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 It’s a place to learn interpersonal skills that will never become outdated—like how to collaborate, resolve conflict, clearly communicate ideas and teach others.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


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