[Editor’s Note: This story is Part 3 of our month-long series on “What it means to teach Gen Z.” Click here to read Part 1 on Gen Z and parents, and click here to read Part 2 on Gen Z and librarians. Check back every Monday in April to read the next installment!]
The generation in school now is the first generation raised entirely in the Age of Technology. They are digital natives, many of them using computers, smartphones, and other digital tools nearly from birth. As technology continues to grow and expand, so too will the ways we use it. This growth and expansion will impact the types of jobs that will be available in the next 10–20 years. So how do we as educators prepare Gen Z for jobs that may not even exist yet?
Cross-curricular lessons are one way educators can prepare students for an uncertain future. With the national emphasis on STEM, cross-curricular learning teaches students about history, science, technology, engineering, and math (as well as art and literature), all while inspiring students to explore these subjects and make connections on their own.
By making these connections and using multiple disciplines in their learning, students are learning creativity, problem-solving, and critical thinking skills, all of which will be relevant no matter which career path they choose.
Allow for Student Choice
Student choice is an important part of my teaching. I believe students have more buy-in to the lesson when they have choices about what they learn and how they provide evidence of their learning. Textbooks are “boring” according to many students; I would rather give them a choice of articles that are fairly short, but concise.
To appeal to Gen Z, it helps if materials are also visually appealing, with engaging photos, maps, or illustrations.