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 It’s a place to learn interpersonal skills that will never become outdated—like how to collaborate, resolve conflict, clearly communicate ideas and teach others.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


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