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What is Invitational Education?


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What is Invitational Education?

  1. 1. What is Invitational Education® ? Compiled and edited by: Melissa Cain Contributions by: William Purkey John Novak Ken Smith Dave Chapman Jack Schmidt Dan Shaw danshaw@NOVA.EDU
  2. 2. “Education is fundamentally an imaginative act of hope” (Novak, 1996).
  3. 3. What is Invitational Education® ?  A systematic way to describe communication in schools and other human service organizations that results in learning and human development;  A theoretical framework and practical strategies for creating effective schools and other institutions;  Foundations are: the democratic ethos the perceptual tradition self-concept theory
  4. 4. The Democratic Ethos  Invitational Education® emphasizes deliberative dialogue and mutual respect.  Goal: people work together to construct character, practices, and institutions that promote democratic life. Democracy is based upon the conviction that all people matter—that they can meaningfully participate in self-rule.
  5. 5. The Perceptual Tradition  Each person considers, constructs, interprets, and then acts.  Individuals view the world through personal and cultural filters.  Behavior is based on individual perceptions (Syngg and Combs, 1949).  Perceptions are learned, so they can be reflected on and changed. People are not influenced by events so much as by their perceptions of events.
  6. 6. Perceptual Tradition…….Continued There is no such thing as illogical behavior….  What seems illogical makes sense to the behaving person.  Learning to “read behavior backwards” is a vital skill for practitioners of IE.  This skill is sharpened by understanding and applying self-concept theory.
  7. 7. Self-concept is the picture people construct of who they are and how they fit into their perceived world.
  8. 8. Self-Concept Theory (Jourard, 1968; Rogers, 1968; Purkey, 1970 and 2005)  Self-concept includes learned beliefs.  Beliefs are influenced by how a person interprets and acts upon events.  Self-concept is manifested in ongoing internal dialogue, or the “whispering self” (Purkey, 2005). The “whispering self” can be monitored and directed in positive ways.
  9. 9. Self-Concept Theory…….Continued  Self-concept alone does not cause misbehavior.  As an example, a disruptive student has learned to see him/herself as a troublemaker and behaves accordingly.  Self-concept is the reference point, or anchoring perception, for behavior. Good self-concept is the memory of inviting acts, which are accepted and successfully acted upon.
  10. 10. “Everything the teacher does, as well as the manner in which he does it, incites the child to respond in some way or another and each response tends to set the child's attitude in some way or another” (Dewey, 1933).
  11. 11. Motivation  Every person has motivation. If not, they would do nothing.  Rather than trying to “motivate” people, inviting educators cordially summon them to see themselves as able, valuable, and responsible, and to behave accordingly.  They trust people to be capable of overcoming obstacles and accomplishing positive goals. Motivation is internal and continuous.
  12. 12. Basic Assumptions Invitational Education® is a metaphor for an emerging model of the education process consisting of five value-based assumptions about the nature of people and their potential. These are: Trust Intentionality Respect Care Optimism
  13. 13. Optimism Invitational educators believe that:  People possess relatively untapped potential in all areas of worthwhile human endeavor.  People have only just begun to use their many social, intellectual, emotional, physical, and spiritual skills.  Better things are more likely to occur when self-defeating scripts, i.e. negative self-talk, are held to a minimum (Purkey, 2000).  Human potential is always there, waiting to be discovered and invited forth. Invitational educators are optimistic about, and committed to, the continuous appreciation and growth of all involved in the educative process.
  14. 14. Trust Invitational educators believe that:  It takes time, effort, and collaboration to establish trustworthy interactions.  Trust is established and maintained through the interlocking human qualities of: Reliability Genuineness Truthfulness Intent Competence (Arceneaux, 1994). Trust is derived from recognition of the fundamental interdependence of human beings.
