A generation gap refers to the ideological and philosophical differences between the beliefs and behaviors associated with members of two different generations. To be more specific, a generation gap can be used to describe the differences in actions, tastes, and thoughts exhibited by members of younger generations and older ones.
The differences might be in terms of values, culture, and politics among others. While generation gaps have prevailed throughout different periods of history, the breadth of differences between these gaps has widened in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.
The term generation gap was first used in the 60s to refer to the stark contrast between the baby boomers and those born between 1946 and 1964. It was used as a pejorative term to describe the phenomenon of them growing apart from their parents in terms of beliefs and opinions.
Sociologists use certain nomenclature when referring to different generational segments. For example, members of Gen Z, which includes people born between the years 1996 and 2012, are called digital natives because they have lived with digital technology their entire lives. In contrast, members of the older generation are termed digital immigrants and tend to be less comfortable with the usage of different types of technology. As a result, technology companies market their products differently to different age groups to satisfy their needs.
Understanding each generation and their needs is an essential part of understanding how they navigate through the world around them and how much help they require in which area. Teachers can hence make the distinction between what an adult learner requires when compared to a Gen Z learner and plan their lessons accordingly.