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 It’s a place to learn interpersonal skills that will never become outdated—like how to collaborate, resolve conflict, clearly communicate ideas and teach others.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


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