  15. 15. Respect Invitational educators believe that:  Personal and professional behavior demonstrates respect.  Those who value respect will find ways for students to succeed.  The stance of inviting schools is that people have inherent worth, self-directing power, and personal and social accountability.  Respectful relationships recognize each person’s right to accept, reject, or negotiate the messages sent to them, positive or negative. Invitational educators believe people are able, valuable, and responsible and should be treated accordingly.
  16. 16. Care Invitational educators believe that:  The personal need for joy and fulfillment is realized in the process of producing something of value.  No aspect of Invitational Education is more important than the educator's genuine ability and desire to care about people, their growth, and their accomplishments.  Caring has its own ingredients of  warmth  empathy  positive regard Care is the ongoing desire to link significant personal means with worthwhile societal ends. CARE
  17. 17. Intentionality Invitational educators believe that:  Intentionality explains the how of Invitational Education® and pulls together the optimism, trust, respect, and care that are essential to being a proficient professional (Schmidt, 2002).  In practice, Invitational Education® focuses on the people, places, policies, procedures, and programs that transmit messages promoting human potential.  Education is never neutral. Everything and everyone in and around schools adds to, or subtracts from, the educative process.  Invitational Education® is characterized by purpose and direction. Intentionality is at the very heart of Invitational Education® .
  18. 18. Theory into Practice—The 5 Ps  Human potential can best be realized by  places,  policies,  processes, and programs specifically designed to invite development, and by  people who are intentionally inviting with themselves and others.  The 5 Ps provide a framework to collaboratively address, evaluate, modify, and sustain a positive total school environment.
  19. 19. Just as a starfish applies slow and steady pressure from each of its five arms to open the single powerful muscle that keeps an oyster together, focusing upon the 5 Ps helps educators apply persistent pressure to overcome big challenges. Just as a starfish applies slow and steady pressure from each of its five arms to open the single powerful muscle that keeps an oyster together, focusing upon the 5 Ps helps educators apply persistent pressure to overcome big challenges. Just as a starfish applies slow and steady pressure from each of its five arms to open the single powerful muscle that keeps an oyster together, focusing upon the 5 Ps helps educators apply persistent pressure to overcome big challenges.
  20. 20. The 5 Ps Together = Inviting Schools and Other Organizations People Policies Places Programs Processes Invitational Education® requires a holistic mentality that encompasses everybody and everything. While the following examples apply to schools, they can be easily related to other organizations.
  21. 21. People  Every person in the school— teachers, administrators, food service professionals, custodians, counselors, librarians, bus drivers, and, most importantly, students—is an emissary of Invitational Education® .  People create a respectful, optimistic, trusting, and intentional society within inviting schools.  If policies, procedures, programs, or processes inhibit or inconvenience people, they are altered wherever possible. Invitational Education® begins and ends with people.
  22. 22. “Nobody cares how much you know until they know how much you care” (Purkey, 1996).
  23. 23. Places  If classrooms, offices, hallways, common rooms, cafeteria, library, playgrounds, and restrooms are clean, neat, attractive and well-maintained, they show that people care about the entire school.  Even if the building itself is ancient, you can create an inviting physical environment:  Spray paint old lockers bright colors.  Display indoor plants/flowers and home-like lamps.  Paint murals on dreary walls.  Display photos of children in positive activity. Because they are so visible, places are a good starting point to introduce the practice of invitational theory.
  24. 24. Imagine a family visiting a school… The Dining Room has a French cafe theme. It features scenic murals on the walls, curtains on the windows, individual tables, and even paper place mats for student food trays. Flowers are carefully placed on each table. Classical music is playing in the background. “If we can’t hear the music, we are being too loud,” the student guide explains.
  25. 25. As the tour continues, the family sees…  Children’s work displayed to include all children and celebrate individuality and diversity.  Well-tended, safe playground with no litter.  Flowers, mini-ecosystems, and a butterfly garden.  Padded rocking chairs for reading aloud.  Throw pillows on the floor for reading or quiet conversation.  Agendas transparently posting the daily schedule and expectations.  Signage worded positively.  Clever postings demonstrating humor and love of life.
