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Crossing the Generational Divide

by Patricia Scallan Berl
March/April 2006
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Article Link: https://www.childcareexchange.com/article/crossing-the-generational-divide/5016873/

On a daily basis, directors must confront diverse voices and views, each underscoring the distinct motivations, values, and ambitions of their teachers. One key element driving reoccurring differences among the mindsets of teachers is intergenerational conflict. While ideological distinctions associated with age, politics, ethnic identity, religion, and economic class have always existed among individuals, new and potentially more complex differences are emerging as employees of different generations work side by side. "Who's got the power" in organizations is changing. Younger employees, equipped with advanced technological skills, greater education, and an expanding knowledge base, are beginning to challenge the existing framework of power. Their goals and ambitions often run counter to those of their seniors, impacting an organization's goals, culture, harmony, and team work. Mature employees on the other hand, often feel their experiences and contributions are undervalued or no longer appreciated by younger leadership.

Generations in conflict: "you just don't understand me"

Most people, within the common cultural sphere of America, see themselves exclusively as individuals and fail to recognize the degree to which attitudes, values, and behaviors are shared within their generational group. How we see ourselves as individuals, how we judge ourselves, and how we act, most often mirror others with ...

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