Teaching for Purpose


This Global Read with Heather Malin: Teaching for Purpose, was held April 7, 2020





teachingforpurposeIn 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.

“Teaching for Purpose offers educators practical ways to carry out what is possibly the most important part of their work: seeing the humanity in their students by acknowledging and encouraging their hopes and dreams, and then helping them to develop the skills and confidence for putting those hopes and dreams into action.” — Vicki Zakrzewski, education director, Greater Good Science Center, University of California at Berkeley

Heather Malin is the director of research at the Stanford University Center on Adolescence, where she conducts research on diverse aspects of purpose development


VickiPhoto Small 1Host: Vicki Zakrzewski, Ph.D

Vicki Zakrzewski (zahk-shef-skee)is the founding education director of the Greater Good Science Center. As an international thought leader on the science of well-being in education, Vicki is a contributor to Greater Good, ASCD’s Educational LeadershipEdutopia, and Huffington Post. She gives talks and workshops all over the world, and leads the GGSC’s Summer Institute for Educators—an annual multi-day event in which education professionals learn how to enhance their skills and those of their students in the areas of compassion, empathy, gratitude, mindfulness, and other social-emotional skills.

Vicki also sits on several advisory boards and consults and collaborates with organizations on how to incorporate the science of well-being into education. She’s collaborated on initiatives with the Harvard Graduate School of Education; Stanford University; UNESCO’s Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Education for Peace and Sustainable Development; Science for Monks and Nuns in India; the Knowledge and Human Development Authority in Dubai, UAE. Vicki is a fellow of the Mind and Life Institute and has also collaborated with the Jim Henson Company and Pixar/Disney and much more.

A former teacher and school leader, Vicki earned her Ph.D. in Education and Positive Psychology from Claremont Graduate University. In her doctoral research, Vicki spent two months in India at a school awarded the Peace Education Prize by UNESCO and the Hope of Humanity Award by the Dalai Lama, researching their methods for developing teachers’ ability to create caring relationships with students.

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