Describe a moral dilemma; then describe how an individual might reason at each stage of Kohlberg’s theory of moral development.
You should create your own hypothetical moral dilemma and carry it through the three levels and six stages of Kohlberg’s theory (label each level and each stage).
A moral dilemma, according to Kohlberg’s theory of moral reasoning, are hypothetical situations that require a person to consider values of right and wrong. In a moral dilemma, Kohlberg suggests that people pass through six stages of moral judgment. The six stages are broken into three levels: preconventional, conventional, and postconventional. These levels and stages are distinguished by what the subject perceives as moral behavior.
For example, let’s say a middle school aged student is asked to skip class with friends. First the child will be in the preconventionallevel and think about the rules. Thus, in stage one, the child will think this is wrong, I know I should not skip class. Then the student moves into stage two, where the student has thoughts of, what do I want to do? Next the student will move into the conventional level. The student will then move into stage three where the student will have thoughts of what will my friends think? In stage four the student will want social approval. If all of the students’ friends are going to skip, then the I should too mentality will set in. The last level is the postconventional level where the student still follows their own values or desires. Then in stage five the student will consider the laws and values of society. Stage six is where one’s ethical principles are self-chosen and based on abstract concepts. If the student wants to be accepted by their friends bad enough, they will skip. If not, then the student will go to class.
2. Debate the following viewpoint, giving the pros and cons: To establish their identity, adolescents need to separate themselves from their parents so that they can discover who they are, other than being their parent’s children. If parents are very strict and controlling, children must give so much energy to establishing the separation that they don’t have the time and effort to give to defining their identity. For this reason, parents and teachers of adolescents would be more helpful if they were lenient with teenagers.
I agree with this viewpoint. When parents are overbearing and way too strict, the child will not be able to form their own identity. When parents try to control every decision and every circumstance the child is in, the child will not be able to make decisions for themselves when they move out from under their parents. Once the child is finally able to move out, they will most likely rebel, and possibly be wild. They will do the complete opposite of what their parents taught them.
I know this first hand from my experience with strict, overbearing parents. Growing up my parents were very strict on my brother and me. My mom worked at a church and my dad was very uptight. This was the way my dad was raised so this was his parenting style. We could never catch a break. They sheltered us to many of the things that go on around us. We were hardly ever allowed to go anywhere, such as to a friend’s house. Once I graduated high school and got out on my own I saw and experienced many things that were new to me. This was largely in part to the sheltered life I had growing up. Many of the things I saw for the first timeshocked me. This impacted my life tremendously. I love my parents and I am very grateful for them, but I do have trouble making decisions still throughout my life. I firmly believe if they would not have been so strict and controlling I could make my own decisions faster and easier.
3. 3. According to Piaget, around the ages of 10 or 12, students are more capable of conscientiously using and following rules. How would you use this information if you taught 10-12-year-old children and wanted to use a class meeting to allow children of this age to set the classroom rules and expectations? How might involving the students in creating the rules be beneficial and problematic?
I see pro’s and con’s in allowing children to set classroom rules and expectations. I think it could benefit students by giving them the opportunity to set their own goals, rules, and expectations. I also think it could help with accountability in the classroom. For example, if a student makes a rule in the room that another student should not leave their seat without permission, and they do, then another student can speak up and let them know what they have done wrong andwhat the consequence might be. This could help build leadership and trust amongst peers in the future as a student trends toward high school.
Some problems could be that rules might not be clearly defined. In turn, this could cause arguments or unfair punishment to a child. I firmly believe that all punishment needs to be fair and clearly outlined for students to understand the problem and to know the right solution. I think that both sides could be affectivebut certain guidelines should be followed when allowing students to make any kind of decisions or rules in the classroom.
Slavin, R. E. (2018). Educational psychology: Theory and practice (12th ed.). NY, NY: Pearson.
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