Moral Development of Children By: Virginia Marroy and Brad Williams
Lawrence KohlbergBibliography • Kohlberg was born into wealth on October 25, 1927 in Bronxville, NY. • Even though he was wealthy, he chose to become a sailor. • Kohlberg was a psychologist who applied the developmental approach of Jean Piaget, who he studied under, to the analysis of changes in moral reasoning of children. • Kohlberg was a professor and did most of his research at Harvard University. • Kohlberg developed a tropical disease in 1973 and while he was hospitalized in 1987, he was reported missing. His body was later found in a marsh. Cause of death was rumored to be suicide. Kohlberg ended his life at the age of 59.
Level I: Preconventional ages 4-10 • Stage 1: Obedience and Punishment Orientation • A child’s moral judgement is motivated by a need to avoid punishment. • Example: “I do not draw on the wall because my mommy will get mad at me.”
Level I: Preconventional ages 4-10 • Stage 2: Instrumental-Relativist Orientation. • A child’s moral judgement is motivated by a need to satisfy own desires. • Example: “For my allowance I will clean up my room.
Stage 3:"Good Boy/Nice Girl" Orientation A Child’s moral judgement is motivated by a need to avoid rejection or disapproval from others. Example: “I do not talk during a test because my teacher does not like it.” Level II: Conventionalages 10-13
Level II: Conventionalages 10-13 • Stage 4: Law and Order Orientation • A child’s moral judgement is motivated by a need to not to be criticized by an authority figure. (parent/teacher) • Example: “I do not run in the halls because that is one of the rules.”
Level III: Postconventional(adolescence - adulthood) • Stage 5: Social Contract • An individual’s moral judgement is motivated by community respect, respecting social order, and respect for legally/determined laws. • Example: “I do not speed because it is against the law.”
Level III: Postconventional(adolescence - adulthood) • Stage 6: Universal, Ethical Principles • An individual’s moral judgement is motivated by his or her own conscience. • Example: “I do not pay my taxes because it is the law, but because it is the right thing to do.”
The Moral Dilemma The Moral Dilemma
The Heinz Dilemma • Heinz’s wife was dying from cancer. One special drug recently discovered by a local druggist might save her. The druggist could make the drug for about $200 but was selling it for 10 times the amount. So Heinz went to everyone he knew to try to borrow the $2,000 he needed, but he could only scrape together $1,000. “My wife’s dying,” he told the druggist, asking him to sell the drug cheaper or let him pay later. But the druggist refused. Desperate, Heinz broke into the drugstore and stole the drug for his wife. • Should Heinz of done that? • Why or why not?
2nd and 5th Grade Version of the Heinz Dilemma. • Joe’s wife was dying from cancer. Joe recently heard about a miracle drug that might save his wife’s life. Joe found out that the doctor who sold this miracle drug was selling it for 10 times the amount it was worth. The drug only cost $200 dollars to make, but the doctor was selling it for $2,000. Joe went to his family, friends, and anyone who he thought would be able to help him pay for the miracle drug, but he could only come up with $1,000. Joe went to the doctor and said, “my wife is dying. Can you please sell the drug for $1,000 instead of $2,000 or let me pay the rest of it later?” But the doctor refused Joe’s offer. Joe was desperate. That night, Joe broke into the doctor’s office and stole the drug that might save his wife’s life. Should Joe have stolen the drug? Why or why not?
Problem • Will our experiment of Kohlberg’s Heinz dilemma follow appropriately his six stages of moral development?
Setting • We will test the Heinz dilemma at the Holy Family school, specifically targeting second and fifth grade students. • We will also test the Heinz dilemma at the Highlands after school program, which will target the same age group as above: 7 and 8 year olds and 10 and 11 year olds.
Hypotheses • We predict that we will find very similar results to Kohlberg’s studies on moral development. We believe that when we evaluate the second graders, the majority will fall into pre- conventional stage. We believe that when we evaluate the fifth graders, the majority will fall into the conventional stage. We do not expect to find any children at the post-conventional stage.
Delimitations • Limits on this project include: • Whether or not the children actually understand the dilemma enough to respond to it. • Whether or not the children are actually going to be able to express their answers on paper. • If we will be able to interpret the children’s answers accordingly.
We Hereby Assume, • We assume that the children will be listening attentively to the dilemma and will answer the question we present to them. • We assume that the older children’s answers will be more coherent.
An Example of a Second Grader’s answer to the Heinz Dilemma This child is pre-conventional because his entire answer is based on what he just learned in class. His answer is a response to authority, which is a very common sign of pre-conventional thinking.
Another Example of a Second Grader’s answer to the Heinz Dilemma Another Pre-Conventionalanswer from a child who obviously can only see himself in the world. The child answers “It was bad” because an authoritative figure, parent or teacher, told him it was bad to steal.
An Example of a Fifth Grader’s Answer to the Heinz Dilemma This answer is Conventional because the child recognizes that the doctor is selfish and morally wrong. Though the doctor does not break the law, this child sees him as the true criminal.
Internet SourcesFor more information on Kohlberg’s Stage Theory, go to these internet websites. http://mentalhelp.net/psyhelp/chap3/ http://snycorva.cortland.edu/~ANDERSMD/KOHL/CONTENT.HTML http://www.uic.edu/~lnucci/MoralEd/ http://www.vgernet.net/diogenes/ex/lists/moraldev.html http://www.ets.uidaho.edu/center_for_ethics/gilligan/index.htm