  26. 26. Policies  Polices influence the attitudes of those involved in the school.  It is especially important to develop inviting policies regarding attendance, grading, discipline, and promotion and to apply them fairly and reasonably.  Policies should pass the litmus test of Invitational Education®: Do they reflect trust, optimism, respect, care, and intentionality for everyone in the school? Policies include mission statements, directives, codes, rules—written and unwritten—regulating the school.
  27. 27. Programs  Programs that appear to be elitist, sexist, ethnocentric, homophobic, discriminatory, or lacking in intellectual integrity are to be changed or eliminated.  IE encourages conflict management and group guidance activities integrated into the curriculum.  School safety is promoted and maintained through preventing conflicts before they occur.  Small group collaboration enables children to extend their interests and learn to work with others. Programs should encourage active engagement with significant content.
  28. 28. Programs, whether formal or informal, curricular or extracurricular, should benefit everyone.
  29. 29. Processes  Processes are characterized by a democratic ethos, collaborative and cooperative procedures, and continuous networking among teachers, students, parents, staff, and the community.  Invitational Education® is a democratic process in which those who are affected by a decision have a say in its formulation, implementation, and evaluation. Processes can be simply defined as “the way we do things in this school.”
  30. 30. The Jell-O™ Analogy  Everything is connected. The total school is like a big bowl of Jell-O™: if it is touched anywhere, the whole thing jiggles.  Thinking about people, places, policies, programs, and processes—each within a framework of trust, respect, care, optimism, and intentionality—provides a strategy for systematic transformation of the whole school. The 5 Ps of Invitational Education® provide a powerful framework for transforming the total school environment.
  31. 31. Invitational Education® identifies four levels of functioning in personal and professional living, called the Ladder.
  32. 32. The Ladder: Levels of Functioning  From least to most desirable, the levels of functioning are: Level One: Intentionally Disinviting Level Two: Unintentionally Disinviting Level Three: Unintentionally Inviting Level Four: Intentionally Inviting  It is possible for a message, no matter how high-minded and well- meaning, to be perceived as disinviting. It is the typical level of functioning that indicates the person’s and organization’s atmosphere and stance.
  33. 33. Level One: Intentionally Disinviting  The message sent by intentionally disinviting people is that others are incapable, worthless, or irresponsible.  These people may excuse their actions as “good” for students, clients or patients.  There is no justification for being intentionally disinviting.  People who operate at this level should be gently removed from daily contact with those they should be serving. In this lowest level of functioning, behaviors, policies, programs, and places are deliberately meant to demean, diminish, shun, or devalue the human spirit.
  34. 34. Level Two: Unintentionally Disinviting  Level Two people are often condescending, obsessed with policies and procedures, and unaware of people’s feelings.  Their classrooms, for example, may be disorganized, boring, and filled with busywork.  Students and teachers in Level Two schools may have low morale and high absence rates.  In frustration, Level Two professionals may resort to Level One behaviors.  It is a concern when all 5 Ps are unintentionally disinviting. Professionals who function at Level Two are typically well-meaning, but may not reflect upon their actions.
  35. 35. Level Three: Unintentionally Inviting  Many “natural-born” teachers operate at this level.  Unfortunately, like early aviators who “flew by the seat of their pants,” these teachers lack dependable guidance systems.  Thus, they may be uncertain and unpredictable.  If whatever accounts for their success fails them, they don’t know what to do to next and may resort to Level One or Level Two functioning.  Consistency and dependability in education and human service require an intentionally inviting stance. Professionals who function at Level Three are reasonably effective, but cannot explain why.
  36. 36. Level Four: Intentionally Inviting  Level Four professionals are like modern pilots: because they know how things work, they can “fly on instruments” over dangerous weather fronts.  They are persistent, imaginative, resourceful, and courageous, even when things get tough.  They affirm, yet guide students, deliberately choosing to be caring and democratic.  They focus on what is most important in education and relationships: an appreciation of people and the value of their development. Level Four professionals know why they are doing what they are doing, so they examine and modify their practices to continuously grow.
