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 It’s a place to learn interpersonal skills that will never become outdated—like how to collaborate, resolve conflict, clearly communicate ideas and teach others.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


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