A NEW study on Gen Z in the classroom reveals that Gen Z students are feeling unprepared for the problems the “real world” faces today. As job descriptions change and we move towards an increasingly unpredictable workforce, these students want a greater focus on creativity and hands-on learning in the classroom.
The Adobe study, Gen Z in the Classroom: Creating the Future, provides insights into Malaysian Gen Z student and teacher perspectives on learning, creativity, technology and the preparedness for a disrupted workforce.
Released recently, the study surveyed 250 Gen Z students between the ages of 11 and 17, and 100 teachers in the country.
The research found that 97 per cent of students and 100 per cent of teachers see creativity as essential to students’ future success (highest rating in the Asia Pacific study).
Ninety-six per cent of students believe their future careers will involve creating, and 97 per cent of teachers feel Gen Z students will have careers that do not exist today. Gen Z students also shared that classes focusing on computers and technology are not only among their favourites to take, but also hone their creativity, and will best prepare them for their future.
Janie Lim, senior director of Marketing for Digital Media, Adobe Asia Pacific, said: “Gen Z students in Malaysia have grown up in a tech-enabled and information-driven world. Access to technology and digital tools has offered unprecedented opportunities for them to explore their curiosity, draw inspirations from others and efficiently express their own creativity.
“The way Gen Z students consume and learn today is very different from past generations. Educators in the country need to provide the right environment, updated tools and creative outlets to bring out the best in students, and foster innovative problem-solving skills the future workforce will need.”
While excited about the prospects, Gen Z students in Malaysia — who see themselves as ambitious, curious and creative — express nervousness about their future careers. Almost 40 per cent of Gen Z students feel unprepared for the future, and feel what they learn outside of the classroom is more important to their future careers than what they learn inside.
Technology is GenZ’s native environment. They are passionate about making things better and smarter. Seventy-seven per cent of teachers feel students are more creative than past generations while 61 per cent of students feel they are more creative than past generations.
Although Gen Z students in the nation see themselves as more creative than past generations, teachers and students agree that the best method for learning and teaching is through a doing/creating approach, as well as through collaborating with others. This perspective directly correlates with the 68 per cent of educators who wish to evolve the teaching curriculum, and the 66 per cent who look for more opportunities for hands-on learning in their classrooms.
The study was produced by research firm Edelman Intelligence and conducted as an online survey among 250 Gen Z students (ages 11-17) and 100 teachers of Gen Z students (ages 11-17) in Malaysia. The online surveys took place from Sept 21 to Oct 5 last year.