  37. 37. Teachers, however, have the ability and responsibility to consistently invite students. Teachers are professionals and should be the primary source of inviting messages (Purkey and Novak, 1996). Just as teachers invite or disinvite students, student behavior can invite or disinvite teachers.
  38. 38. The Four Corner Press Invitational Education® encourages individuals to enrich their lives in each of four vital corners: Being personally inviting with oneself Being personally inviting with others Being professionally inviting with oneself Being professionally inviting with others
  39. 39. The purpose of education is to summon people to realize potential in all areas of worthwhile human activity, including meeting the goals of a democratic society and participating in the progress of civilization.
  40. 40. Corner One: Being Personally Inviting with Oneself  Invitational Professionals see themselves as valuable, able, responsible, and growing.  One way to be inviting with oneself is to monitor your internal dialogue or “whispering self” (Zastrow, 1994; Purkey, 2000; Meichenbaum, 1985).  Those who learn to change negative interpretations into positive ones enrich their own lives and more deeply appreciate others’ inner worlds. To be a long-term beneficial presence in the lives of others, it is vital for professionals to care for themselves.
  41. 41. Practice being inviting on your own behalf by making a habit of having some “alone time.”
  42. 42. Corner Two: Being Personally Inviting with Others  The basic assumptions of optimism, trust, respect, care, and intentionality point the way to being personally inviting with others, thus promoting promote positive relationships.  This is especially important in relationships with students and significant others.  Students, for example, are keenly aware of the nuances in messages received in school. Most human activities involve interdependence.
  43. 43. Teachers can influence how students perceive themselves by learning their names and interests, sharing out-of-class experiences, expressing pleasure when they perform well, and expressing positive expectations for everyone.
  44. 44. Corner Three: Being Professionally Inviting with Oneself  In our pluralistic, democratic culture, helping professionals must attend to the perceptual worlds of students or clients.  They must also develop skill in utilizing new electronic sources of information.  To be professionally inviting with oneself, join professional groups, try new teaching or counseling methods, research, make professional presentations, read, write, and become active in a learning community. Educators, as intellectual workers, have a special responsibility to study the ideas they teach.
  45. 45. The professional who does not invite him/herself to grow runs the risk of becoming obsolete.
  46. 46. Corner Four: Being Professionally Inviting with Others  Being professionally inviting with others does not involve bribes, tricks, or coercion.  In schools, the focus is on improving academic achievement, teaching to standards, showing children how to take tests, posting a daily agenda to make expectations clear, and celebrating mistakes as learning experiences.  Practical strategies are outlined in The Inviting School Treasury: 1001 Ways to Invite Student Success (Purkey and Stanley, 2002). Being professionally inviting with others involves interactions with the school, agency, and larger community.
  47. 47. Being professionally inviting with others is best accomplished by building on the strengths provided by the first three corners. The successful professional is one who artfully blends and synchronizes the four corners into a seamless whole.
  48. 48. The Helix: Internalizing Invitational Education  The helix is based upon the idea that professionals spiral up from awareness, to understanding, to application, to adoption of IE as a pervasive theory of practice.  There are three phases of interest from occasional to systematic to pervasive.  The helix is a 12-step guide to school transformation. A helix is a spiral.
  49. 49. The Helix Phase I: Occasional Interest Phase I: Occasional Interest builds upon the good things that are already being done in the school or other agency, with the objective of building awareness of and introducing Invitational Education®.
  50. 50. The Helix Phase I: Occasional Interest Step 1: Initial Exposure can happen by talking to a colleague, attending a conference, reading introductory materials, watching a video, or hearing a speaker. Step 2: Structured Dialogue involves organized discussion following a program, speech, or meeting focusing on inviting practices that are already in place. Step 3: General Agreement to Try involves seeking consensus to test a variety of new ideas to see what works. Step 4: Uncoordinated Use and Sharing involves reports on what changes went well, what might be done better, and how.
