- - - - - - - - - Boosting Student Engagement, Knowledge, Skills & Character

Invitational Education 'At-A-Glance'
Starting or Continuing Your Journey
Who Am I? / What's New & How to UseThis Website?
Hong Kong & China: Reflections and Plans - Hong Kong, Foshan, Guangzhou, Liannan, and Zhongshan
Schools & Projects
Prompts, Modules & Courses
Standards & Assessment
Research & Resources
Lesson Banks: Finding or Creating - INSTRUCTIONAL UNITS
Other Working Papers & 'Projects'
Findings, Quotes & Reflections
Search BenjaminSystems Website

"In place of persuasion and barter, we need to believe that faith, responsibility, and commitment are a matter of personal choice.  Even though history may be on the side of the cynics, and their wounds are real, they can choose to have faith in the face of that experience.  This is the invitation we make to them.  We need to affirm their version of history and support them in their doubts.  We replace coercion and persuasion with invitation.
Peter Block in Stewardship:  Choosing Service Over Self-Interest.  p227

Roots & Wings:  This page provides an overview of the fundamentals of Invitational Education, with links to some 'underpinnings' and advanced 'extensions' of the approach.
Rubrics:  Please see a couple of the useful "IAIE Rubrics" for assistance in planning and checking your own progress in using Invitational Education to advance a more invitational approach in your classroom or school.


Invitational Education - Introductory Video

Introduction and Overview of Invitational Education

Research Supporting The Invitational Approach - Kim Arrington, Joe Stanley Smith Elementary School

Inviting School Award - School Visit Rubrics

Invitational Education - Fundamentals / Glossary

Roots & Wings.....and Synergistic Connections - Underpinnings / Extensions

Applications / References /Notes

Illustrative / Exemplary Schools
(20 Schools On The Move - Siegel & Benjamin)

VISION: "Imagine a truly inviting school" Ch1,p1

'Through New Eyes' Professional Learning Communities

'Imaginative Capacities' Lincoln Center Institute

School Transformation: From / Through / To

Richard Dufour, Lincoln Center Institute, Daniel Pink, Richard Florida

Creative Primary School - Leadership Inviting School,  which also emphasizes creativity

MISSION: 'Invitational' and 'Education' as concepts, LEADING TO THE GREATER REALIZATION OF HUMAN POTENTIAL - Intellectual, Social, Psychological, Spiritual & Physical 

Exploring Human Potential in its Many Dimensions

'Invitational'  immediately indicates both "choice' and 'respect'


'Education' as a concept is a broader and more positive concept than 'school reform' and shifts the focus from school and teaching to the learner

Human Potential

The Enlightenment, Humanistic Psychology, Humanism & The Humanities

Consider Using the Inviting School Survey - Revised

"While exam scores and school labels might have motivated us originally, today we understand that our mission is one of a far greater calling: to be exemplary in every way and to help each child to reach his or her potential." from 'No Excuses' the Brazosport TX story.


The founders thought of 'Invitational Education' as a 'Theory of Practice'

Invitational Education as a "Theory of Practice"

Theories of Action / Logic Models

Logic Models and Theories of Change

Systems Thinking:  What are the key parts, what are the relationships between the parts, what are the key assumptions?

A system is an arrangement of parts, organized by known relationships, to achieve a purpose.




The Democratic Ethos
"Democracy is a social ideal based on the conviction that all people matter and can grow through participation in self-governance.  Invitational Education reflects this democratic ethos by emphasizing deliberate dialogue, mutual respect, and the importance of shared activities."   Purkey & Novak 2008

"How might we best relate to one another?"

School Culture / Climate / Learning Environment.......Community!

