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Generations

Generations

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Generations

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  1. Generations Cycles in American Life Cary Matsuoka

  2. Introduction • First heard this topic in January 2007 • Superintendents conference • Speaker - William Strauss • Historian, playwright, lawyer • Passed away in December 2007, age 60 • Co-writer, Neil Howe • Historian, demographer, economist

  3. Generations & Millenials Go to College

  4. Millenial Generation • Born 1982 – 2004 • Kids born in 1982 became the high school class of 2000 • Seven Core Traits of Millenials • Special • Sheltered • Confident • Team-oriented • Conventional • Pressured • Achieving

  5. Accurate Description of Today’s Students • K-8 schools • High schools • College • Youngest workforce members • The seven traits very accurately describe today’s students

  6. The Generation Gap – A Traditional View • What are some of the challenges which create misunderstandings between generations? • Age • Life experience • Technology (which is moving very fast) • Historical context, for example …

  7. Beloit College Mindset List – Class of 2014 (born in 1992) • Email is just too slow, and they seldom if ever use snail mail. • Al Gore has always been animated. • Clint Eastwood is better known as a sensitive director than as Dirty Harry. • They’ve never recognized that pointing to their wrists was a request for the time of day. • American companies have always done business in Vietnam. • They have never worried about a Russian missile strike on the U.S.

  8. Traditional View of Generations – Roles • Elderhood (age 66-87) • Stewardship – supervising, mentoring, managing endowments, passing on values • Midlife (age 44-65) • Leadership – parenting, teaching, directing institutions, using values

  9. Traditional View - Continued • Rising Adulthood (age 22-43) • Activity – working, starting families and careers, serving institutions, testing values • Youth (age 0-21) • Dependence – growing, learning, accepting protection and nurture, acquiring values

  10. Generational Work of Strauss & Howe • However, there is more to generations than stages of life • Generations move through history in cycles • Each cycle consists of 4 generational types • Idealist, Reactive, Civic, Adaptive • Generations last about 22 years on average

  11. Idealist Type • Stormy in youth • Visionary as elders • Righteous, principled, creative • “Missionary” generation – born 1860-1882 • “Boomer” generation – born 1943-1960

  12. Reactive Type • Neglected, alienated • Savvy, pragmatic, practical • Often amoral and uncultured • “Lost Generation” – born 1883-1900 • “Gen X” – born 1961-1981

  13. Civic Type • Good youth, confident elders • Grand, powerful • Rational, competent, maybe insensitive • “GI Generation” – born 1901-1924 • “Millenials” – born 1982-2004(?)

  14. The GI Generation • “There is a mysterious cycle in human events. To some generations much is given. Of other generations much is expected. This generation has a rendezvous with destiny.” • Franklin Delano Roosevelt, 1936 • Born 1901 – 1924 • Overcame the Great Depression • Won the battles of WW II • A glimpse of the rising Millenial generation

  15. Adaptive Type • Placid as youth, sensitive as elders • Flexible, caring, open-minded • Indecisive, guilt ridden • “Silent Generation” – born 1925-1942 • “yet to be named” – born 2005 - future

  16. Why is this stuff so important? • Teachers are on the front lines in working with the next generation • We assume that next year’s students will be like last year’s, only a bit more so. • Most of the time that’s true, but every two decades, the linear progression is dramatically broken • And we find ourselves working with a type of student that is very different than one we have seen most of our career

  17. Missing the Turns – post World War II • GI to Silent Generation • GI generation: • “the best damn kids in the world” – General George Marshall • Conquered the world, implemented the New Deal • Silent generation: • Not interested in conquering the world • Kept their heads down, sought long careers in big organizations (GM, IBM, GE, etc.) • Withdrawn, cautious, unadventurous – and silent • BTW, this generation did not produce a US President

  18. Next turn – the 60’s • Silent generation to Boomers • Colleges expected a larger version of the Silent generation • Prediction - even more pliable and conformist than before • “Employees are going to love this generation, they are going to be easy to handle, there aren’t going to be any riots.” Clark Kerr – Chancellor of UC Berkeley, 1959

  19. Next turn – the 80’s • Boomers to Gen X • Demographic prediction for students of the 80’s – even more idealistic, and morality driven • But instead of long-haired idealogues, we saw mohawked punks and gangsta rappers • The question from college students – “is this on the test?”, rather than “is this relevant?”

