Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Lawrence Kohlberg : Stages of Moral Development



Biography
Born : October 25,1927
Died: January 19, 1987
Fields: Psychologist
Education :Phillips Academy
Known for: Theory of Stages of Moral Development
Lawrence Kohlberg (October 25, 1927  January 19, 1987) was an American psychologist born in Bronxville, New York, who served as a professor at the University of Chicago, as well as Harvard University. Having specialized in research on moral education and reasoning, he is best known for his theory of Kohlberg's work reflected and extended his predecessor's ideas, at the same time creating a new field within psychology stages of moral development. A close follower of Jean Piaget's theory of cognitive development,: "moral development". Scholars such as Elliot Turiel and James Rest have responded to Kohlberg's work with their own significant contributions. In an empirical study by Haggbloom et al. using six criteria, such as citations and recognition, Kohlberg was found to be the 30th most eminent psychologist of the 20th Century.
Stages of Moral Development
Lawrence Kohlberg and Moral Character

Lawrence Kohlberg developed his Theory of Moral Reasoning that can help a teacher identify a student's level of reasoning and to stimulate their moral growth. Traditionally, morality has been equated with one's character and behavior. However, Kohlberg's theory is based on the belief that children proceed through a series of stages during which they refine their concept of justice. The following table presents Kohlberg's Stages of Moral Reasoning:

Lawrence Kohlberg's
Levels and Stages of Moral Development
Level I: Preconventional Morality (age 4 - 10) 
Moral value resides in a person's own needs and wants.
  • Stage 1: Obedience and Punishment Orientation
    • Individual and moral judgment is motivated by a need to avoid punishment.
  • Stage 2: Instrumental-Relativist Orientation
    • Individual and moral judgment is motivated by a need to satisfy own desires.

Level II: Conventional Morality (age 10 - 13)
Moral values reside in performing good or right roles, in maintaining the convention order, and in pleasing others
  • Stage 3:"Good Boy/Nice Girl" Orientation
    • Individualís moral judgment is motivated by a need to avoid rejection, disaffection, or disapproval from others.
  • Stage 4: Law and Order Orientation
    • Individual and moral judgment is motivated by a need to not to be criticized by a true authority figure.

Level III: Postconventional Morality (adolescence - adulthood)
Moral values reside in principles, separate from those who hold apart from a person's identification with the enforcing group. Most people never reach this last level.
  • Stage 5: Legalistic Orientation
    • Individual and moral judgment is motivated by community respect for all, respecting social order, and living under legally determined laws.
  • Stage 6: Universal, Ethical Orientation
    • Individual and moral judgment is motivated by one's own conscience.

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