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Who holds the responsibility for the moral development of children?

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  1. Introduction.
  2. Webster's dictionary definition of 'morality'.
  3. Piaget's work and Kohlberg: Adolescence and adulthood.
  4. The moral development of a very young child.
  5. Two sides of discipline and the parents' aim.
  6. Good education is moral education.
  7. Conclusion.
  8. Bibliography.

On initial consideration, the question posed here seemed to bracket nicely few main points of the subject, but that impression appeared to be wide of the mark, especially when it came to making judgments concerning the notions of "morals" and "morality". Really, what is a morality? What does it mean to be a moral person? Our values, both moral and non-moral, were acquired along with our basic language and socialized behaviours when we were young children and come from some very strong traditions that are part of our societies and our cultures. Law, religion, our family and peer group all tell us what we ought to do, but following these more traditional "oughts" does not necessary constitute a moral life.A great number of people, however, do live long and useful lives without ever consciously defining or systematically considering the values or moral rules that guide their social, personal, and work lives.

[...] And anything which diminishes our ability to make such relationships successful diminishes also our capacity for moral actions.? (Williams, 2003: 109) The moral development of a very young child brings out the interrelation of all ages. One cannot describe the moral development of infants without referring to the moral development of parents and grandparents. ?Parenting a child is one of life's great moral adventures, and so is the "childing" of one's parents.? (Rubenstein, 1982: 89) Moral life is shaped by our responses to a pattern of relations. [...]


[...] One of the most wide-ranging descriptions of "morality," where words and are avoided, belongs to Russian psychologist Rubenstein, who believes that ?morality is conformity and devotion to a set of standards initiated and/or accepted by an individual; an individual's active adherence to his accepted standards for the duration of his existence." (Rubenstein, 1982: 129) As in many areas of educational research, the field of moral education is full of controversy, which is directly connected with the debate about the definition of ?morality?. [...]

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