Purposeful Teaching™

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Building and delivering well-designed, content rich instructional materials goes hand-in-hand with enabling rigorous and engaging learning to thrive. The Purposeful Teaching™ workshop equips leadership teams to be the drivers of change in their own schools.


Who should attend:

The Purposeful Teaching™ workshop is designed for leadership teams who are responsible for curriculum planning and lesson delivery in public charter schools, traditional public schools, and private schools that serve a high-poverty student population. United Schools Network serves students in grades K-8, but high school leadership teams are encouraged to participate as well.


The workshop is not limited to people with formal leadership roles; teachers who play a critical role in any of the following should attend:

  • the design of content-rich curricula;

  • the design and delivery of rigorous lessons.


Key Idea

Decades of research demonstrate that for novices (comprising virtually all K-12 students), direct, explicit instruction is more effective and more efficient than partial guidance or discovery learning. When teaching new content and skills to novices, teachers are most effective when they provide explicit guidance accompanied by practice and feedback.⁶


Through an intensive study of the lesson design and delivery process at the United Schools Network (USN), participants learn how to design and deliver lessons utilizing the gradual release method of instruction. You will leave the Purposeful Teaching workshop with the knowledge and tools needed to design and deliver lessons with a laser-like focus on student achievement.


  • Learn the research base and cognitive science behind the gradual release method of instruction.
  • Study the art and science of lesson design and delivery.
  • Practice designing and delivering key lesson components.

You will receive:

  • The Purposeful Teaching videos including the description of each video and talking points that can be used in training at your own school;
  • Sample lesson designs from USN’s core classes;
  • The presentation slides and leader materials for the Purposeful Teaching workshop;
  • The Purposeful Teaching workbook that accompanies the workshop.

6: Clark, Richard, Kirschner, Paul, & Sweller, John. (2012).  Putting Students on the Path to Learning: The Case for Fully Guided Instruction. American Educator, Volume 36, #1, pp. 6-11).  http://www.aft.org/pdfs/americaneducator/spring2012/Clark.pdf