Book Review

Millennials and K-12 Schools

Educational Strategies for a New Generation

by Neil Howe and William Strauss, LifeCourse Associates, Great Falls, Va., 2008, 129 pp. with index, $24.50 softcover

“I just can’t understand children today.” “These new teachers don’t get it!”

If you have overheard statements like these uttered at your school by teachers, then you will find Millennials and K-12 Schools useful and timely reading.

Millenials Book Cover

This text is divided into three broad sections. The first describes the generation of students currently in our schools, the Millennials. This is followed by an indepth discussion of what Neil Howe and the late William Strauss call Millennials’ core traits and the connection of these traits to K-12 schools. The final section focuses on the relationship between Millennials and their teachers.

The authors make the case, through the use of relevant statistics, that the Millennials represent a sharp break from the previous generation of students. But because of the negative portrayal of students by our mass media, most Americans do not know Millennials as the happy, confident and positive students they actually are.

Millennials possess seven basic traits labeled special, sheltered, confident, team oriented, conventional, pressured and achieving. These traits are thoroughly discussed in the second section, along with strategies to maximize student achievement.

The closing section discusses the characteristics of parent and teacher generations, the Silent Generation, Boomers and Generation X and speculates about the impact of the next generation, Homeland students.

Reviewed by Ronald A. Styron Jr., director, Gulf Coast Instructional Leadership Center, University of Southern Mississippi, Long Beach, Miss.