Invitations are an approach
to the teaching/learning process that is centered on student inquiry.
Students are more apt to become independent and responsible learners when
teachers demonstrate that they value and support the questions that emerge
fromtheir students. Inquiry, choice, depth of information, as well as
depth of understanding are the cornerstones of this constructivist view
of teaching and learning. Invitational Learning is intended to provide
opportunities for learners to go beyond their current understandings and
This type of teaching follows the Chinese proverb on how to feed a
person. As the story goes, you can choose to give a person one fish or
you can choose to teach the person to fish? Which method is going to come
closer to assuring a life of nutrition, do you think?
Invitations provide a way to teach our students to be responsible thinkers
and problem solvers, not merely responders to rote-based questions and
standardized testing. It's a valuing of how we authentically cognate or
think and problem solve. What's really neat about invitation-based inquiry
is that it's scientific and it can also reinforce the rote-based test
information in a richer, deeper, meaningful context. It's teaching for
a lifetime of nourishment, not just one fish.