  20. Next turn – The New Millenium • GenX to Millenials • Today’s youth are different than Gen X youth • First arrived in college in 2000 • The Millenials are much more positive than the GenX’ers • This is a different generation to work with • How do we adjust our teaching and college environments for this generation?

  21. Overview and Implications of Working with Millenials • Seven core generational traits – brief unpacking • Campus and policy implications • Classroom and teaching implications

  22. 1. Special • Core trait • Their parents have instilled a sense of destiny in their Millenial children • These kids want to make a difference in the world, but the other 6 core traits make them different than Boomers • Campus implications • Over-involved parents, need to help them let go • But you might consider involving parents on the admission and getting started phases, “parent admission night?”

  23. 1. Special … • Inform parents about FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act) laws for 18 year olds and up • Classroom implications • They have very high expectations for services, their teachers, the organization • They are very demanding students (grades, feedback, etc.)

  24. 2. Sheltered • Core trait • They are one of the most protected and cared for generations in history – car seats, Zero tolerance, etc. • Campus implications • Campus security is important, they will study crime statistics of potential schools • Use your setting of Saratoga as a marketing/leverage point

  25. 2. Sheltered … • More openness to using mental health services – provide on-campus counseling (they need it!) • Classroom implications • Tend to follow the rules, more rule oriented • Consistency on your part will be constantly evaluated • They will complain about grades and fairness

  26. 3. Confident • Core trait • Upbeat, positive, and excited about the future • Campus implications • GenX – we told them the horrible consequences of making wrong choices • Millenials – Be positive, tell them about the great things that will happen if they make the right choice • Opportunity for revival of campus spirit

  27. 3. Confident … • Classroom implications • They are “collectively” confident vs. “individually” confident • Their confidence comes from their association with a group • Their credo – follow the rules, work hard, don’t mess up • They are risk averse, create environments to take intellectual risks

  28. 4. Team-Oriented • Core trait • They do life in group settings – school, dating, social life, etc. • Campus implications • Peer oriented (different from peer pressure), influenced by group thinking • If you can identify the leaders and move them toward your goals, the group will follow

  29. 4. Team-Oriented … • Find those “tipping points” that will attract cohorts of students to WVC • Classroom implications • They love group work (for the most part) • Think about team teaching environments • Integrate teamwork & technology, take advantage of the convergence of the Millenial generation in history and the rise of technology

  30. 5. Conventional • Core trait • They follow the rules, are comfortable with their parents’ values. • They believe that social rules and standards will make life easier for them. • More compliant, less willing to stand out or voice their own opinion

  31. 5. Conventional … • Campus implications • Should be quieter, less disruption • Example of history of streaking on campus • Big in 80’s, 90’s, disappeared in 2000’s • Classroom implications • Be aware of their tendency towards conformity and group-think • But help them to think for themselves, find their voice, to be creative.

  32. 6. Pressured • Core trait • They have been tested and measured since 2nd grade • Their “job” in high school is to get into college • They have been overscheduled, packaged, and coached into college • Campus implications • They need help with transition from “getting into college” mode to learning how to be a student

  33. 6. Pressured … • They need help with weaning themselves away from over-scheduling • Classroom implications • Academic cheating is an issue with Millenials • Be clear about the lines between group work and cheating • You need to teach about academic integrity, the honor code • This is an entire campus issue you need to talk about and work on as a faculty

  34. 7. Achieving • Core trait • Smart, high-achieving, well prepared students • Very tech savvy generation • Campus – they want wired, wireless, high tech campuses • Classrooms • Trend towards math and sciences • Demand for high academic standards • Will expect their faculty to be competent with technology

  35. Whew – let’s pause for a moment • Does this align with your professional experience over the last 10 years? • Do you see these characteristics in your students? • How might this generational shift create stress in your work? • Questions? Comments.

  36. Summary Thoughts • We need to understand the cultural setting of our work • Don’t miss the generational turns in our culture, the last one was 10 years ago • Get to know this rising Millenial generation • They are filled with hope and dreams of making a difference, let’s help equip them to lead us out of this mess we’ve made

  37. Follow-up • Slides? I’ll e-mail them to someone on staff. • Book titles from Howe and Strauss • Millenials Go to College • Millenials Rising • Generations