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 It’s a place to learn interpersonal skills that will never become outdated—like how to collaborate, resolve conflict, clearly communicate ideas and teach others.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


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