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 It’s a place to learn interpersonal skills that will never become outdated—like how to collaborate, resolve conflict, clearly communicate ideas and teach others.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


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