Angela Oswalt, MSW, edited by Mark Dombeck, Ph.D.The
developmental psychologist Lawrence Kohlberg expanded and refined
Piaget's earlier work resulting in the development of his well known
stage theory of children's moral development. Kohlberg's moral theory
is summarized in our Overview of Child Development, which may make sense to review at this time. Preconventional Moral Reasoning
According to Kohlberg, children early in their middle childhood stage
of development will typically display "Preconventional" moral
reasoning. Children displaying preconventional moral reasoning have
internalized basic culturally prescribed rules governing right and wrong
behavior. For instance, they will appreciate that it is considered
immoral to steal from others; that you must earn or be given things and
not simply take them. Children will tend to live in accordance with
these rules but primarily for selfish reasons, as a way of avoiding
punishment and obtaining praise for themselves. At this point in time,
they will appreciate their ability to make different kinds of choices,
and also the reality of consequences associated with those choices.
They realize that morally good behaviors attract praise and positive
regard from peers and adults, while morally bad choices bring about
unpleasant consequences and negative regard. They act accordingly, in a
hedonistic manner so as to maximize their personal pleasant
consequences. Ideal Reciprocity
Later on in middle childhood, approximately between ages 10 and 12,
children begin to show a dawning appreciation of "ideal reciprocity",
which is a method for determining what is "fair" based on an
appreciation of equality between relationship partners, and a desire to
treat others well because ideally, they would similarly want to treat
you that well too. People are more familiar with the idea of ideal
reciprocity when it is phrased as the "golden rule" (e.g., "Do unto
others as you would have done unto you"). Using ideal reciprocity,
older children start to make moral decisions based more on how they
would like others to treat them if the tables were turned, than based on
what they can gain for themselves.
As children think about how rules are negotiated, and how they can
benefit other people, they begin to understand and appreciate that there
are different types or categories of rules, some of which are more
negotiable than others.
Moral rules involve the most basic and socially strict guidelines and
societal prohibitions that may never be broken. An example of a moral
rule is the basic prohibition against murder and unprovoked assault. It
is never okay to harm another person in a physical manner unless in
Social Mores or Conventions are moral beliefs that change across
social contexts and social groups. These rules are more strictly
enforced in some places, and less strictly enforced in others. The idea
that it is a sin to disobey one's parents is an example of a social
more. In some families, this rule is taken very seriously indeed, while
in other families, it is considered to be a guideline at best with many
Finally, Personal Choices involve rules that do not have fixed
socially prescribed answers at all, but instead are left up to personal
preference. An example of a personal choice might be one family's
ritual of having a pizza dinner on Friday nights. At an earlier stage
of their development, children might mistake a personal choice for a
moral imperative, but by middle childhood, such choices will be
recognized for what they are. Link to the original text
1.Main ideas in this text
2. Difference between the first stage and the second 3. What do you think about these Kohlberg's Stages of Moral Development?
1. Use this link, you have to review if these Human rights are not respected in the Lord of the flies.
2. You are to make a human rights poster. Must illustrate a human rights violation Jack and the hunters inflicted on the boys in the novel. The poster can be on a large poster or made by digital edition, collage,...
3. Next to the poster must list at least 10 different abuses inflicted.
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