Kohlberg's Theory of Moral Reasoning

Essay by matthew133College, UndergraduateB+, April 2004

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Personal Thoughts on Kohlberg's Theory of

Moral Development

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Kohlberg's theory of moral reasoning can be divided into three levels and six stages. What this report is intended to do is look at these levels and situations where Kohlberg's theory may be applied

The first stage of Kohlberg's theory is known as preconventional morality. The age range for this stage is usually preschool children, most elementary school students, a few junior high students, and a small amount of high school students. This is the stage where the child will do almost anything he or she can get away with. As written on page eighty nine in the Educational Psychology text book, "The only 'wrong' behaviors are ones that will be punished." During the later part of this level, stage two can be seen. This is known as the exchange of favors stage. When a child is going through this stage, the child will be thinking "hey if you scratch my back, I'll scratch yours".

For example, Joey wants a new bike, but his parents won't get him one. Joey's friend, Jay, just got a new bike. One day, Joey is playing with his brand new ninja turtle and is just having the time of his life. Along comes Jay with no ninja turtle. Jay tries and tries to get Joey to let him play with the ninja turtle but Joey won't let him have it. Finally Joey makes a deal with Jay. Joey will let Jay play with his ninja turtle only if Jay will let Joey ride his bike. It's basically looked upon as a win-win situation.

Level II of Kohlberg's Moral reasoning process is know as the level of conventional morality. This level can be seen in a few of the older elementary students, some...