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 It’s a place to learn interpersonal skills that will never become outdated—like how to collaborate, resolve conflict, clearly communicate ideas and teach others.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


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