Professional Learning Communities

John Dewey

Description of the Book - Wikipedia

Democracy and Education - Deep Reviews

Richard Axelrod - Terms of Engagement

Sun Yat-sen

Edwin Markham - Poem - Man With a Hoe 

Jean-François Millet - Pinting - Man With a Hoe

An Ethic of Excellence: Building a Culture of Craftsmanship with Students by Ron Berger (please see pp 38-41)

3 Questions for Changing School Climate

Humanistic Psychology, Humanism & The Humanities


Professional Learning Communities (& Systems Thinking) Suggest Chapter 1

Stephen Chu School - Learning Circles, and Professional Learning Communities

The Perceptual Tradition
"The perceptual tradition is based on the assumption that all human behavior is a function of the perceptions that exist for an individual at the moment of acting...."  Purkey & Novak 2008

"How does the world work?"

Mental Models (Systems Thinking)



The Image 1956 by Kenneth Boulding. One of the most significant of my graduate school teachers, Kenneth Boulding was, for me, the first to point out the need to see things from the point of view of the other since behavior grows out of their perceptions, not necessarily out of reality.

Jerome Bruner - Constructivism

Consider Senge Mental Models, Howard Gardner 'Changing Minds' and Dweck 'Mindsets'

Intelligence....Single vs Multiple Intelligences

                    Malleable  Growth vs Fixed Intelligence (Creativity)

Carl Rogers - in A Way of Being p 104
" I want to raise a very serious question:  Can we afford the luxury of having 'a' reality? Can we still preserve the belief that there is a 'real world' upon which we can all agree.It appears to me that the way of the future must be to base our lives and our education on the assumption that there are as many realities as there are persons, and that our highest priority is to accept that hypothesis and proceed from there.....We would, I believe, enrich our own lives in the process.  We would also become more able to cope with the reality in which each of us exists, because we would be aware of many more options...."


Key Mindsets:

- Fixed vs Growth.....Intelligence / Creativity

- Low vs High Expectations for Students

- A Conflict of Visions......

          Teeth vs Each Tooth

          Class  vs   Each Student

          Fixed vs Growth

          Intelligence – Multiple / Malleable

          Critical Thinking & Creativity

          Delayed Gratification !

          Coverage vs (Visible)Thinking

"any subject can be taught to any child at any stage of development, if it is presented in the proper manner"  Jerome Bruner

How could Will Rogers say "I never met a man I didn't like"?

Consider the 'Points of View' of Cynics (doubt), Victims (helplessness) & Bystanders (indifference) - Stewardship: Choosing Service Over Self-Interest - by Peter Block p221

Self-Concept Theory "At the core of each person's perceptual world are the perceptions about oneself Self-concept is the picture people construct of who they are and how they fit in their perceived world." Purkey & Novak 2008

"Who Am I?"

Humanistic Psychology - Carl Rogers & Abraham Maslow

Stephen Covey
  - 7 Habits
  - The Leader In Me



Gandhi & Self-Respect

Who Am I? What Am I Doing? Why Am I Doing It?

  • Carol Dweck  - Maluable Intelligence        & Earned Self-Esteem



PPC focuses on meeting universal human needs... Peer group programs are based on the ecological life space models of Fritz Redl (1966), Urie Bronfenbrenner (2005), William Morse (2008), and others... acknowledging that young people influence and are influenced by their life space. PPC programs intentionally design the life space to meet the developmental needs of youth (Laursen, 2008). The peer deviance contagion that is always present in any group setting results when a vacuum left by the withdrawal of parents and adults is filled with an undesiredand possibly undesirablesubstitute of an age-segregated peer group (Bronfenbrenner, 2005, p. 231).

"Rather than spending endless amounts of time trying to .....'motivate' people, those who apply Invitational Education focus their energies toward finding ways to successfully summon people to see themselves as able, valuable, and responsible and to behave accordingly."   Purkey & Novak 2008

Elements / Assumptions ......Invitational Education Core Values


Consider Use of one of the Character Education Partnership Survey or Assessment Tools



'Can Do' Spirit

Consider 'Optimism' as a personal disposition, or as a considered and chosen and more useful perspective, or as a core value......

Learned Optimism - Seligman and others

Learned Helplessness

View 'Resiliency' as scaffold to Optimism?



