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Kohlberg's Theory of Moral Development

Categories Behavioral Theory, Learning Theories In Education, Social Learning Theory

Essay, Pages 3 (646 words)



Essay, Pages 3 (646 words)

The theory of cognitive stage development by Kohlberg is mainly viewed as an advancement of the moral theory by Piaget. In analyzing the two theories, it is seen that Kohlberg tries to explain the elements of moral thought rather than the formation of the single moral function. However, in his later findings and those done by his followers, he approaches Piaget, in efforts to study the aspect of moral learning in just societies, they reintroduce the Piagetian element of unity inequality among the group members, and they apply a leader or a collaborator.

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Nevertheless, their primary concern is in the explanation of the attributes of the personal moral reasoning stages and appreciating the community and norms rather than study the procedure of accelerating to the autonomous moral stage. This paper will analyze the two theories, focusing on the key differences and similarities between them.

Jean Piaget, born in 1896, was a developmental psychologist in Sweden who is well known for his child development theories.

His theories concentrated on the moral and cognitive development of children ad relate to their biological surroundings. He is recognized as the first theorist to propose the theory that children develop in various stages (Carpendale,2009). Lawrence Kohlberg, on the other hand, was born in 1927 and was a development psychologist in America whose basic interest was how children gain a sense of morality. Kohlberg\’s theories are based on Piaget’s despite the variations in their theories and approaches.

According to Piaget, moral development takes place in two different stages.

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He suggests that young children tend to believe that rules are given by God or their parents. Young children, therefore, base their moral decisions on the outcomes rather than the motives (Lind, 2017). For Piaget, this mode of thinking tends to change among children around 10 years when they begin to comprehend that morals are based on their intentions and judgments. In this case, the point is that children shift from a concrete comprehension of morality to an abstract one where they discover that rules are not absolute but are strategies for people to cooperate and live together.

Looking at Kohlberg, on the other hand, he built upon the theory by Piaget but provided a more detailed understanding of morality among children using a model of six stages, unlike Piaget, who used two stages. According to Lind (2017), just like Piaget, Kohlberg considered the beginning of morality understanding in children as being involved with rules and outcomes. Moreover, he believed that children tend to struggle with time about issues related to social order individual rights, universality, and relationships. His theory, therefore, provides a better comprehension of human moral development than the theory by Piaget.

According to Piaget, children grow cognitively in a hierarchy in a series of four stages, starting from infancy to puberty. Kohlberg, on the other hand, outlines six moral development stages, which fail to specify the age limits (Carpendale, 2009). The stages outlined by Kohlberg allow for the growth of morality in the entire life rather than just until adolescence. This includes relationships with parents, peers, religious leaders, and teachers, which resulted in a personal understanding of what is morally right or wrong. Piaget\’s theory, on the other hand, suggests that intelligence develops alongside biological advancement.

To sum up, various researchers have documented the development of children, but none of them is quite as famous as Piaget and Kohlberg. The theories of moral development by Jean Piaget and Lawrence Kohlberg have been vital to scholars who seek a deeper understanding of child development. While the two theories tend to be unique in their explanation of various forms of child development, they seem to have several similarities and differences too. The cognitive theories, however, indicate that a child goes through a series of stages in his cognitive development, and it is through these stages that they can fully develop into an adult.

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Kohlberg’s Theory of Moral Development. (2020, Nov 22). Retrieved from https://studymoose.com/kohlberg-s-theory-of-moral-development-essay

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