Change is the only constant thing in this world. And for us humans, we also undergo changes within ourselves and we call it development. We may not notice but as we grow in age we also experienced this progress. People develop in many aspects but in this article we’ll focus on the moral development of a person. How do people develop morality? This question has fascinated many of us but it also became a hot issue in both psychology and education. What are the things that influence the moral development of a person? Do we all develop morality in similar ways? Well, this question are somewhat answered by a best known theory formulated by a psychologist named Lawrence Kohlberg.
Kohlberg proposed that moral development is a continual process that occurs throughout a lifespan. His theory includes six stages within three different levels.
The first level is named as the Pre-conventional Morality which is common in young children ages 0-7 years old. It has two stages the Obedience and Punishment and the Individualism and Exchange. The first stage a child behaves in order for him not to be punished, for him rules are fix and absolute. The second stage states that children account for individual points of view and judge actions based on how they served individual needs.
The next level is the Conventional Morality; under this level is the interpersonal morality stage where in people lives to social expectations and roles. Another stage is the Maintaining Social Order, people under this stage begins to consider society as a whole when making decisions. The focus is on maintaining law and order by following the rules, doing one’s duty and respecting authority. This level happens at people aging 7-13 years old.
According to Kohlberg, people aging 13 years old and above belongs to the Post-Conventional Level. At its first stage people begin to account for the different values, opinions, and belief of other people. This stage is called the Social Contract and Individual Rights. The last stage which is the Universal Principles states that people follow these internalized principles of justice, even if they conflict with laws and rules. As a college student, we belong on this level.
Many may criticize Kohlberg’s theory of Moral Development for some reasons but it may also be true for a theory may be just a speculation or a fact. Kohlberg based his theory upon research and interviews presenting series of moral dilemmas. If you are interested, try to do some research and find out your own judgment in each scenario and uncover the reasoning behind.
Made by: Lady Sheena O. Detablan