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The Civilization and Humanity of the Y Generation : An Universal Evolution.

It May Take a Village to Raise a Child, but it Takes a Society to Raise a Generation

SEQUENCE OF PRESENTATION Introduction The Generational Evolution Gen Y & the other Gens Gen Y & Education Challenges and opportunities in engaging Gen Y - Teaching & Training.

A quick look at the variables

The noun civilization built on the seventeenth-century verb civilize to indicate both the process of uplifting to a higher state of humanity and of subjection to law, It bears important relations with other concepts such as history, progress, development, culture and modernity of a distinct society itself. (Mazlish & Bruce, 2004)

the quality of being human; the peculiar nature of man, by which he is distinguished from other beings, being cultured. the quality of being humane; the kindred feelings, dispositions, and sympathies of man; especially, a disposition to relieve persons or animals in distress, and to treat all with kindness and tenderness (Webster Dictionary 2004)

Trend to categorise people with certain birth years subgroups. Most popular are the Baby Boomers, Gen X, Gen Y and more recent immergence - Gen Z. Currently mingling of all four generations commonly living together, working together, socialising together?? Some instance of the 5th generation, the veterans present in some households extended family communities. Each generation displays distinct traits and characteristics that differentiate them in life habits, work attitudes and spatial relationship.

Subgroups (not Subculture)

according to Jandt (2007): psychologists label this as a membership group based on vocation, hobby, or special skills, that, like cultures, provide patterns of behavior and values: these can be generational, occupational, expatriate, etc. These may pose communication problems with other subgroups just as the dominant culture they exist within and depend on may clash with other cultures.

The Generational Evolution

Post-war veterans,traditionalists. 19221945. Baby boomers 1946-1964. Generation X Gen X, Xers 1965-1980. Generation Y Gen y, Millennial, Echo boomers 1981-2000. Generation Z, nexters from 2001 till now.

Each Generation
Consists of approximately a 20-year span (not all demographers and generation researchers agree on the exact start/stop dates) Has a unique set of values Reacts to the generation before them Looks at their generation as the standard of comparison Looks at the next generation skeptically these kids today Those born on the cusp may have a blended set of characteristics They are either idealistic, reactive, civic-minded or adaptive

Some characteristics Hammill (2005)

Hammill (2005)

Generations still in employment

Veterans very few, majority passed on. Baby boomers below 65yrs still employed, mainly in public & private sector
60yrs is mandatory retirement in public sector . 70yrs for Academicians and at some Top Management positions a handful.

Generations still in employment

Generation X or Xers.
The bulk in current employment, but relative population ratio wise to other gens- smaller.

Generation Y or Millennial
Gradual increasing in numbers in the employment sector, though many still at finishing school / pursuing education.

Current scenario at workplace

Three generations working together Baby Boomers, Gen X and Gen Y. Baby Boomers- most hold managerial and executive positions, large numbers leaving due to mandatory retirement. Impact to organization experienced workers leaving, vacuum exists. Lack of proper succession plan, newcomers from Gen X, stepping in impose new ideas. Anxiety & Conflicts among the generations involved.

Stereo-type impressions of Gen Yers

1. They are spoiled rotten brats whose parents have given them everything. 2. This generation is extremely talented and will bring technology and teamwork skills to the workforce.

Characteristics of Gen X & Y

Generation X Often both parents working, latch key child. Well educated, many have tertiary education. Technology savvy. Generation Y Both parents working Well educated and very technology and web savvy. Cannot do without a smart phone, etc. Sets trends for latest gadget. Comfortable in a diverse ethnic group. Have almost similar values to veterans optimistic, confident, sociable, have strong morals and civic mindedness. Optimistic and team players. Expect great workplace flexibility, higher job expectations. Likely to change employers more frequently than Gen X. Wealth is very important . Not interested in politics.

Very resourceful, individualistic, self reliant and skeptical of authority and independent. Values freedom and responsibility. Believe in work to live.

Not interested in long term careers, corporate loyalty or status symbols. At workplace, focus on relationships, outcomes, rights and skills Attitude what's in it for me. Wealth is important

Gen Yers Want to Learn

With technology With each other Online In their time In their place Doing things that matter (most important)

Attributes of Gen Yers

Being technology and web savvy - they have to be connected to the world all the time. Purchase the latest gadget available. Prefers fast and effective digital communication test messaging, email, whats app and other new application. Prefers organization with new technologies, flexible working hours and balanced life. Confident and ambitious. Wants to take on advance roles soon as they start work. Likes teamwork and wants to be included. Expects transparency and openness. Likes acknowledgement in praises, feedback, gratitude for a job well done. This is nurturing them.

Gen Y and education

The most education minded generation group. Realise that Knowledge economy can cause widening gap of income between those with college degrees and those without. Most believe higher education provides them with better professional standing Believe higher degree bring better income, less chance of unemployment. Parents of Gen Y financially and mentally exhaustive fulfilling requests for study by Gen Yers of places & courses of their own choice.

