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 It’s a place to learn interpersonal skills that will never become outdated—like how to collaborate, resolve conflict, clearly communicate ideas and teach others.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


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