Moral development - Kohlberg's theory - Children
Moral development is a continuous process that happens to every individual this is beyond doubt. Kohlberg's theory on moral development entails theories, which explain how moral changes occur in human beings. The theories explain both the strengths and weaknesses experienced by human beings in obtaining their moral obligations in both pre conventional stages and post conventional stages.
Kohlberg's theory mostly explains how children form their moral obligation, and what information they use in forming their moral obligations. The theory comprises of six stages of moral development among people. Kohlberg interviewed various groups of young children by asking them some moral dilemmas. He explored the children's moral development by how they reasoned the situation.
The following is an example of a moral dilemma that Kohlberg used in making his theory.
[...] Children at this stage argued that it was wrong for Heinz to steal the medicine, but Heinz was morally obligated to steal the medicine to save his wife's life. Further, they argued that if he had not stolen the medicine, people would blame him for letting his wife down at the time of need (Munsey 1980). Stage 4 The fourth stage of Kohlberg's theory explains how people's moral development grows in consideration of maintaining social order. People become more positive towards abiding by set rules, performing their individual duties, and respecting authority. People at this stage argued that Heinz was justified to steal the medicine. [...]
[...] In the sixth stage, people consider wide variety of ethics in their moral reasoning. People argue according to their beliefs and opinions, even if their reasoning is against rules and laws. People at this stage argued that law is less important compared to life. Therefore, Heinz was justified to steal the medicine (Munsey 1980). However, Kohlberg's raises various concerns. To some extend the theory is not fully reliable in judging human moral development. This is because people might have different moral reasoning, but this does not apply in their acts. [...]
[...] Further, the theory considers justice as the core concept of moral reasoning leaving out other important factors such as compassion and interpersonal feelings (Thomas 1997). References Thomas, R. M. (1997). Moral development theories--secular and religious: A comparative study. Westport, Conn: Greenwood Press. Munsey, B. (1980). Moral development, moral education, and Kohlberg: Basic issues in philosophy, psychology, religion, and education. Birmingham, Ala: Religious Education Press. Carpenter, S. (2009). Visualizing psychology.Hoboken, N.J: Wiley. [...]
[...] He explains the two disciplines as the initial stages of moral development among children. Nevertheless, some adults still possess this type of reasoning. In this stage, children consider rules as unbreakable because there are consequences, which result from breaking rules. Therefore, most children obey rules in order to avoid punishment. Therefore, in the Heinz situation, most children argued that Heinz was justified to steal the medicine since he had inquired to pay on loan. On the other hand, a good number of children opposed Heinz's decision because he would stand being convicted (Munsey 1980). [...]
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