Understanding Generational Differences


For the first time in history, four generations are working side by side.

  • Traditionalists (Born 1925-1945)
  • Baby Boomers (Born 1946-1964)
  • Generation X (Born 1965-1980)
  • Millennial’s (Born 1981-2000)

Different values, experiences, styles, and activities create misunderstandings and frustrations. By the year 2014, 70 million Baby Boomer (including many teachers and school leaders) will enter retirement. In large numbers Generation X, a generation with different sensibilities and priorities than Boomers, will assume positions of leadership in schools and districts.


As educators, you must know the families you are talking to and find ways to connect with them. It’s especially important to know today’s parents since the majority of them now belong to what we call Generation X. Consider what school communication experts point out about today’s parents. (a Nation at Risk, 1983) “They have grown up hearing about “failing schools.” “ The educational foundations of our society are presently being eroded by a rising tide of mediocrity that threatens our very future as a Nation and a people.” This generation expects to hear about school problems immediately—along with what is being done about them. They value their time very highly and don’t want it to be wasted with school activities that don’t directly help them or their child.


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