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 It’s a place to learn interpersonal skills that will never become outdated—like how to collaborate, resolve conflict, clearly communicate ideas and teach others.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


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