“Forgiveness therapy” is a clinical therapy for mitigating anger caused by injustice. It has effectively served trauma survivors and individuals in prisons, but can it serve children and adolescents?
To answer this question, Dr. Robert D. Enright at UW Madison and a team of educators developed a social emotional learning program called “Forgiveness Education” to teach school-aged children the same skills for dealing with injustices that therapy clients had received.
Grade school and middle grade curriculum guides use age-appropriate stories to teach about forgiveness and other related moral virtues, and to guide children in learning how to forgive a specific person who offends.
You will be provided with easy-to-use lesson plans include that objectives, stories, and activities. Lessons take place once a week for 12-15 weeks, and typically last 50-60 minutes.
Students are encouraged to perceive the person who offends from a different perspective using a moral principle called inherent worth, which is the understanding that all people are unique and have value.
Students learn about inherent worth through reading and discussing Horton Hears a Who! by Dr. Seuss
Andrew Frizzell is Primary 4 (ages 7-8) teacher at Springfield Primary School in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Andrew introduces how he uses Forgiveness Education in the classroom.
Annette Shannon is a learning support teacher at Holy Cross Girls’ Primary school (ages 4-11) in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Annette Shares feedback from Primary 3 teachers and students who used Forgiveness Education.