Lawrence Kohlberg


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Lawrence Kohlberg

  1. 1. <ul><li>In Europe a woman was near death from cancer. One drug might save her, a form of radium that a druggist in the same town had recently discovered. The druggist was charging $2,000, ten times what the drug cost him to make. The sick woman’s husband went to everyone he knew to borrow the money, but still could not get together even half the cost. He told the druggist that his wife was dying and asked him to sell it to him cheaper or let him pay for the rest later, but the druggist said “No.” The husband got desperate and broke into the man’s store to steal the drug for his wife. Should the husband have done this? Why? </li></ul>A moral dilemma…
  2. 2. Lawrence Kohlberg October 25 , 1927 – January 19 , 1987 American Psychologist Emphasis: Moral development Teacher at Yale, the University of Chicago and Harvard “ When people consider moral dilemmas, it is their reasoning that is important, not their final decision.”
  3. 3. Kohlberg  ’ s Piaget!!!!!!! <ul><li>Kohlberg’s theories on moral reasoning are an elaboration and refinement of Piaget’s theories </li></ul>
  4. 4. Kohlberg’s Stages of Moral Reasoning <ul><li>Kohlberg proposed that people pass through 6 stages of moral judgment or reasoning. </li></ul>
  5. 5. Stages 1 & 2: Preconventional Level <ul><li>The preconventional level is the first stage of moral development where the child’s choices are based primarily around the rules set down by others. </li></ul><ul><li>Most children will pass through stage 1 & 2 by the age of 9 </li></ul>
  6. 6. Stage 1: Punishment & Obedience <ul><li>One’s moral decisions are based upon the physical consequences of actions </li></ul><ul><li>The child will only act good in order to avoid being punished </li></ul>Don’t let the man get you down!
  7. 7. Instrumental Relativist Orientation <ul><li>What is “right” is whatever satisfies one’s own needs, and occasionally the needs of others. </li></ul><ul><li>“ You scratch my back, and I’ll scratch yours” interpretation of fairness and reciprocity </li></ul>Stage 2 It’s all about ME!!!
  8. 8. Stages 3 & 4: Conventional Level <ul><li>Individual adopts rules and will sometimes subordinate own needs to those of the group. Expectations of family, group or nation seen as valuable in own right regardless of immediate and obvious consequences. </li></ul>
  9. 9. Good Boy - Good Girl Orientation <ul><li>Characterized by being “nice” </li></ul><ul><li>Good behavior is whatever pleases or helps others </li></ul>Stage 3
  10. 10. Orientation <ul><li>Doing One’s Duty </li></ul><ul><li>Respecting Authority </li></ul><ul><li>Maintaining Social Order </li></ul>Orientation Stage 4
  11. 11. Post Conventional Level <ul><li>Attained by fewer than 25% of all adults </li></ul><ul><li>Stages 5 & 6 are characterized by a person’s ability to define their values based upon their own ethical principles </li></ul>Stages 5 & 6
  12. 12. Social Contract Orientation <ul><li>A societies laws and values are seen as somewhat arbitrary and culturally specific </li></ul><ul><li>What is right is defined in terms of general individual’s rights or by terms and standards agreed upon by society </li></ul><ul><li>Laws are not seen as “frozen” but always up for debate and subject to change </li></ul>Stage 5
  13. 13. Universal Ethical Principal Orientation <ul><li>What is right is defined by one’s own conscience and ethical principles. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Justice is above the law.” </li></ul></ul><ul><li>The Golden Rule vs. the 10 Commandments </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Abstract and ethical not specific moral prescriptions </li></ul></ul>Stage 6
  14. 14. Reflections <ul><li>Later in life Kohlberg speculated that stages 5 & 6 are really not separated and should be combined </li></ul><ul><li>Moral development is principally concerned with justice and continues throughout one’s lifespan </li></ul>
  15. 15. Criticisms of Kohlberg’s Theory <ul><li>One limitation of his work is that it mostly involved boys. </li></ul><ul><li>Boys’ moral reasoning revolves primarily around issues of justice, girls are more concerned about issues of caring and responsibility for others. </li></ul><ul><li>Another criticism is that young children can often reason about moral situations in more sophisticated ways than a stage theory would suggest. </li></ul><ul><li>The most important limitation of Kohlberg’s theory is that it deals with moral reasoning than with actual behavior. </li></ul>
  16. 16. Value to Practitioners <ul><li>Educators (and families) have grappled with the important distinction that theories deal with moral reasoning rather than actual moral behavior. </li></ul><ul><li>Many schools have chosen to institutionalize a global, inclusive approach to character building with input from teachers, administrators, parents, and, at the higher grade levels, even students. This emphasizes the individual citizen as a member of the social institution and advocate particular levels of moral behavior. </li></ul><ul><li>A teacher might choose to capitalize on students’ natural curiosity and might teach values and decision making through “What if…?” discussions. </li></ul>
  17. 17. SOURCES <ul><li>Educational Psychology (8th and 9th Editions) R. Slavin </li></ul><ul><li>Wikipedia, duh. </li></ul><ul><li>And a couple youtube videos.. which didn’t really help much </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>