Teaching for Purpose: Preparing Students for Lives of Meaning

In Teaching for Purpose, Heather Malin explores the idea of purpose as the purpose of education and shows how educators can prepare youth to live intentional, fulfilling lives. The book highlights the important role that purpose—defined as “a future-directed goal that is personally meaningful and aimed at contributing to something larger than the self”—plays in optimal youth development and in motivating students to promote the cognitive and noncognitive skills that teachers want to instill.
 
Based on a decade of research conducted at the Stanford University Center on Adolescence, the book explores how educators and schools can promote purpose through attention to school culture, curriculum, project learning, service learning, and other opportunities. Malin argues for expansive thinking on the direction schools should take, especially in terms of educating students to be creative, innovative, and self-directed critical thinkers. The book includes profiles of six organizations working in schools across the US that have made purpose development a priority.
 
Infused with the engaging voices of purposeful youth, Teaching for Purpose offers a fresh, inspirational guide for educators who are looking for new ways to support students to succeed not only in school, but in life.

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