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Burden of Teachers, Why is Gen-Alpha Having Learning Difficulties?

Written by Ardil Ulucay

In recent years, educators have faced unprecedented challenges in the classroom, particularly when it comes to teaching Generation Alpha—with the youngest cohort of students born between 2010 and 2024. These children, while digital natives are presenting teachers with a host of learning difficulties and behavioral problems that put teachers in a tough place [1].

Generation Alpha is unlike any generation before them. They have grown up in a world saturated with technology, where access to information is instantaneous and constant. This digital immersion from a young age has reshaped their cognitive development and learning behaviors, presenting both opportunities and challenges for educators.  One of the defining characteristics of Generation Alpha is their reliance on technology. While this digital fluency offers numerous benefits, including access to a wealth of educational resources, it also poses significant challenges. Many Gen Alpha children exhibit short attention spans, often attributed to excessive screen time and the high popularity of short videos on various platforms [2, 3]. The COVID-19 pandemic played a crucial role in this problem. With widespread school closures and the shift to remote learning, Generation Alpha faced disruptions to their education and social interactions. The sudden transition to virtual classrooms highlighted existing issues with attention span, self-regulation, and engagement, leading to concerns about academic performance and emotional well-being. Alongside learning difficulties, Generation Alpha is experiencing a rise in mental health disorders, including anxiety, ADHD, and depression. These issues can manifest as behavioral problems in the classroom, impacting students' ability to focus, participate, and regulate their emotions. The pressure to excel academically combined with the constant barrage of information and social comparison on digital platforms can exacerbate these mental health challenges. Some students—mostly teenagers who are in their final years at middle school and some high-school students, aren't able to solve the most basic math problems and can’t spell or read on their academic levels [2, 3].

Gen-Alpha is also having problems interacting with their peers and lacking social skills. Generation Alpha children may struggle with face-to-face communication, empathy, and conflict resolution, preferring digital interactions over real-world connections. This reliance on screens for socialization can hinder their ability to navigate interpersonal relationships and collaborate effectively with peers. It’s known that this lack of basic empathy and communication can also lead to violent tendencies. Parents are instrumental in shaping the experiences and behaviors of Generation Alpha children, significantly contributing to the learning difficulties and behavioral problems that are observed in a large portion of these kids. The ones to blame in this crisis are not the kids, but the parents. A huge portion of Gen-Alpha parents see no problem in limiting their children’s internet access or overseeing it, some kids also receive tablets or smartphones as a gift before they are even one year old [2].

Children often mirror the behaviors and attitudes they observe in their parents. If parents demonstrate excessive screen time, reliance on technology for entertainment, and limited face-to-face communication, their children are likely to adopt similar habits. This can contribute to short attention spans, social skills deficits, and difficulty processing, and engaging in learning [1, 2].

All of these problems can be fixed with enough time and with the right actions. But for now, this will keep bothering this generation for a long time.


  1. Pearcy, A. (2023, November 7). Meet Gen Alpha, the 'mini-millennials' who are poised to take over the internet. Business Insider.

  2. Olumide, O. (n.d.). The reason why Gen Alpha is hated by the internet. The Mirror.

  3. Gen Z and Gen Alpha are already beefing: ‘We’re gonna be made fun of so bad’. (2023, October 24). New York Post.


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