Kohlberg’S Theory Of Moral Reasoning

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Understanding human behaviour has and always will be a never-ending conundrum. Many theorists and psychologists have pondered this, and many more are yet to come. The two whom have stood out from their colleagues in this field, are Jean Piaget, and Lawrence Kohlberg. Both of their theories imply that as we grow and evolve, so too does our way of thinking and at what stage. Lawrence Kohlberg was born into an affluent family in 1927, in Bronxville, New York. He attended a private academy during his high school years in Andover, Massachusetts. Kohlberg signed up to become an engineer on a ship during World War II and as a result became involved in a plight to help the Jews in Israel by smuggling them out of the country. He then enrolled in the University of Chicago and obtained his bachelor’s degree within the year. He continued with pursuing his graduate work in psychology, and became entrenched in the ideology of Piaget’s Theory of Cognitive Development. His fascination with this resulted in Kohlberg making modifications and additions via “moral dilemmas” to create his own theory. The result was his doctoral dissertation (1958) the first rendition of his new stage theory. (W. Crain) It is at this point that we begin to see the differences in their theories regarding the stages. Piaget broke it down into two stages of cognitive development, whereby Kohlberg has identified six stages on three separate levels of development. (Wagner) Kohlberg went further to dissect and understand the questions he was confronted with in his research as to why and how we think the way we do. It was not enough to simply state how we develop mentally, but why. Kohlberg basically set the tone for Moral Development in Education for many years to come. The three levels of morality have been defined by Kohlberg as pre-conventional, containing the beginning two stages

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