  51. 51. The Helix Phase II: Systematic Application Phase II: Systematic Application involves groups working to introduce integrative change within schools or other agencies, going beyond their classrooms or offices to shared concern for the total helping professions community.
  52. 52. The Helix Phase II: Systematic Application Step 5: Intensive Study happens when IE is studied as a system, aided by a trained leader. Step 6: Applied Comprehension means that those involved discuss their comprehension of the key ideas and apply them in their school. Step 7: Strand Organization involves organizing teams to focus on the 5 Ps: People, Places, Policies, Procedures, and Processes. Step 8: Systematic Incorporation involves regular progress sharing among the strand groups, communication among chairs, and networking with other inviting schools or agencies.
  53. 53. The Helix Phase III: Persuasive Adoption Phase III: Persuasive Adoption is when Invitational Education® permeates the organization. Leaders begin to provide leadership to others outside their setting.
  54. 54. The Helix Phase III: Persuasive Adoption Step 9: Leadership Development occurs when emerging leaders further explore the complexity of IE, including examining new methods. Step 10: Depth Analysis and Extension involves deepening understanding of IE through critical analysis and comparison with other approaches to education or the helping professions. New initiatives are examined and modified in light of IE principles.
  55. 55. The Helix Phase III: Persuasive Adoption Step 11: Confrontation of Major Concerns involves taking a proactive stance on key issues that affect the school/community, like racism, sexism, and elitism. Step 12: Transformation is when the organization functions like an inviting family and is a model for other schools and agencies aspiring to be inviting. “Human potential, though not always apparent, is there waiting to be discovered and invited forth” (Purkey, 2000).
  56. 56. Mission  The unique mission of the International Alliance for Invitational Education® is to create and maintain truly welcoming relationships and environments that enhance life-long learning, promote positive organizational change, cultivate personal and professional growth, and enrich people’s lives.  Through this theory of practice, called Invitational Education®, the Alliance also identifies and changes negative forces that defeat and destroy human potential. A democratic society is ethically committed to accepting people as able, valuable, and responsible, to valuing cooperation and collaboration, to viewing process as product in the making, and to developing untapped possibilities in all worthwhile areas of human endeavor.
  57. 57. Conclusion  The International Alliance for Invitational Education® (IAIE) is a chartered, non-profit organization found in Hong Kong, South Africa, Canada, Britain, Australia, and the United States. The primary mission of the Alliance is to create, maintain, and enhance truly welcoming schools.  See for details on how to join and help make our world more welcoming for everyone. IAIE was co-founded by Dr. William Purkey and Dr. Betty Siegel.
  58. 58. A Story about Michelangelo’s David  A little boy was watching Michelangelo chipping away at a block of marble no previous sculptor had ever wanted. As he saw David emerging from the stone, he asked, “Sire, how did you know he was in there?”  Just as Michelangelo freed David from the stone, inviting professionals must free people from preconceived notions of what they can or cannot do and who they will become. Invitational professionals must have vision to invite forth all forms of positive human potential.
  59. 59. After a decade of high stakes testing, zero tolerance, mandatory retention, and negative labeling of students, teachers, and schools, a renaissance is in sight. Invitational Education® is one voice in this renaissance. The aim is to realize human potential through sustained, imaginative acts of hope.
  60. 60. Bibliography Arceneaux, C. J. (1994). Trust: An exploration of its exploration of its nature and significance. Journal of Invitational Theory and Practice, 7, 12-15. Ashton, P. & Webb, R. (1986). Making a difference: Teachers’ sense of efficacy and student achievement. New York: Longman. Cohen, E. D. (2007). The new rational therapy. Lanham, MD: Rowan & Littlefield. Combs, A. (Ed.) (1962). Perceiving, behaving, becoming. Washington,D.C.: Yearbook of the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development. DiPetta, T, Novak, J. & Marini, Z. (2002). Inviting online education. Bloomington, IN: Phi Delta Kappa. Ellis, A. (1962). Reason and emotion in psychotherapy. New York: Lyle Stuart. Ellis, A. (1970). The essence of rational psychotherapy. New York: Institute for Rational Living. Ellis, A. (2001). Overcoming destructive beliefs, feelings, and behaviors. Amherst, NY: Prometheus Books.