Education opportunities
In 2014- a typical Gen Y born in 1981 will be 33 years old, probably having a clear career pathway. Those born in 1990 will be 24 years. Many are still pursuing studies, due to their changing minds about what they want to do. Many pursue studies of their own interest, disappointing their families and a constraint to finances. Tempted to study in areas believe to promise good monetary returns, with little effort. Easily swayed to change professions too.

Challenges to Educators of Gen Y

Maybe from Baby boomers or Gen X Value systems, Perceptions, Approaches & Expectations may differ.
More theorists - Baby boomers tend to be more rigid and traditionalists. More pragmatic - Gen X more flexible, willing to trade off some complexities in a work process.

Can create dissonance & disharmony, affect s work habits, & results in rapid attrition of dissatisfied, disillusioned, bored Gen Yers.

Challenges & Opportunities in engaging Gen Y - teaching and training

Gen Y fastest growing generation in business and business leaders, which offers flexibility needed. Being IT natives - prefer IT based businesses, synchronise their multi-faceted needs simultenously. Those who venture in other areas, pose great challenge to their employer and trainer. Health sector offers many opportunities and those do not make it in their respective choices, will join in to experience.

Characteristics of Gen Y as a student

Easily bored with sit-in didactic classes. Span of attention much shorter. In bigger groups, tend to link with members with similar interests talk less, more IT based comm. Use technology to gather interest related information, which may differ from course they are currently doing. Can distract others not in sync with them. Absenteeism can be high, non conformance to conventional rules and regulations. Individualistic values pride. Performs well, even though has no interest in subject matter.

Challenges to teachers
Student centred learning is the better option, as it allows them freedom to search for related info, and discuss in group. Feels the effort is theirs and contribute positively to their learning. Out with Old, and In with the New approaches revolutionize teaching methods. Minimise lecture. Encourage discussion in small groups. Keep the group engaged in topics, made more interesting with students self-activity, reward good work with genuine praises.

Challenges to teachers
Varying the teaching stimuli use technology in teaching, have more interactive sessions. Internet access during teaching, can find information faster due to IT savvy, and teacher learns as well to keep pace. Smart phones, tablets are the education tools the students relate to easily. Students enjoy community work, like to balance work and life, idealistic worldview.

Challenges to employers
Will not hesitate to leave if not happy, routine, mundane work do not interest them. Less tolerant with rigid work schedules. Willing to learn & experiment, employers must tap this positive attitude. It comes with a cost benefit recognition. Have confidence of assuming senior position, if given a chance but may be overrated due to idealism, lack of patience, & perseverance. Always volunteer, to go for training that assures promotion & recognition.

Challenges to employers
Be prepared to continually look for succession planning & replacement of Gen Y staff. Shift work may be a deterrent to longer stay at the workplace. Money matters many aspire to be rich early with minimal effort & enjoy life with early retirement. They observe with resentment how their parents worked hard, with little time for them.


It savvy students prefers to work alone or in small groups. More hands-on than lectures to prevent boredom. Engage learning using latest applications and web learning. Teachers need to be up-to-date with IT skills Student centred learning, with proper guidance by teachers.


The Information Age Mindset

Gen Y Students have never known life without the computer. It is an assumed part of their life. The Internet is a source of research, interactivity, and socializing (they prefer it over TV). Doing is more important than knowing. There is zero tolerance for delays. The infrastructure and the lecture tradition of colleges may not capture their interests for long compared their preference for Internet and interactive games.

In the classroom
They need to understand why they are doing what they are doing objectives of classroom activities and projects. They like to give their opinions on their educational processes. They want to be involved in meaningful activities, not mundane work. They think it is cool to be smart. They will respond well to programs like learning communities and service-oriented learning.

Gen Yers have High Expectations

They are likely to appreciate clear expectations, explicit objectives, and well structured assignments. They expect detailed instructions and guidelines for completing assignments. They want to know what will be covered on tests and what exactly must be done to earn an A. Because of their high expectations of themselves, students may become demoralized by earning a B or C in exams.

In Conclusion
Change in mindset of teachers of different generation gap from Y is a must. Leaders and organizational decision makers willing to accept and initiate change. Gen Y are the biggest population in number, and they can impact the world in whatever choice they make. Teachers need to revolutionise traditional teaching methods, materials and assessment methods to accommodate change and to meet the next challenge - Gen Z.

Hammill, G. (2005). Mixing and Managing Four Generations of Employees. Edumagazine Online(Winter/Spring 2005). Jandt, F. (2007). An introduction to intercultural communication: Identities in a global community. Thousand Oaks, USA: Sage Publications. Kersten, D. (2002). Today's Generations Face New Communications Gap. USA Today(November 15). Mazlish, Bruce. 2004. Civilization and Its Contents. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press. Zemke, R., Raines, C., & Filipczak, B. (2000). Generations at Work: managing the Clash of Veterans, Boomers, Xers and Nexters in Your Workplace. New York: American Management Association.