3 traits to expect from Generation Z

They'll be more creative and collaborative, experts predict

Generation Z students have been learning in different ways than their Millennial predecessors did. 

Writing for Talent Economy, Lauren Dixon shares three predictions about how Generation Z's unique experiences will shape them as students and workers.

1. They expect collaboration

Generation Z students have become accustomed to blended teaching styles and flipped classroom models at the K-12 levels.

According to Michael Petrilli, the president of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, young people will likely bring a preference for collaboration along with them as they get older. Generation Z will be most comfortable in collaborative workspaces and working in small teams, predicts Ryan Coon, program officer for The Sprout Fund.

Coon also predicts that Generation Z will bring this collaborative attitude to interacting with teachers and managers, expecting authority figures to act more as coaches and co-collaborators.

How to reconfigure classrooms to support new teaching and learning approaches

2. They'll shun memorization

From Apple's Siri to Microsoft's Cortana, Generation Z students are used to having immediate answers to all of their questions at their fingertips.

As a result, this generation won't value memorization, predicts Alexandra Whittington, an adjunct professor at the University of Houston's College of Technology and contributing author to The Future of Business.

Instead, she argues, Generation Z will focus on applying information.

These artificial-intelligence "assistants" will not, however, make Generation Z students less likely to embrace in-person interactions—according to a 2016 study by Randstand, Generation Z still prefers to communicate face-to-face.

3. They like to innovate

According to Ajay Kapur, the president and CEO of Kadenze Inc., Generation Z has been learning in ways that emphasize creativity.

At the Rhode Island School of Design, for instance, there has been a recent effort to add the letter "A" for "art" into the STEM acronym.

And it's a good skill to help students build. Employers value creativity, Kapur says, because they like employees who can generate solutions to problems rather than waiting on someone to tell them what to do (Dixon, Talent Economy, 11/14).


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