Meet Generation Alpha
For as long as I can remember, when we socialise with different groups of people from various age groups, at one point or another we start to talk about different eras or generations. People born during a specific time period are influenced by the same events, social markers and emerging technologies, giving people a connection and collective identity. ‘Generation Alpha’ written by Mark Crindle and Ashley Fell, summarises the different generations as follows:
So who is Generation Alpha? Generation Alpha makes up the primary school students of today. One term you will hear used to describe this generation is ‘digital natives’, as digital devices and technologies have been a part of their lives since birth. Along with this is an added complication for parents - there are so many portable digital devices, concern about screen addiction, cyberbullying and inappropriate content accessible to children from a very young age. Of course, being a ‘digital native’ can also be positive because they are more social and globally connected than any other generation before them. Add to Generation Alpha the complexity of the Covid-19 pandemic, which has had devastating effects worldwide. However, it is not all bleak for the children of today. According to McCrindle, ‘Generation Alpha’ will be more creative and resilient due to the challenges they experienced through the pandemic and will want to keep hobbies and the way of living they adopted during Covid-19’. He also suggests there will be a shift from traditional superheroes to everyday superheroes like medical researchers and nurses; people will connect more with regional areas, and as we have seen, working from home will become a regular part of their future.
According to McCrindle, ‘Generation Alpha’ are growing up with different perspectives and a greater diversity of opinion than any other generation before them. People skills, not just technical skills, will be essential for this generation to work, lead and thrive in increasingly diverse contexts. Empathy is one of the key people skills children of today will need in their future. The three key characteristics of empathy are:
- that children are able to understand and value their uniqueness and difference of others;
- that they can identify different emotions and be equipped to name them; and
- that they are able to regulate their own emotional responses and positively respond to the emotions of others.
Programs at Living Faith such as ‘Play Is The Way’ and’ Zones of Regulation’ help us develop empathy amongst our students while also focussing on our core values of teamwork, forgiveness, compassion, doing your best, respect and responsibility.
- Melissa Tronc, Acting Principal