UNC Greensboro Professor To Present Hixson Lectures On "Invitational Education"

Feb. 23, 2000

by Lori Scott Fogleman

Dr. William Watson Purkey, a professor of counselor education at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and author of What Students Say to Themselves: Internal Dialogue and School Success (Corwin Press), will deliver the 2000 Hixson Lectures Feb. 24-25 at Baylor University.

Purkey will speak on "The Whispering Self" and the concept of invitational education at 4 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 24, in Bennett Auditorium, and at 9 a.m. Friday, Feb. 25, also in Bennett. The lectures, which are free and open to the public, are sponsored by the School of Education and the Center for Christian Education.

"Everyone has an inner voice that molds his or her behaviors," Purkey said of the topic of his latest book. "The problem is, too many of us--children included--give more weight to the negatives than the positives."

What Students Say to Themselves focuses on the importance of helping students replace habitual negative inner dialogue with reasonable, positive dialogue. The goal of a good teacher, Purkey said, is to lead students to self-efficacy, in part by helping them recognize and eliminate their own self-destructive dialogue.

The core of Purkey's philosophy is what he calls "invitational education" -- a practice of communicating caring messages intended to summon forth human potential, while identifying and changing forces that defeat potential. The four principles of the practice are respect, trust, optimism and intentionality.

A graduate of the University of Virginia, Purkey has written or cowritten more than 80 professional articles and nine books, including Inviting School Success, now in its third edition. He is cofounder of the International Alliance for Invitational Education, which now boasts more than 1,000 members in 13 countries since its inception in 1982. A member of the UNCG faculty since 1976, Purkey is recipient of the 1997 Board of Governors Award for Excellence in Teaching.

For more information about the Hixson Lectures, call Dr. Randy Wood, professor and director of the Center for Christian Education, at (254) 710-2410.

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