Purpose is an intention over the long-term to have an effect on the world that is both meaningful to oneself and to others. What are schools doing to help students use the knowledge and skills they learn in school in their own lives and aspirations? This is the first study that compares adolescent purposes and life satisfaction in Singaporean and Israeli schools. Findings showed four purpose clusters for Singaporean adolescents: No Orientation, Self-focused, Other-focused, and both Self- and Other-focused. Israeli adolescents were in three purpose clusters: Self-focused, Other-focused, and Self- and Other-focused. The purpose groups differed on average life satisfaction in both countries: Self- and Other-focused were highest, followed by Self-focused and Other-focused. The No Orientation group in Singapore was lowest. Notably, beyond these differences between the groups, Israeli adolescents reported significantly higher life satisfaction in each purpose group. We discuss implications for schools and education policymakers.
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© 2017 Journal of Moral Education Ltd.