This special issue researches two themes that are gaining emphasis in teacher education in many countries: teaching for purpose and teaching with purposefulness. Pupils learn desired qualities via schooling, and teachers facilitate these pupils’ learning. According to the papers in this special issue of the Journal of Education for Teaching, ‘purpose’ is a relevant concept to address the concerns of contemporary education. It is important to examine purpose during youth when its propensity for growth first emerges (e.g. Damon, Menon, and Bronk 2003). Some scholars assert the strong potential of formal education for cultivating purpose (e.g. Mariano 2011), but empirical studies show mixed results (Moran et al. 2012).
In recent years, a few scholars have turned their attention to the possibility of multicultural application of purpose for youth development and teacher education (e.g. Bundick and Tirri 2014). The papers in this special issue also support the importance of purpose in youth development, in formal education and in multicultural and multinational contexts.
Purpose may use different words or be defined differently in different languages and cultures. Thus, an aim of this special issue is to consider purpose as a framework for teaching while also exploring insights into purpose’s comparative application in diverse educational contexts.