Generation Z: What are they and what might that mean for education? A pilot study in Belgium and Suriname.

Virtual Paper ID: 56424
  1. aaa
    Koen DePryck
    Institute of Knowledge Management
  2. Ward Aldelhof
    van Veldeke
  3. Ilse Wambacq
    Montclair State University
  4. Freya Konings
    van Veldeke
  5. Jerry Oldenstam
    Ewald P. Meyer Lyceum
  6. Nele Adriaenssens
    van Veldeke

Abstract: Based on marketing research, Generation Z (born roughly between 1995 and 2012) is hyped as different from previous generations (generations Y and before). They are, for example, often labelled ‘digital natives,’ (which scares especially older teachers). Based on 10 years of interviews and trendwatching, Ahlers J. and R. Boenders (2019) draft a profile of Generation Z. Our research focusses on the extent to which GenZ recognizes itself in that profile. Our findings, based on a survey (n=265) which was co-designed with upper secondary school learners (belonging to GenZ) and piloted in Flanders (Belgium) and Suriname suggest that GenZ is not a monolithic block. For example gender, subgroup (based on year of birth) and country of residence (Suriname or Belgium) had significant effects on aspects of the GenZ profile. High-quality education for GenZ is most certainly not just a matter of plugging in more ICT. But a redesign is called for: respondents listed academic outcomes third in a list of important things in their lives, after love and friends. At the same time only 4,69% of GenZ respondents included teachers in the people they admired and were influenced by.

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