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GENERATIONS Cycles in American Life Cary Matsuoka.

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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 2 nd 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

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