Information for School Principals, Teachers and Administrators
Forgiveness Research Provides Scientifically-Proven Outcomes
We have been conducting forgiveness education research for more than 30 years. The positive results of that research are outlined in this list of Dr. Enright's journal articles and white papers on Forgiveness Education, all with hyperlinks to the actual paper. For a condensed version, read the 3-page bullet-pointed list of Why Forgiveness Education?
For additional evidence demonstrating the value of forgiveness education, see:
- At Risk Female Middle School Students in Korea - One of Dr. Enrights latest reports, it focuses on Korean students who have been bullied and who bully. Those in the experimental group not only improved more in emotional health than those in the control groups but also improved more in academic performance and in their behavior (less aggression and delinquency).
Curriculum Guides Make Teaching Forgiveness Easy
We used that extensive research to develop curriculum for you to use in your classroom. Each guide is about 100 pages and contains all the necessary information you need to complete a 12 week lesson. Here is a brief description of each curriculum guide from pre-kindergarten (age 4) through grade 10 (ages 15-16).
The guides are available in two formats–the standard edition for public schools and the Christian edition that includes supplemental information tying the lessons into Christian principles and values. Here are portions of actual curriculum guides 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).
Thanks to the financial support of generous local contributors who support the Forgiveness Education Program, the IFI is able to provide free teaching materials to schools in Madison, Wisconsin, as well as in Belfast, Northern Ireland. If your school is in one of those locations, contact us to obtain your free supplies. Schools in other locations can order all teaching materials directly from the Store section of this website.
Social Emotional Learning
Forgiveness Education, with its focus on recognizing and validating students’ anger as well as teaching students to express emotions in a healthy way, understand the perspective of others, recognize the humanity in all, and increase empathy and compassion, is one form of social-emotional learning (SEL) that is currently being investigated and implemented by researchers and educators (Enright., Knutson, Holter., Baskin, & Knutson, 2007; Freedman, 2018).
Helping students develop empathy toward others is a key strategy in bullying prevention and intervention and according to a recent NY Times article (Brody, 2018), it is critical that we help kids develop empathy early in their lives. Social emotional learning programs that include a focus on empathy and regulation of emotions are being recognized as an important part of the school curriculum for all students (Zakrzeski, 2014) and based on recent statistics, there is a need for more SEL programs in schools today.
Read the amazing results of Dr. Suzanne Freedman's forgiveness education initiatives (including SEL programs) with 5th graders. The results of Dr. Robert Enright's more than 35-years of forgiveness education research are outlined on this website's Research page.
Anti-Bullying Forgiveness Intervention Manual Just Released
Dr. Robert Enright, co-founder of the International Forgiveness Institute, has just completed development of a new
Anti-Bullying Forgiveness Program
This guide is for grade 4 (age 9) through grade 9 (age 14). It is intended for use with those who are showing bullying behavior and to help such students to forgive those who have deeply hurt them. Bullying behavior does not occur in a vacuum, but can result from deep inner rage, not resulting from those who are bullied but often from others who have hurt them in family, school, or neighborhood.
Forgiveness can be a powerful way of reducing pent-up anger. It is possible that the competent use of this guide can not only reduce but also play a part in eliminating bullying behavior. It is our contention that bullying starts from within, as anger, and comes out as displaced anger onto the victim. Forgiveness targets this anger and then reduces it, thus reducing or eliminating the displaced anger which comes out as bullying.
This guide can be used by school counselors, social workers, and teachers. It can also be used by homeschooling parents. There are 8 lessons, each taking from 30 to 60 minutes. All of the material to teach these lessons is self-contained in this guide; there are no other textbooks or materials to purchase.
We highly recommend a two-hour teacher training program we have developed for all instructors who will be providing forgiveness education. We can provide that training on site, through Skype, or through audio CD. Here is an example of a typical teacher workshop outline. You can order the instructional CD in our store. Teachers can listen to the CD as a group (preferred method) or can access it whenever they wish.
Teachers in Milwaukee’s inner city have used our Forgiveness Education materials for the past ten years. We conducted end-of-the-year evaluations of those teachers during 4 of those 10 years and the results have been eye-opening. Here are some of the cumulative results from those four years:
- 91% of teachers found the curriculum materials easy to use.
- 75% of teachers observed that, as a whole, the students decreased in anger as a result of learning about forgiveness.
- 71% of teachers observed that, as a whole, the students improved in their academic achievement as a result of learning about forgiveness.
84% of teachers thought that their classrooms as a whole began to function better as a result of the forgiveness curriculum.
- 76% of teachers thought that their school as a whole began to show improvement because of the forgiveness education program.
Three Ways to Foster a Forgiving School
For school leaders who would like to build a forgiving school climate, here are some research-based suggestions:
Launch a Forgiveness Education Program in Your School
Here is a full-color printable flyer that describes the IFI Forgiveness Education Program that you can share with parents and others. Another useful tool to share with others is this 3-page handout Why Forgiveness Education?
Contact us to find out more about the benefits of forgiveness education for students at your school. Please let us know more about you and your school so that we can begin the conversation. Be sure to include:
- Your name, title, and contact information
- Name of your school
- Location of your school (city, state, province, district, country)
- Grades and ages involved in each grade (because the idea of a “grade” differs across countries)
Blogs and News
We are always trying to innovate and think through the subtleties of teaching forgiveness therapy. When we get a new stroke of genius, we will post it in on this website in our Blogs and News section. If you disagree that our new post is a stroke of genius, we hope you'll let us know.
Become a "Peace Builder" by signing The Forgiveness Pledge.