Kohlberg Essay

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Kohlberg extended Piaget's work in cognitive reasoning into childhood and adulthood. He felt that moral development was a slow process and evolved over time. His six stages of moral development mirrors Piaget's early model. Kohlberg believed that individuals made progress by mastering each stage, one at a time (Crandell, Crandell, & Vander Zaden, 2012). He also felt that the only way to encourage growth through these stages was by discussion of moral dilemmas and by participation in consensus democracy within small groups. Consensus democracy was rule by agreement of the group, not majority rule. This would stimulate and broaden the thinking of children and adults, allowing them to progress from one stage to another. Jamie is a thirteen year old boy who is dealing with a dilemma of going to a party that he was invited too of a well known popular kid that he’s wanted to hang out. Not only is the kid popular he’s also a bully to some classmates. One of the classmates that he bullies happens to be Jamie’s best friend. Jamie Is contemplating on whether or not he goes behind his best friends back by going to the party or go to the party and possibly be friends with the popular kid that can get him in the in crowd he’s in middle school. Although Jamie knows it will hurt his friend’s feelings and he could lose his friend he decides to go anyway. This is an example of Kohlberg’s preconventional level: stage three. This stage states that individuals' ethical principles are guided by the consequences of the action and the benefit awarded to him or herself (Crandell, Crandell, & Vander Zaden, 2012). Jamie is very aware about how this can affect his friendship, but he also has some self fulfillments he wants to satisfy. Reference Crandell, T., Crandell, C., and Zaden, J.V., 2012. Human Development. (10th ed.). The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. New York, NY.

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