Forgiveness Education: Curriculum
Along with a number of colleagues, Dr. Robert Enright began forgiveness education programs in 2002. Curricula for pre-kindergarten through 12th grade are now available. The curriculum guides are comprehensive (most over 100 pages) making them easy for classroom teachers to use. Click here to see the entire list of available curriculum guides plus an overview of each of those guide. Each of the curriculum guides is appropriate for both public and private schools, religious schools, and homeschools.
The guides are available in two formats–the standard version for public schools and the Christian version that includes supplemental information tying the lessons into Christian principles and values. To give you an idea of their contents, here are excerpts for you to review–the introduction and the first three lessons of the 1st Grade Curriculum Guide (Standard Version) and the 1st Grade Curriculum Guide (Christian Version).
The guides focus on Dr. Seuss books in the early grades and on other age-appropriate books, DVDs and websites for older students. Through stories, children learn about the five moral qualities most important to forgiving another person–inherent worth, moral love, kindness, respect and generosity.
In the Grade One Curriculum Guide, for example, Dr. Seuss’ book Horton Hears a Who is the centerpiece of all the materials. Horton was chosen because of his oft repeated wisdom: “A person is a person no matter how small.” This idea captures well the concept of inherent worth.
For each grade level the curriculum gets progressively more challenging so that by the twelfth grade the students are encouraged, if they so choose, to bring the principles of forgiveness to their community outside of school. See Curriculum Guides Basic Description for details about what is taught at each grade level. This “bottom-up” or grass roots approach is essential to healing one heart at a time. See "Why We Need Forgiveness Education Now" to learn why your child or children will be protected from grave injustice and cruelty through forgiveness education.
Our research shows that as students learn about forgiveness, they become less angry and can increase in academic achievement. Here is what teachers in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, inner-city schools told us after teaching the program for four years:
- 75% of the teachers observed that, as a whole, the students decreased in anger.
- 78% of the teachers observed that the students increased in cooperation.
- 71% of the teachers observed that, as a whole, the students improved in their academic achievement.
- 93% of the teachers thought that they became a better person.
- 84% of the teachers thought that their classrooms as a whole began to function better.
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Does Forgiveness Education Work? How Will Your Student Benefit?
Time magazine has called Dr. Enright “the forgiveness trailblazer.” The Los Angeles Times said Dr. Enright is “the guru of what many are calling a new science of forgiveness." The Christian Science Monitor called Dr. Enright “the father of forgiveness research.”
In addition to the dozens of peer-reviewed empirical studies Dr. Enright has authored and that were printed in more than 100 professional publications, he recently completed an additional study on forgiveness education published in the Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology.
This study was done with middle school students in Korea who are either bullied or who do the bullying. The results showed that the Forgiveness Education Program helped these students reduce in anger and hostile attribution, and increase in empathy. Their academic grades improved and they reduced in behavioral aggression and delinquency. Click here to read the entire study "At Risk Female Adolescents in Korea."
Through studies like that one, Dr. Enright has proven--scientifically--that the Forgiveness Education Programs he has developed are effective and actually improve student attitudes, behavior and academic grades. Studies in other areas of the world, including those in Belfast, Northern Ireland, where Dr. Enright initiated his first school Forgiveness Education Program in 2003, documented similar results. Purchase your curriculum guides now in the IFI Store.
The IFI’s Newest Forgiveness Intervention Manual
is Now Available
"It is our contention that bullying starts from within, as anger, and comes out as displaced anger onto the victim," Dr. Enright explains. "Forgiveness targets this anger and then reduces it, thus reducing or eliminating the displaced anger which comes out as bullying.”