Lawrence Kohlberg Essay

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Psychologists throughout the years have influenced our world by motivating people to explore themselves beyond their means and consciences. One, extremely influential figure in the history of psychology is named Lawrence Kohlberg. He was born in Bronxville, New York on October 15, 1927 to a family of wealth. As a child, he portrayed “concern for the welfare of others by volunteering as a sailor in World War II and later working to smuggle Jews through the British Blockade into Palestine.” (Long, n.d., p. 2) “It was upon his graduation from Phillips, however, that Kohlberg first began to recognize his passion for the Zionist cause, and, following his graduation, he enlisted as an engineer on a carrier ship.” (Long, n.d., p. 2) His new interest in morality surely helped strengthen his personal views in regard to his impending findings as a psychologist. His captivation towards the elements of psychology continued further as he “grew increasingly fascinated by the cognitive development work proposed by Swiss theorist Jean Piaget, and focused his efforts on the moral development of children for his dissertation. Kohlberg’s primary work, his development of stages of moral development, was born out of his doctoral dissertation.” (Long, n.d., p. 3) One may say, that Piaget was Kohlberg’s inspiration to further his studies. Then in 1968, he also became a teacher of social psychology at Harvard. Kohlberg’s inspirations burgeoned from one of his travels to Israel. (Long, n.d.) This travel really changed him because he achieved a better understanding of moral development as he journeyed the “kibbutz”. (Long, n.d.) Out of this expedition, he sought to develop something he called “just communities, which “were school environments in which students were encouraged and supported to form relationships of basic trust and respect with one another, and these school communities provided

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