As St. Clement’s plans strategically for the coming years, it has been imperative to research trends, gather external and internal data, and access research. One piece of research that has recently come to our attention is a White Paper on Gen Z entitled Gen Z: a Generation to Look Up To. Authors Giselle Kovary, President and Co-Founder of n-gen People Performance and Rob Pearson, Director, Executive and Corporate Learning at the Ted Rodgers School of Management, present an exciting piece on what to look forward to from Generation Z, those born between 1995 and 2015 who are currently ages 4- 24.
Not surprisingly, I was intrigued by the section on education, and heartened about how the research aligns with the work we do. As I read the paper, I was reminded of one of our Grade 6s projects for their Curious Kids time.
Kovary and Pearson indicate that the implications for educators are that Gen Z’s learning preferences reflect the following:
- Self-directed learning which allows learners to have a say in what and how they learn
- Collaborative problem solving which connects learners with colleagues around the organization
- Practical and real-world focused learning that addresses just-in-time learning gaps
- Integration of external sources of information to ensure content is current, up to date, and provides fresh perspective; and,
- Leverages technology to make learning easier, faster, and more collaborative between learners
Last week, four of our Grade 6s, inspired by Gander, Newfoundland’s story of September 11, 2001, wanted to learn how the town adjusted to the sudden influx of people when so many planes were forced to land there. As their teacher, Ms Carlson, relayed to me, “They were curious about how the town responded so quickly. They wanted to know what kind of organization was involved, and what inspired people to open up their homes, lend their clothes, share food etc. with strangers from around the world.”
While I was impressed with the girls’ thinking and questioning, I was thrilled that they decided- of their own volition- to contact the Gander town office. As a result of their initiative, they were able to meet and talk with Mayor Farwell, of Gander, via Skype, who answered all of their questions, and suggested they be in touch if they had any additional inquiries.
As I read Kovary and Pearson’s paper, I thought of our young women at St. Clement’s and our school’s imperative to ensure that we are providing them with learning opportunities such as that of our Grade 6’s experience. Opportunities for self-directed learning, working collaboratively with girls across classes and grades, accessing real-time information, and using technology to leverage the learning are all vital components to preparing our girls for the future.
We are excited about our plans for the future and look forward to updating the community as they evolve.