Forgiveness Education in the Czech Republic
Today I had the privilege of giving a forgiveness education workshop for faculty in a school in the Czech Republic. They have decided to implement a forgiveness curriculum for children from age 4 through about age 10.
This is not an easy endeavor for them. They have had to hire someone to translate teacher guides from English into the Czech language, and these guides are rather extensive as you can see in our online Store.
One impression I had that is quite important is this: Some of the faculty came into the workshop equating forgiveness with reconciliation. In other words, the thought was that if I forgive, I have to go back for more abuse. Seeing that this is not the case was freeing for those who misunderstood what forgiveness is.
Another impression I had was their surprise to hear that forgiveness education can boost academic performance in those students who are excessively angry. After all, if you are fuming inside, it is difficult to learn. As the resentments melt, there is more energy and focus for the academic tasks of school.
You can read a scientific paper, published in 2008 in the Journal of Research in Education, showing this boost in academic performance for a small group of middle school students who were at-risk for academic failure. They went from a D+ average to a C+ average the next academic year: Can School-Based Forgiveness Counseling Improve Conduct and Academic Achievement in Academically At-Risk Students?
We at the International Forgiveness Institute wish the administrators, faculty, and students well in this Czech school as they embark on the exciting new journey of forgiveness education.
It is nice to see the forgiveness education programme expanding. The Czech Republic has done very well in pulling itself up economically after the fall of the Iron Curtain. I wish them the very best with forgiveness.
Imagine if every school in the world taught forgiveness education for young children through adolescence. It is hard to imagine that there would be as much war in the world. It is so vital a topic. I hope it continues to expand.