I just read about this theory and haven't done enough research to know how I feel about this yet. It's briefly explained here.
Invitational Education is a theory of practice that addresses the total educational environment. It is a process for communication caring and appropriate message intended to summon forth the realization of human potential as well for identifying and changing those forces that defeat and destroy potential.
The four qualities of Invitational Education are respect, trust, optimism, and intentionally:
Respect. People are able, valuable, and responsible and should be treated accordingly.
Trust. Education should be a cooperative, collaborative activity where process is as important as product.
Optimism. People possess untapped potential in all areas of worthwhile human endeavor.
Intentionally. Human potential can best be realized by creating and maintaining Places, Policies, Processes, and Programs, specifically designed to invite development, and by People who are intentionally inviting with themselves and others, personally and professionally.
It's certainly intriguing and in many ways in line with the type of classroom environment I would like to create. Seems a little idealistic and abstract on the surface though. I need to know more about practical applications and whether there is a serious body of research behind it.