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 It’s a place to learn interpersonal skills that will never become outdated—like how to collaborate, resolve conflict, clearly communicate ideas and teach others.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


brands authenticity australian communities trends report seasons optimistic VET sector follow public transport budget statistics world DIY social life future of work presentations NSW Australians nativity scene Crime Rates Australian Census System's Architect professional presenters huffington post futurist casual ageing population repayments pharmacy 24 million engage salary moderators guide retirement equip father's day surnames charity cultural diversity trend tuesday New South Wales storytelling housing affordability middle class 2015 real Channel 7 VET Mount Annan-Currant Hill event showreel Australian Trends McCridle education sector generational trends cancelling event changing face of sydney social commentator money food 2016 census Vocational education marrickville healthy future wealth and income sector study ACF 2016 dreams balance change gold coast Western Australia baby boomers the lucky country insights Tuesday Trend gig economy baby names report home ownership 2009 future proof Caregiver wages 1994 events easy rider screenagers PSI Christmas presents summer researcher easter ferry urban living index culturally diverse Wagga Wagga February 16 poker master Australian Population Australian Communities Trends anzac transport kate middleton winter blues post rationalism australia affordability monarchy train lifestyle Northern Territory focus groups sports debt travel relational research visualisation christmas volunteers unaffordable business index office opening local life family shifts christianity ideas bureau Australian Home faux-cilise renter of the future moreton bay financial independence perth property price shopper's pick Mark McCrindle in the media social impact CPI Hornsby Shire Council average Australian Foodbank Australia trends of 2016 society trends Australian Families work speajer Netflix litter FPA NEETs Population Clock technology global financial crisis commuting Real Estate australian communities forum trends of 2017 schools students renting parenting crime women slideshare SMSF brand experience volunteering income community engagement optus my business awards sector wide study Black Friday wellbeing property Millennial urban living The Daily Edition Sydney Lifestyle Study ultimo marketing state resource Real Estate Institute of Victoria know the times economic professional services publication McCrindle Speakers maiden the hills shire educhat January 26th new york times NBRS Architecture Royals Adelaide donate mateship socialising McCrindle Speaker mover and shaker Aussie hills shire rise of local cash mentor data visualisation blaxland australian social research twentyseventeen Australia street 1980 population map education future mccrindle research 2013 personal growth community event screenage social commentary sydney hills cars millennials house price future generations media commentary mccrindle keynote learning styles daily commute demographer meetings men organisational culture year 7 financial fears tv trends population growth results World Water Day employment townhouses micro apartments Christmas in Australia facts Valentine’s Day property market Maxim Accounting communications training NT Black Friday in Australia future proofing VIC pharmacies networking youth shbc online investor McCrindle Keynote Speakers James Ward apartment Myth coffee lovers baby 40 million australians staying home more 2012 Jura Australia daily telegraph travelling ABS omnibus rental stress financial innovative employmee indonesia suburbs cultural diveristy collaborative safe Research Director census society 2016 census results "know the times" program the changing face of click victoria gen alpha baby name predictions mccrindle tea future of shopping TED consumerism giving local communities education future report rich residents politics choice workers communication Australian Dream demographic outsourcing qualitative research suburb ashley fell bondi young people award mortgage quote the hills property development Gen X report workplace meals social shifts plans work-life dare to dream housing trends woolworths conference vegetarian public speaker dreaming research report Tuesday Trends brand google for education visual sentiments commute group session survey investing young australians REIV National Conference Melbourne learn Wellington jobs Performance Sentiment Index overcast average aussie Financial Planning Association of Australia census data challenge New Zealand ipswich language career wolloomooloo workplace culture world youth day Australian communities chairty holiday micro younger generations Skilling leader Black Friday Sales earn video criminal socialites teaching couple faith and belief environmental scanning GPO national wealth divorce teach living Social Trend global Christmas lunch in the media 2014 weekly earnings Canberra Lower Hunter Region responsive Business analysis Sydney’s south west etiquette hills toys parents social researchers entrepreneurial care support business award winner house prices DESTEL research pack relevant sun not-for-profit goal faux-ciliser Wodonga global generation grave decision social analyst New Zeland royal family sydney event baby name fresh Australia Day housing market case study belief media focus group Willowdale Understanding and Engaging with Generation Z Australian demographics work from home FOMO cartodb sydneysiders Gen Y Mark McCrindle public holiday who is