teach others.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


award winner vegetarian meals coffee lovers internship ferry English Understanding and Engaging with Generation Z wages the hills waverton Mount Annan-Currant Hill education Lower Hunter Region aussie culture Christmas data brisbane Education Future Forum food New Zeland royal family media commentary infographic wall media release 10 years leadersip Duchess of Cambridge budget public transport younger generations mover and shaker cancel plans megatrends pyrmont public holiday schools millenials young australians local communities hobart energy language mccrindle in the media global generaion Black Friday in Australia insights wealth ACF 2016 growth of sydney census fail celebration national crime rates earn 2009 state REIV National Conference salary global shopping ashley fell Australian Home 23 million religion social media university marriage national private wealth census results Gen X Black Friday wellbeing social issues aged care gig economy volunteers staying in students population growth speakers pack social analysis social high density living affordable Wellington GPO Canberra sector wide study business performance Australian Bureau of Statistics holidays moreton bay CPI workforce nfp social trends builders paying to work social research affordability survey happiness Retail Australian communities 2013 trends of 2016 learn culturally diverse omnibus research baby names report stats education sector school satisfaction year 7 social enquiry politics cultural diversity ideas education future sydney market McCrindle Speaker housing affordability engagement wealth distribution social impact income dreaming 2016 Christmas presents Wagga Wagga trends trend financial fears volunteering data sector wide acf15 Sydney cost of living PSI grandparents hornsby ACF17 daily commute Adelaide HSC baby name trends cooking Mark McCrindle in the media average sydneysider social researcher unaffordable society 24,000,000 casual shopping centre typical australian local community menai financial Sydney population TAS increasing densification car population map teach global retail research visualisation post rationalism communicate Bathburst showreel engage Geoff Brailey fresh world youth day do people still change their surname after marriage? online the australian dream owning a home define events property development litter analysis sydney property market suburb not for profit research poker master dessert McCridle sydneysider wolloomooloo huffington post sentiments jobs Sydney’s south west identity DIY transport US marrickville commute divorce sydney event data visualisation meetings Engineering Manager choice workers Tasmania "know the times" screenagers apartment blaxland pharmacy Hunter Valley mccrindle tea land of the middle class charities Channel 7 marriages social commentary USA greatness intern research pack cold VIC conference business index Mark McCrindle shopper's pick slideshare life food bank Australian Census gen alpha community event 24 million business 1995 System's Architect brand ipswich social commentator follow in the media wealth and income distribution ACF2017 quote mateship SA employment optus my business awards housing trends South Australia eliane miles changing face of sydney wage Royals royal influence sun DESTEL census 2016 earnings workplace careers Netflix Caregiver parenting CBD communication youth forum motivate youth unemployment the lucky country suburbs etiquette SMSF socialites focus groups professional presenters ACT generation alpha property keynote speaker ACT Report balance economy grave decision house prices urban taskforce community engagement organisations train WA school students government entertainment Charlotte summer fears The ABC of XYZ residents employmee cost list unemployment church office internships debate challenge Valentine’s Day entrepreneurial conference speaker story domestic Sydney Hills Business Chamber training authenticity wedding cancelling event rise of local commuting Gen Y click deloitte office opening the average aussie NFP event mccrinlde mythbusters communities jobs of the future statistics newspaper cars names not-for-profit marketing lifestyle crime social researchers social analyst Kiwi social shifts publication micro australian real estate Births moderators guide rich geomapping house price rise panel Australian schools cloudy days thought leadership Northern Beaches Christian School education research christmas trees year 12 mining boom travel shifts population milestone Willowdale safe 2020 futurist internet equip relational spend baby names australia report community learning area coffee stay home skills middle class Business analysis innovative Christmas Stats winter blues giving experience real study forecast educhat holiday Research Director Hills Shire Council sydneysiders trends of 2017 cultural diveristy trends analyst home owner Christmas in Australia plans rain couple Tuesday Trend high density apartments optimistic rising house prices teaching google for education census data Kirsten Brewer Jura Australia Assistant Store Manager housing market tertiary education christianity future of shopping leader logan home ownership renter of the future urban living group Christmas day school surnames Christmas day weather china pharmacies brand experience the changing face of darwin rule keeper forecasting twentyseventeen easy rider sydney hills rental stress 1975 royal ageing criminal