Journal of Appreciative Education

Implementing Appreciative Education in a First-Year Seminar

Peter C Mather, Tessa M Smith


Appreciative Education involves intentionally designing educational approaches that are based on principles of positive psychology and appreciative inquiry. This paper presents findings from a study of the meaning that 15 first-year experience course instructors attributed to implementing positivity interventions in their courses at a large, Midwestern university. The study suggests that these interventions, which fall under the umbrella of Appreciative Education, can disrupt conventional classroom expectations and dynamics. These disruptions can result in spaces of openness and vulnerability among instructors and students. Finally, the applications increase student engagement, support student success, and shape instructors’ thinking about teaching practices.


appreciative education, first-year, pedagogy

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ISSN: 2165-5421