  61. 61. Bibliography…continued Gardner, H. (1991). The unschooled mind: How children think and how schools should teach. New York: Basic Books. Journard, S. (1968). Disclosing man to himself. Princeton, NJ: Van Nostrand. Lawrence, D. (1996). Enhancing self-esteem in the classroom (2nd ed.). London: Paul Chapman. Maaka, M. (1999). Assessment for school success: A student- centred approach. Journal of Invitational Theory and Practice, 6, 6-27. Meichenbaum, D. (1974). Cognitive behaviour modification. Morristown, NJ: Plenum. Meichenbaum, D. (1977). Cognitive behaviour modification: An integrated approach. New York: Plenum. Novak, J.M. (Ed). (1992). Advancing invitational thinking. San Francisco: Caddo Gap Press.
  62. 62. Bibliography…continued Novak, J.M., Rocca, W., and DiBiasi A. (Eds.) (2006). Creating inviting schools. San Francisco: Caddo Gap. Novak, J.M. (1999). Inviting criteria for democracy’s schools. Thresholds in Education. 25 l, 4-6. Novak, J.M. & Purkey, W.W. (2001). Invitational Education. Bloomington, IN: Phi Deltal Kappa. Novak, J.M. (2002). Inviting educational leadership. Fulfilling potential and applying an ethical perspective to the educational process. London. Pearson. Novak, J.M. (2005). Invitational leadership. In B. Davies (Ed.), Essentials of school leadership. London: Chapman. 44-60. Novak, J.M. (2003). Invitational leadership and the pursuit of educational living. In B. Davies & J. West-Burnham (eds.), Handbook of educational leadership and management. London: Pearson. 67-74.
  63. 63. Bibliography…continued Patterson, C. (1973). Humanistic education. Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall. Purkey, W. (1970). Self concept and school achievement. Englewood Cliff, NJ: Prentice-Hall. Purkey, W. & Fuller J. (1995). The Inviting School survey users' manual. Greensboro, NC: University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Purkey, W., & Novak, J. (1988). Education: By invitation only. Bloomington, IN: Phi Delta Kappa. Purkey, W., & Novak, J. (1996). Inviting school success: A self- concept approach to teaching and learning (3rd ed.). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth. Purkey, W. & Schmidt, J. (1987). The inviting relationship: An expanded perspective for professional counseling. Englewood Cliffs, NJ:Prentice-Hall.
  64. 64. Bibliography…continued Purkey, W. & Schmidt, J. (1990). Invitational learning and counseling and development. Ann Arbor, MI: ERIC/CAPS. Purkey, W.W. & Siegel, B.L. (2003). Becoming an invitational leader. Atlanta, GA: Humantics. Purkey, W. & Stanley, P. (1991). Invitational teaching, learning and living. Washington, DC: National Educational Association Professional Library, National Education Association. Rogers, C. (1969). Freedom to learn. Columbus, OH: Merrill. Schmidt, J. J. (2002). Intentional helping: A philosophy for proficient helping relationships. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Merrill/Prentice Hall. Smith, K. (2006). The Inviting School Survey - Revised. Radford, Virginia. Radford University Center for Invitational Education. Smith, K. (1999). Quality teaching and academic self-concept. Interlogue,10, 73-81.
  65. 65. Bibliography…continued Smith, K. (2000). The self-concept and verbal academic achievement of primary and secondary student teachers. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. Stevenson, R. (1987). Foreword. In D. R. Cruickshank, Reflective teaching: The preparation of students teaching. Reston, VA: Association of Teacher Educators.