Academic journal article Journal of Invitational Theory and Practice

The Basic Tenets of Invitational Theory and Practice: An Invitational Glossary

Academic journal article Journal of Invitational Theory and Practice

The Basic Tenets of Invitational Theory and Practice: An Invitational Glossary

Article excerpt


ITP is viewed as the overarching theory for the base paradigm known as Invitational Education (IE). IE is seen as having its philosophical/theoretical roots arising from a variety of humanistic models of human behavior. These models of teaching/education and counseling are intellectually grounded in the work of John Dewey, Sidney Jourard, Kurt Lewin, Abraham Maslow, Art Combs, among others. The phrase "Invitational Education" first appeared in the writings of Purkey (1978) concerning itself with an approach to teaching and learning focusing on a global methodology to enhance the self-concepts of learners. Since that first appearance, the model of IE has evolved within the writings of many authors, in particular; Purkey and Novak (1984, 1988, 1996, 2008), Purkey and Schmidt (1987, 1990, 1996, 2010), Purkey and Stanley (1991), Purkey and Siegel (2002), and Novak (1992, 1994, 2002). With each publication, the description, explanation, and application of ITP expanded and changed as a result of newer perspectives, shifting needs of education, societal expectations/norms, and attempts by the writers to reach a wider audience with subtle modifications in wording, examples, and metaphors. ITP represents a qualitative perspective on human affective and cognitive processes. Consequently ITP both suffers and benefits from its inherent fluidity.

The references cited at the end of this manuscript, represent the main sources from which the authors "pulled together" the proposed standardized terminology. It is important to note that the terms and concepts as presented herein exemplify the most salient aspects of ITP as determined by the authors.


We recognize that the selection of these terms and the assignment of the definitions, examples, and explanations used, did not undergo any empirical methodology or procedure. The process was simple consensus among the authors. We welcome other supporters of ITP to assist in the enhancement and advancing of this work.

A Glossary of the Basic Tenets of Invitational Theory and Practice

Application Processes (see Appendix B)

Dimensions (AKA "Four Corner Press")

Domains (AKA "The 5 P's")



Artfully Inviting

The skill achieved when one has integrated the process of inviting to the level where the behavior appears to be effortless and the sender does not seek recognition; related to "styles".

Basic Assumptions of ITP

1. People are able, valuable, and capable of self-direction, and should be treated accordingly.

2. Helping is a cooperative, collaborative alliance in which process is as important as product.

3. People possess relatively untapped potential in all areas of human development.

4. Human potential can best be realized by places, policies, and programs that are intentionally designed to invite development, and by people who consistently seek to realize this potential in themselves and others, personally and professionally.


See Elements


In the application of invitational behavior it is acknowledged that individuals have choices to be respected regarding invitations.


Not sending


Not accepting

Conflict Resolution (AKA The Six Powerful C's)

Handling difficult situations between people through a series of six steps:

Concern: Identify the concern and decide whether it needs to be addressed.

Confer: Initiate a non-threatening, informal conversation to resolve the concern.

Consult: Talk directly, seriously and more formally requesting resolution.

Confront: Explain again the original concern and discuss the logical consequences.

Combat: Take sustained action with logical consequences.

Conciliate: Seek to restore a non-combative relationship to reach permanent resolution. …

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