generation z royal influence acf15 surname Christmas day weather Scouts school global generaion financial planning australian real estate social issues trends analyst social researcher wage divorce rate social enquiry child care Duchess of Cambridge Retail infographics experience non profit keynote speaker entrepreneur dream Deaths Andrew Duffin USA in depth interviews rumbling tummies Aussies forecasting population logan Generation X population milestone demographic transformations high school holidays EFF global generations SRE leadership workshop economy deloitte wealth distribution mythbusters aussie culture business performance sustainable hunger Channel Seven google ashley mckenzie vegemite city newspaper emerging generations Territory suburban living medicine celebration not for profit conferences housing wedding ease of travel census fail investment Christmas data national private wealth baby names brisbane Work place school satisfaction Macquarie University English earning hornsby friendship Love office space market research manly generation alpha low density Engineering Manager jobs of the future mccrinlde marriages owning a home NBRS REIV Conference careers Northern Beaches Christian School Australia Day 2017 gen z Bathburst professional speaker curiosity collaboration names sydney metro wealth india digital christmas 2017 Cobbitty-Leppington ACF2017 food bank builders megatrends generations list friends employers define urban taskforce commuters Australian schools children rising house prices contiki high density living Elderslie-Harrington park cost of living graphs SA gender sydneycity analysis research data national crime rates growing population poor purpose Northern beaches Event teacher ACF wealth inequality generation Z leadersip 24,000,000 engagement presentation breakfast sydney speaker Gen Z Expert university degree affordable menai Christmas research The ABC of XYZ the future gig Queensland emerging technologies Christmas day small business future-proof growth of sydney eliane miles prince george office rule keeper tertiary education urban development lalor park cica mccrindle in the media research services sophie renton teleworking the average aussie Do It Yourself high density apartments winter 10 years seasons greetings buildings fears cloudy days millenials ACT cost capital cities year 12 Sydney population university home faith trend generation baby names australia report research speaker home owner education research interactive students education educated 2017 group aged care puzzle bus Sydney long weekend trades house finance demographics Hills Shire Council princess charlotte darwin do people still change their surname after marriage? ageing culture entertainment millionth social trends motivate neutral bay TDE participants domestic pyrmont staff social lives personalities the great screenage christian growth government local community emerging trends going out forecast norwest Merry Christmas cancelling plans data financial dreams food insecurity tea visualisation groceries water demographic trends professional snapshot royal baby teachers public speaking wealth and income distribution weather environment communities 23 million mythbusting resilience CBD not for profit research youth unemployment volunteering data car shopping Christmas Stats marriage donation demography product infographic wall schools media release tips Lower Hunter Charlotte digital economy thrive WA ethnography households stats story land of the middle class data analysis JOMO house price rise average sydneysider intern Financial Planning Association household impact states conference speaker Australian community trends internet clothing tuesday survey design communicate the australian dream annual income thought leadership mobile financial future sunny days news consumer skills Births cancel plans families HSC TEDx Speaker Assistant Store Manager Education Future Forum speakers pack South Australia learner TAS capital city HR ACT Report Australian Bureau of Statistics religion panel demographic analysis organisations research on coffee maiden names unemployment australian community trends report community baby boom internships proactive future of education workforce optus sydney market Sydney keynote speaker tattoos global retail narcissism dessert eliane social supply and demand Research Executive grandparents 2016 apartments selfie high density Christchurch work mates Generation Y energy NFP event entrepreneurs of today Kirsten Brewer Sydney Hills Business Chamber royal hobart Christmas season #censusfail new office media activity ACF17 waverton sydney property market forum live the dream census results social analysis sector wide internship mining boom social research online shopping SMART child hunger IT Specialists sunburnt country What is food insecurity? speakers faux-cilising Kiwi priorities australian school students offenders area learning US stay home 2020 nfp christmas trees identity 1975 hopes rain Hunter Valley geomapping happiness census 2016 conference presentation alpha baby name trends china mother's day potts point leadership aged care infographic customer staying in Word Up Tasmania hello fresh spend happy holidays typical australian employmer increasing densification Geoff Brailey Financial Planning Week cooking paying to work debate TEDx data analyst goals professional development village tableau recap cold student charities sydneysider social media crows nest TED talk volunteer urban Res Vis 1968 Northern Beaches earnings coffee future social change rent shopping centre 1995 innovation Queensland: QLD insight greatness church Jura Coffee housing growth workshop spirituality