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 It’s a place to learn interpersonal skills that will never become outdated—like how to collaborate, resolve conflict, clearly communicate ideas and teach others.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


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