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Archive for August, 2011

Invitational Education Presentation Columbus, Ohio

An Invitational Approach- Response Abilities Pathways: A relationship building program from the Circle of Courage. This was a breakout session presentation that I led at the International Alliance for Invitational Education conference in Columbus, Ohio in October 2010. The goal of the presentation was to show the interconnectedness between the Response Abilities Pathways (RAP) training program and Invitational Theory.

RAP itself is a training program produced by the Circle of Courage Institute/Starr Commonwealth. Over the years working with at-promise (at-risk) youth I have found the training program to be a valuable asset to schools and residential programs. The training is designed to change the mindset of staff members from being enforcers of rules to being mentors who support students in choosing to behave within pro-social norms. The training program immerses participants in both brain research and developmental psychology and has a strong research base.

My argument in this presentation was that this training program also perpetuates the values of Trust, Respect, Care, Optimism and Intentionality. This training tool could be a valuable asset to organizations that practice Invitational Theory. Of particular interest might be schools or alternative schools.

Comments and discussion that arose during the presentation centered on the difficulty that any staff training program brings. Namely that many organizations are searching for a cookie cutter type program that “can’t be messed up”. In other words administrative leaders see a problem and they want to teach staff members to react in a certain “correct” way every time.

My response was that the goal of any training program for professional organizations should not be centered on reacting. RAP training is one of several techniques that leaders can use to be proactive and help students make choices better choices before problems occur. A professional, proactive team mentors students and eliminates many problems or crises beforehand. The team also is driven by a meaningful mission and purpose that guides the organization. We then went to slide #9 to discuss how we work with students.

Session feedback indicated that there was broad agreement among participants that RAP connects well within Invitational Theory.

For more on Invitational Theory visit:
For more on the Circle of Courage visit:
For more about the Oncourse Education Collaborative visit:

presentation 10sept RAP at IAIE conf


Welcome to Scott’s discussion blog. This is for everyone who has attended a training session or presentation to have follow up questions answered or to extend the discussion. Over the next few weeks I will add presentations going back the last two or three years. Enjoy! Also I can always be contacted by the email link found on my organization’s website




New presentations are coming! Soon there will be presentations regarding program development and research on effective programs that develop resiliency in students and youth.