The Value of Forgiveness in the Eyes of High-School Teachers: Do They Perceive it as Related yo Testing and Grading Students?

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Marek Jeziorański
Irit Pedro
Liat Cohe


While forgiveness is considered an important value in life, the assessment of students through standardized tests is an unforgiving system within the educational setting. How do teachers perceive the connection between testing and forgiveness? The purpose of this study was to investigate this question. Thirty-one high school teachers were asked to respond to four questions, after being presented with a specific definition of forgiveness, suggesting that forgiveness means allowing people, and students, to make mistakes without judgment until they start doing things right. Teachers’ responses were recorded, transcribed and analyzed. The content analysis yielded ten categories, some of which indicate that there is a tension between a) teachers’ feelings toward their students and their wish to support and help them, and b) the formal top-down demands of the educational system. Teachers also pointed to the importance of there being limits to forgiving students’ wrongdoing.

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