office space future proof infographics thrive TED Love Territory baby names FOMO narcissism national wealth shbc the hills shire divorce rate ABS ageing population investor dare to dream wealth inequality NSW vegemite resilience young people workplace culture Queensland research services faux-cilising seasons Wodonga Andrew Duffin daily telegraph overcast facts maiden names financial dreams education future report priorities Aussie hills TDE home in depth interviews entrepreneur australian community trends report proactive cancelling plans volunteer Australian Families perth know the times hunger speakers capital cities keynote Financial Planning Association Australian demographics consumer households sports professional speaker Vocational education emerging generations volunteering earning event eliane video selfie Hornsby Shire Council Cobbitty-Leppington online shopping live the dream toys FPA 2016 census news baby name chairty friendship insight Australians digital economy hills shire 40 million suburban living gen z Western Australia Work place global generation financial independence recap Gen Z Expert presentation anzac focus group australian social research trend tuesday supply and demand house village TED talk demographic trends tea workshop sector ease of travel Word Up February 16 Social Trend data winter customer learner public speaking Northern Territory TEDx Speaker princess charlotte teacher investing the great screenage royal baby travelling lalor park What is food insecurity? healthy future demographic transformations families mccrindle research donation future social change maiden generations buildings cica retirement snapshot McCrindle Keynote Speakers high density purpose Financial Planning Association of Australia alpha presentations generation sunny days IT Specialists breakfast JOMO educated leadership workshop graphs Res Vis media activity local going out innovation trades REIV Conference sydneycity millennials survey design 1994 emerging trends economic living contiki Christmas lunch Maxim Accounting christian low density Christmas research Northern beaches Event storytelling professional personalities generation Z mentor baby boomers kate middleton staff gig census care support Australian Trends gender prince george victoria researcher charity 1980 children non profit bus conference presentation urban living index goal urban development Jura Coffee New South Wales long weekend faux-ciliser mccrindle offenders poor property price debt participants Macquarie University Real Estate Institute of Victoria baby SMART sydney metro sustainable millionth Australian Communities Trends collaboration australian #censusfail baby boom networking entrepreneurs of today growing population tableau 2015 Research Executive money environmental scanning easter work-life employmer hello fresh average aussie resource work mates tv property market demographics Australian Population seasons greetings work World Water Day who is generation z happy holidays faith consumerism finance housing growth conferences TEDx NT market research Generation Y NBRS Architecture interactive award research data Financial Planning Week infographic tips Myth family demography renting social life VET dreams technology university degree Aussies micro apartments sunburnt country HR socialising relevant household Do It Yourself communications bondi Performance Sentiment Index mother's day bureau culture curiosity Christchurch ultimo medicine Elderslie-Harrington park optus New Zealand Australia street ACF urban repayments media annual income mortgage future proofing australia future of education Crime Rates global financial crisis Generation X January 26th society trends Australian community trends VET sector tuesday christmas 2017 clothing average Australian city cash 2014 donate SRE student dream qualitative research demographic small business 1968 townhouses digital employers EFF generational trends Population Clock neutral bay india brands Scouts faux-cilise Sydney Lifestyle Study woolworths water goals outsourcing leadership australian communities forum men high school Australia Day 2017 Tuesday Trends group session Deaths australian communities trends report public speaker wealth and income career impact product capital city sydney speaker McCrindle Speakers learning styles rent google speaker Northern Beaches apartments Sydney keynote speaker professional development states The Daily Edition Lower Hunter demographer program mythbusting aged care puzzle Real Estate surname hopes christmas growth housing baby name predictions Australia Day Channel Seven norwest speajer collaborative teleworking australians staying home more teachers mobile NEETs weekly earnings manly Melbourne Skilling gold coast Christmas season data analyst investment commuters work from home not for profit spirituality child care personal growth women social lives financial planning organisational culture case study cartodb ethnography screenage professional services nativity scene Black Friday Sales responsive belief crows nest 2016 census results Queensland: QLD house price tattoos James Ward research on coffee emerging technologies future of work future-proof friends schools students research report Merry Christmas Australian Dream visualisation weather global generations father's day visual 2017 financial future monarchy new office 2012 food insecurity parents new york times world population change indonesia environment potts point ashley mckenzie results report NBRS