By Adam Inder and Louise Hall.

Invitational Education Theory seeks to “provide a means of intentionally summoning people to realise their relatively boundless potential in all areas of worthwhile human endeavour” (Purkey & Novak 2015). Such a bold task can appear daunting, but the complexity is made simple (‘simplexity’) through the compelling framework of Invitational Education. Embedded within the framework are five ‘Elements’ – areas of focus which detail what it means to have an inviting approach towards oneself and others. These elements are intentionality, care, optimism, respect and trust – often collectively abbreviated as I-CORT.

Embedding the elements of I-CORT into one’s operation as a teacher may seem like common sense to some; wielding one or more of these elements within the classroom may even come naturally to you. The key behind an invitational stance is that it is most effective when it is intentional, which is why intentionality precedes the rest of the elements of Invitational Theory. Purkey & Novak state that “intentionality can be a tremendous asset for educators and others in the helping professions, for it is a constant reminder of what is truly important in human service” (Purkey & Novak 2015). To be ‘nice’ or to be ‘friendly’ is not what it means to be I-CORT – to take I-CORT as a simple concept rather than a ‘simplex’ concept can be a mistake which leads to a lack of effectiveness.

Read the rest of the article on Education Today at or download as a PDF here.

Go to top