Learning styles of generation x and y

Learning Styles of Generation X and Y 

The way people learn is often based on their values.  Over time, sociologists have studied various generations of Americans and have given them names.  Although it is impossible to classify all people in each generation as the same, there are general trends, or values, that seem to characterize each generation.  Having a better understanding of others can make the learning environment more productive.

Four generations that have been unofficially identified are:

Baby Boomers
Generation Xers
Nexters or Generation Y

The Baby Boomers make up the largest percentage of the population today according to U.S. Census statistics. Boomers consist of people born between 1947-1965. When we discuss the generations in our society, we can't forget the Boomers' parents. These are the Traditionalists, War Babies or Veterans. How about our younger generations? The Generation Xers are people born between 1966-1977. Last are our youngest citizens, the Nexters or Generation Y, representing people born between 1978 and 1995. These are the cyber kids who grew up with the Internet, and speed and access to information is something that they are accustomed to.

Reaching your students in your classroom requires that you meet them on their level.  There are some resources on the site to help you make your teaching fit with the learning styles of different generations.

  • Your first stop should be the Inventory of Multiple Intelligence which is an explanation of how different people have different strengths or natural talents.  In 1983, Harvard University psychologist, Howard Gardner identified seven intelligences in his publication Frames of Mind.  The inventory of multiple intelligences is like a resume of talents and gifts that together form a complete person. 
  • Take a test to determine your intelligence inventory - The intelligence inventory is simply the way for you to determine what your class prefers. 
  • 101 Ways to Teach a Verse is a collection of ideas for creatively teaching a Bible verse to children.
  • Using the right words to reach your audience is a collection of suggestions for teachers who are working with people unfamiliar with the Bible or Bible language.

Generation X

Generalizations about Generation X include
Entrepreneurial Spirit: Xers believe in investing in their own development rather than in their organization's. While others may see them as disloyal they are cautious about investing in relationships with employers because experience has shown that these relationships are not reliable.
Loyalty: To an Xer, this may mean two-weeks notice.
Independence and Creativity: Xers have clear goals and prefer managing their own time and solving their own problems rather than having them managed by a supervisor.
Information: They value access to information and love plenty of it.
Feedback: This group needs continuous feedback and they use the feedback to adapt to new situations. This generation is flexible.
Quality of Worklife: This generation works hard but they would rather find quicker more efficient ways of working so that they have time for fun. While Boomers are working hard to move up the ladder, Xers are working hard so that they can have more time to balance work and life responsibilities.