Exploring a Forgiving Identity: Affordances of a Family Forgiveness Education Programme

Document Type


Journal/Book Title/Conference

American Educational Research Association Annual Meeting


American Educational Research Association


Vancouver, Canada

Publication Date



Despite peace efforts in Northern Ireland, the country remains contentiously divided. In this paper, I investigate how a 14-week Forgiveness Education Programme (FEP) shapes the identity of parents, who taught the programme to their children, in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Using a mix-methods approach and conceptual change theory (Posner, Strike, Hewson, & Gertzog, 1982) as a framework, I found that parents who used the programme to explore their personal belief systems demonstrated a higher-level of practicing forgiveness on the Enright Forgiveness Inventory (EFI). Additionally, the findings reveal that through teaching the FEP, parents are able to challenge and possibly change their own worldviews about how they see themselves and the ‘other.’ Other implications and significant contributions are discussed.

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