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 It’s a place to learn interpersonal skills that will never become outdated—like how to collaborate, resolve conflict, clearly communicate ideas and teach others.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


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