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 It’s a place to learn interpersonal skills that will never become outdated—like how to collaborate, resolve conflict, clearly communicate ideas and teach others.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


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