Managing Trust & Agreement - Peter Block

Add Richard Axelrod on Trust, in Terms of Engagement p 168 - The Trust Triangle - Straight Talk, Listening for Understanding, Making commitments, Reliability, Trust, Respect  (John Carter)....."The relationship bank"...."Listening for understanding vs listening to get your own way"

Add Dean Fink PPT on TRUST

Negotiating TRUST & AGREEMENT - In The Empowered Manager by Peter Block p138



Parker Palmer

Character Education Partnership - 11 Principles - CORE Moral Values

Gandhi & Self-Respect

Building Community in the Classroom with Respect

Reggio Emelia - Respect for the Child


Nel Noddings

Case Study of a Middle School


Intentionality (Integrity)  (Inviting Stance) 

Creative / Imaginative Problem-Solving

Viktor Frankl

Meaning, PURPOSE, & Identity....

What do you want for you?

Do you, and do your students have clear goals?

Influence With Integrity by Marlene Caroselli

How To Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie

Influencer: The New Science of Leading Change by Joseph Grenny, Kerry Patterson, more


Practice of I.E. / Domains
The 5 Ps

Metaphor - Starfish

Alternate - Oyster

Alternate Metaphors - Chambered Nautilus

Chambered Nautilus - Poem

Alternate Metaphors - Oysters

Assessing IE at the school level - The Inviting School Survey - Revised 2013

The 'Systems' Approach (see especially pp 18-22 "What causes students to succeed academically?")


Foshan Experimental Primary School, Place & Leadership

Jing Xi Primary School, Place, Leadership

MFBM CLCT - Arts Integration, Caring Award

Ms Ma School - Arts-Based Curriculum









Project dashboards centralize all of the key information you need to begin a project – people,
resources, timetables, milestones, etc. This is perhaps the most common type of dashboard
Personal dashboards give you fast access to key personal information, such as usernames
and passwords, account numbers, and phone numbers for airlines, credit cards and other
important people and organizations. They can also help you to track your progress against
goals and to monitor your financial health.

Universal Design For Learning - Tutorial

Deming - Total Quality Agenda - Baldrige Award Criteria

PLC - "Thru New Eyes" video - several specific, important examples add up to a planned, positive culture.



Process dashboards are created to remind you of a business process that must be followed
for your work. A good example is steps that should be followed when adding a new post to your
blog. Steps in the process could include promoting it via Twitter and to relevant Linkedin groups,
Digg, Delicious, and so forth, checking to see if it should be added to your “best of” articles
page, and so forth.


Ladder / Levels of Functioning


Intentionally Inviting

Invite....Nudge....Encourage.....Demand See research on Encourage vs Demand Role play all four..

Customer Experience - The 5 Disciplines

Quality of Relationships & Math Achievement

Stage three school.....

Unintentionally Inviting


New (naturally) Inviting School ?

Unintentionally Disinviting


Bullying in Tom Brown's School Days

Intentionally Disinviting


fictitious - - 'Charles Darwin' High School - DuFour & Eaker - Professional Learning Communities (See also Prof Higgins, Pontious Pilate, & ?)


The Four Corner Press / Dimensions


Being Personally Inviting with Oneself


Meaning, Purpose & Identity

Who Am I? What Am I Doing? Why Am I Doing It?

Stress Scale Indicator List


Being Personally Inviting with Others


Being Professionally Inviting with Oneself


Being Professionally Inviting with Others


The 'Invitational' Classroom and its Values


The Stages


The 'Helix' Stages of Implementation.....


Preparation Stage

Step 1: Initial Exposure

Step 1 is the first awareness that invitational theory exists. This dawning might take place while attending a conference or workshop, hearing a speaker, reading an article or book, or viewing a videotape. Ideally, this initial exposure is accompanied by reading material to prepare individuals and organizations for Step 2.

Content / Process:

Link early adopters to experiences, readings, and webpages appropriate to their interests and vision.

Suggest and support the formation of voluntary 'Professional Learning Communities' of early adopters, with the provision of key PLC questions related to Invitational Education.

Consider Explorers & Pioneers vs later 'Settlers'........Various roles of Teacher Leaders

Suggest planning for 'early success' in preparation for possible growth of interest and implementation....mostly for Place and Processes....

