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How is Generation Z shifting education from knowledge to problem-solving?

Written by: SIX, Social Innovation Exchange


The world is changing at a speed that humans have never seen before. From technological advances to the climate crisis, the world as we see it today is very different from 30 years ago let alone from 50 or 60 years ago.


At the heart of education is getting young people ready and knowledgeable to work in the world, in whatever field they choose. According to the World Economic Forum, their The Future of Jobs report revealed the top 3 skills top skills needed in 2020 are:


  • Complex problem solving (was 1 in 2015)

  • Critical thinking (was 4th in 2015 and coordinating with others was 2nd)

  • Creativity (was 10th in 2015 and people management was 3rd)


Six years later, the VISION project has found the same results. As the world changes at record speed, why is education not keeping up with the needs and wants of the current generations?



What is the future of CIE (creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship) in our education systems? This is the guiding question of the VISION project, a consortium in which SIX is part of looking at the future of education. It is interesting to see how educators are responding to the new demands/expectations from Gen Z. At SIX, we spoke to social innovators working in education on their thoughts about how classrooms are not only needing to change but are already adapting to the change the students and young people require.


Generation Z, who make up 26% of the global population which equals about 2 billion people, has pushed education to new limits. They are a generation that no longer requires an authority figure to be the knowledge-barer when there is a whole universe of information online and easily accessible. As digital natives, their ability to access information means they no longer need to be told but would rather know-how.


Thomas Ravenscroft from Skills Builder, UK spoke about this saying, “At the moment, everything in the education system is working towards getting the correct answer and you know what the marking scheme looks like and you make sure you get all of the ticks in the different boxes. I could see this as the biggest challenge at the moment is how do you teach innovation and creativity and entrepreneurship in an education system. Other parts of the world are trying to be more open-minded about moving away from this direction.”


Teresa Franqueira from the University of Aveiro in Portugal makes a similar point: “I think there are some fields, more traditional ones like linguistics and maths that are very traditional, and in those ones they really need a shake, they need to teach in a different way.”


What are some of the things happening already?


Read the full article here.

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