Module 6: Kohlberg’s Stages of Moral Development
TAKE THE CHALLENGE !Challenge yourself to: explain the stages of moral development. analyze a person’s level of moral reasoning based on his/her responses to moral dilemmas. cite how the theory of moral development can be applied to your work as a teacher later on.
MORAL DILEMMA In Europe, a woman was near deathfrom a special kind of cancer. Therewas one drug that the doctorsthought might save her. It was aform of radium that a druggist in thesame town had recently discovered.The drug was so expensive to make,but the druggist was charging tentimes of what the drug cost him tomake. He paid $400 for the radiumand charged $4,000 for a small doseof the drug.
Continue please … The sick woman’s husband, Heinz, went to everyone he knew to borrow the money and tried every legal means, but he could only get together about $2,000, which is half of what it cost. He told the druggist to sell it cheaper or let him pay later. But the druggist said, “No, I discovered the drug and I’m going to make money from it.” So, having tried every legal means, Heinz gets desperate and considers breaking into the mans
If you were Heinz would yousteal the drug? Why? Why not?If I am Heinz, I will …
In which of these responses is your answer mostsimilar?Stage 1 – “No, I wouldn’t steal the drug, because I would be punished. The law says stealing is wrong, so its wrong.”Stage 2 – “No, I wouldn’t steal the drug, because while I want to save my wife, being punished would be worse than losing her. I could just get married again.”Stage 3 –”No, I wouldn’t steal the drug, because people would see me as a selfish thief who breaks rules just for my own benefit.”
Continue please …Stage 4 –”No, I wouldn’t steal the drug, because there is a greater good to be maintained – rules exist in order to protect all members of society. If I were to act in my own selfish behalf and steal, it would set a dangerous precedent with terrible long term ramifications.”Stage 5 –”No, I wouldn’t steal the drug, though it would pain me miserably. I believe the rights of my wife to the drug are valid, but they must be balanced against the rights of the druggist. Her rights to life are greater. I believe the druggist is acting immorally, and that he should be implored to sell it cheaper, but I would stop short of stealing and
Continue please … and breaking laws that all of us have decided to accept as good members of the society.”Stage 6 –”I would steal the drug, administer it to my wife, and then turn myself in to the police. I would demand that I be punished to the full extent of the law. While stealing is reprehensible, my ethical principles value life above property, and therefore, to be true to myself and to life itself, I must break the lesser law in order to follow the greater good.”
Kohlberg’s Theory of Moral DevelopmentAccording to Kohlberg, moral development occurs in six stages :
LEVEL STAGE DESCRIPTIONPre-conventional Punishment/Obedience.Level- Moral One is motivated by fear ofreasoning is based 1 punishment. He will act inon the order to avoid punishment.consequence/resultof the act, not onthe whether the actis good or bad. Mutual Benefit. One is motivated to act by the 2 benefit that one may obtain later. “You scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours.”
LEVEL STAGE DESCRIPTIONConventional Social Approval. One isLevel- Moral motivated by what others expect in behavior – good boy,Reasoning is based 3 good girl. The person actson the conventions because he/she values howor “norms” of he/she will appears to others.society. These may He/she gives importance oninclude approval of what people think or say.others, law, order. Law and Order. One is motivated to act in order to 4 uphold law and order. The person will follow the law because it is the law.
LEVEL STAGE DESCRIPTIONPost-conventional Social Contract. Laws that areLevel - Moral wrong can be changed. One will act based on social justiceReasoning is based 5 and the common good.on enduring orconsistentprinciples. It is notjust recognizing Universal Principles. This isthe law, but the associated with theprinciples behind development of one’sthe law. 6 conscience. Having a set of standards that drives one to possess moral responsibility to make societal changes regardless of consequences to oneself. Examples of persons are Mother Theresa, Martin Luther King, Jr.
Kohlberg and Moral EducationGoal of Moral Education- is to encourage individuals to develop to the next stage of moral reasoning. The most common tool for doing this is to present a “moral dilemma” and have students in groups determine and justify what course the actor in the dilemma should take.Group Discussion, students are able to practice moral reasoning and are able to learn from other perspectives.
Continue please…Kohlberg and his colleagues came up with the “just community” schools approach towards promoting moral development (Power, Higgins, & Kohlberg, 1989).The fundamental Goal of these schools is to enhance students’ moral development by offering them the chance to participate in a democratic community. Here, democracy refers to more than simply casting a vote. It entails full participation of community members in arriving at consensual rather than “majority rules” decision-making.
Continue please…At the center of the implementation is a community meeting in which issues related to life and discipline in the schools are discussed and democratically decided, with an equal value placed on the voices of the students and teachers.Underlying Goal of these meetings is to establish collective norms which expresses fairness for all members of the community. It is believed that by placing the responsibility of determining and enforcing rules on students, they will take prosocial behavior more seriously. At the same time, this approach stems from the cognitive- developmentalist view that discussion of moral dilemmas can stimulate moral development.
Continue please…It is important to note that, a “just community schools” simply leaves students to their own devices.A primary advantage to the just community approach is its effectiveness in affecting students actions, not just their reasoning. Students are, in effect, expected to “practice what they preach”, by following the rules determined in community meetings.