More Insights on Generation Alpha
The oldest of Generation Alpha, the generation following Gen Z, turn 13 this year, which means they will enter the demographic of young people we study here at Springtide. Mark McCrindle, founder of the Australian research firm McCrindle, coined the name for those born between 2010 and 2024 – the first letter of the Greek alphabet represents the end of previous naming structures (Gen X, Y and Z) and the beginning of a new cycle.
While pretty much any current research studies on children would encompass Generation Alpha, some research has focused specifically on how this generation may differ from previous generations. It’s important to note that all research has limitations, and these children are very young – so it’s possible that this generation could morph and change as they age and as societal impacts have a larger effect.
- Australian researchers Taylor and Hattingh used Minecraft as a way to assess reading practices of members of Generation Alpha, and noticed some larger patterns about how they use language and interact with others. Specifically, there may be a tendency toward learning through visual means, an openness to learning and to learning from others.
- The Institute for Generation Research, based in Germany, has conducted one of the most in depth studies of Generation Alpha to date. As of 2021, more than 1,000 educators have been asked about their perception and assessment of the children ages 0-10 in their care. Their assessments have also included more than 22,000 children and 600 parents. Institute founder and psychologist Rüdiger Maas recently wrote Generation Unfit for Life, in which he claims many young children are already showing signs of depression, and that because of a variety of factors (including what he terms are “helicopter parents”) they’re not developing the coping skills needed to form resilience.
- In examining preschool teachers’ views on Generation Alpha, researchers Apaydin and Kaya found this generation may have limited social communication due to their dependence on technology. They tend to work individually rather than in groups, and exhibit leadership behaviors rather than being collaborative. Members of Gen Alpha are accustomed to high-speed learning, making random connections, processing visual and dynamic information, and learning through game-based activities. The researchers also noted this generation was perceived to be more emotional, conscious, confident and freer than their Gen Z counterparts.
- Members of Generation Alpha aren’t just digital natives, but the technology they’re being exposed to early in life is the most advanced to date. Things like touchscreens and voice activation from a device or smartphone are not just the norm, but the base level. They will be early adopters of advanced AI and related technologies. The Institute for Generation Research also claims that they’ll demand resources and experiences that are highly tailored to them, and will use technology in all aspects of life – “Algorithms will shape the actions of Gen Alpha.”
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