Kennesaw State hosts world conference on invitational education

Kennesaw State University hosted the 20th Anniversary World Conference of the International…

Georgia (Oct 23, 2002) — Kennesaw State hosts world conference on invitational education



Kennesaw State University hosted the 20th Anniversary World Conference of the International Alliance for Invitational Education‚ Oct. 10−12. More than 600 educators‚ administrators and educational leaders attended the conference‚ including those from as far away as China and South Africa. Many local educators attended the three−day event and celebration as well.

Dr. Betty L. Siegel‚ president of Kennesaw State University‚ co−founded the IAIE in 1982. During her welcome she said‚ "We're many nations here‚ many states‚ but we're all together with the idea that we believe in the concept of invitational education − the basic assumptions of which are trust‚ respect‚ optimism and intentionality."

Siegel‚ along with other experts such as Dr. William Purkey‚ Dr. John Novak‚ Dr. Harry Wong‚ Dr. Ronald Takaki‚ Annette Breaux and Dr. Charlotte Reed‚ presented general session topics ranging from "A History of Multicultural America" to "101 Answers for New Teachers and Their Mentors." Workshop strands included diversity‚ character education‚ service learning‚ inclusion‚ and teaching strategies and practices.

Comparing good teaching to bird hunting was just one of the analogies Dr. William Purkey related to a large and enthusiastic crowd. "If you shoot where they are‚ you're going to hit where they were. You've got to aim where they're going."

Purkey‚ a professor at the University of North Carolina−Greensboro‚ recently collaborated with Dr. Siegel on the book‚ "Becoming an Invitational Leader." The Virginia native spoke with both humor and conviction‚ remarking at one point‚ "If you are bored as a teacher‚ it is because you are boring."

Dr. Harry Wong‚ author of "The First Days of School: How to be an Effective Teacher" and one of the country's leading speakers in the field of education‚ encouraged teachers to craft each year's first day of school very carefully. "The very first day‚ the very first minute‚ the very first second of school‚ teachers should begin to structure and organize their classrooms‚ to establish procedures and routines." He explained teachers should "begin work as soon as they walk into the classroom. That means an assignment is already posted‚ it's there every day‚ and it's in the same place every day."

Along with outstanding keynote speakers‚ musical performances‚ breakout sessions and an evening of celebration‚ the program included an awards luncheon at which fourteen schools received the Inviting School Award for 2002. These K−12 schools from around the world were commended for representing the heart and soul of what being intentionally inviting means to a school and to the community it serves.


The International Alliance for Invitational Education is chartered by the state of North Carolina as a not−for−profit organization. Members consist of an international network of professionals who seek to apply the concepts of invitational education including seeing all people as able‚ valuable‚ and responsible; valuing cooperation and collaboration; viewing process as product in the making; and developing untapped possibilities in all worthwhile areas of human endeavor.

Kennesaw State University is a comprehensive‚ residential institution with a growing student population of 15‚600 from 118 countries. The university offers 55 undergraduate and graduate degree programs. Out of 34 institutions‚ KSU is the fifth largest in the University System of Georgia.


A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its nearly 43,000 students. With 11 colleges on two metro Atlanta campuses, Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the country and the world. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated doctoral research institution (R2), placing it among an elite group of only 6 percent of U.S. colleges and universities with an R1 or R2 status. For more information, visit