Suggest a personal and professional awareness and practive of IE Values/Assumptions: Respect, Trust, Optimism, Caring and Intentionally



                                                              Step 2: Structured Dialogue 

Step 2 involves some form of organized follow-up discussion within the organization. This might be an afternoon meeting following a morning general session, a retreat, a series of job-alike or team meetings, or some other type of organized discussion to help people understand the significance and usefulness of the theory. This dialogue should also focus on recognizing and appreciating the inviting practices already in place. 


Suggest school-wide SWOT analysis so as to involve entire faculty i n consideration of (internal) Strengths / & Weaknesses and (external) Opportunities & threats.....


Step 3: Agreement to Try

This third step calls for individuals and members of organizations to try various inviting ideas and suggestions. These trials typically consist of uncoordinated individual or small group initiatives. The purpose of Step 3 is to try things out and see what works. In Step 3, simple modifications and innovations, such as making signs more friendly, improving the lighting at work stations, or sending appreciation cards, are expected and welcomed.


Suggest a few school level early successes consistent with a focus on 'Place'

 Suggest a few classroom practices - consistent with existing school priorities such as Expeditionery Learning or Ats Integration.

Step 4: Unorganized Use

Step 4 concludes Level I of Helix with the adoption of one or many inviting suggestions. These adoptions remain largely unorganized and uncoordinated, yet they have become a part of everyday practice. Because they work well they are likely to be a relatively permanent fixture in individual and organizational functioning.

An important requirement of this concluding step in Level 1 is for individuals to share invitational successes both within organizations and beyond. Sharing successes prepares the ground for Level II.




Interacting Stage


Follow-Up Stage


The 'Helix'


I - Occasional Interest


II - Systemic Application


III - Pervasive Adoption


Conclusion - 'The aim is to realize human potential through sustained imaginative acts of hope.'  Ch8, p49


US - Jackson ES, Durham MS, ?? HS

Hong Kong - Creative Primary, MFBM CTMC, (Stephen Chu) HS (and Poon HS)

Mainland China -  Foshan Experimental ES, ?? MS, Liannan HS (Arthur)

Click here for a WORD version of "Invitational Education At-A-Glance" as a useful RUBRIC for determining 'current status' and useful 'NEXT STEPS'

Invitational Education Glossary - Dan Shaw, Allyson Schoenlein, Betty Siegel

click here to download file

IE Effective Schools Rubric

Click here for Inviting School Award Basic Ohio Rubric

Click here for Inviting School Award Extended OHIO Rubric

The theme for 2014 is  Invitational Education: A Model for the 21st Century.

The theme for 2013 is Sustaining Invitational Education in a Time of  Change

From: Jenny Edwards <>
Subject: RE: Cabell County Chapter's IAIE Institute a great success!!
Date: July 31, 2014 11:57:46 PM EDT

Hi, Joan,

Sounds like a wonderful conference!

I went back through the studies. Ones that
particularly stood out were:


Pajares and Zeldun
D.R. Thompson

Hope that helps!  Would be glad to talk with you about them.
It is difficult to conduct a study to show that IE directly influences IE, as many 
other things are going on on a school. When researchers can show
that if A = B and B = C, then A = C, it is good, as well.
Many of the studies show positive outcomes for students, which is what we want.

Hope this is helpful!
Please see attached file.


Warmly, Jenny

Jenny Edwards, PhD
Fielding Graduate University

Enter content here

Data: Joe Stanley Smith Elementary School Kim Arrington, Principal

Joe Stanley Smith Elementary School:
Optimal Climate – Optimal Results
 Overall School Grade based on State-Wide Testing:
2010-2011: The school scored 39.5 points for an
overall letter grade of “D.”
2013-14: The school scored 62.3 points for an
overall letter grade of “B.”
 School Rank: Number of proficient students compared with
schools that have a similar % of economically disadvantaged
students. Joe Stanley Smith Elementary (JSS) has 82% of
students living in poverty.
2013: JSS ranked 21st out of 47 schools.
2104: JSS ranked 2nd out of 46 schools.

Enter content here

Enter content here

Enter supporting content here