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 It’s a place to learn interpersonal skills that will never become outdated—like how to collaborate, resolve conflict, clearly communicate ideas and teach others.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


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