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 It’s a place to learn interpersonal skills that will never become outdated—like how to collaborate, resolve conflict, clearly communicate ideas and teach others.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


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