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 It’s a place to learn interpersonal skills that will never become outdated—like how to collaborate, resolve conflict, clearly communicate ideas and teach others.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


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