The notion of generational differences has been around since society has been documented. The bible documents conflict between generations. In the 1950’s, Elvis Presley’s unashamed hip swivelling was surely going to be the end of society. Our parents did not understand us, and we struggle to understand why our children would prefer to spend hours on interactive video games instead of kicking a football in the park. Our world is very different today from the world of our parents, grandparents and their parents, so it stands to reason that generations will adapt to a different world as well as influence the progress of the world. Born between 1980 and 1994 (McRindle, 2006), these people are often characterised as being fickle, technology savvy, disrespectful of authority and over confident. In the workplace, tension often mounts as managers and co-workers are confronted by alien views of the world of work from a generation raised on technology and excesses. At university, lecturers are often taken aback by attitudes so foreign to their way of developing knowledge, they cannot reconcile the two. This paper explores some of the myths and ambiguities about Generation Y (Gen Y) to help understand their style and some strategies to help academics cope with Gen Y students in their classroom.

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