American Accounting Association


CPE Session 39

Positively Intervening: Tackling Classroom Problems with Positive Interventions

Presented By:

Marsha M. Huber, Youngstown State University

Description: This session will review the literature on "positive" interventions in education and help faculty to design interventions for their own classes. Often, when we hear the word "intervention," we think of helping struggling students to survive. "Positive" interventions, on the other hand, are designed to help the "average" student thrive. In this session, participants will experience a positive intervention themselves as well as learning about typical positive interventions practiced in the field of positive psychology. At the conclusion, participants will develop interventions for their own classes designed to help students flourish.

The theory behind this session originates in positive psychology. Positive psychology is the study of positive emotions such as happiness, resilience, well-being, and optimism. Rather than focus on delineating mental illness, positive psychology focuses on increasing mental health. Empirical evidence suggests that positive emotions engender more life satisfaction and promotes learning, particularly creative thinking. Thus, the goal of this session is to introduce the science of positive interventions to participants and explain how and why they work to change emotions and behavior.

Field of Study: Specialized Knowledge and Applications
Program Level: Basic
Method of Delivery: Group — Live

Intended Audience: Faculty members, Ph.D. students, and those interested in the study of positive psychology, well-being, and a new approach to solving classroom problems.

Format/Structure: The format is as follows: 1) Learn the literature and theory of positive interventions, 2) Reflect on a positive intervention experienced during the session, 3) Receive a laundry list of positive interventions, 5) Participate and design an intervention for your accounting class.

Learning Objective: 1) Recognize what a positive intervention is and how to use them to help the average student thrive, 2) Understand the theory behind positive interventions and explain how and why they work, and (3) Design a new intervention for their own classes and/or research.


Advanced Preparation Required: Take the VIA Strengths Inventory on the website. Prepare a positive introduction to bring to the session. Instructions will be sent to participants.


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