Kohlberg 1968 The child as a moral philosopher

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  • Kohlberg (1968) The child as a Moral philosopher
    • Methodology
      • Used interviews to collect qualitative data
        • Qualitative data is information not in a numerical form. It cannot be measured/
      • Was a longitudinal study
      • Studied 75 American boys who were aged between 22 and 28
        • He also studied participants from Turkey, Great Britain, Canada, Taiwan and Mexico.
    • Procedure
      • Created 9 hypothetical moral dilemmas
        • Such as Heinz
      • Each dilemma presented a conflict between two moral issues
      • The answers were analysed and the common themes were found
      • The children were interviewed every 3 years
    • Findings
      • Kohlberg found that younger children thought at the preconventional stage
        • However became less focused on themselves and more focused on doing good as they grew older
        • The results in Mexico and Taiwan were the same except that the development was a little slower
      • The pre-reconventional level
        • Stage 1- the punishment and obedience orientation
        • Stage 2- the instrumental purpose orientation
      • The conventional level
        • Stage 3- interpersonal cooperation
        • Stage 4- the social-order-maintaining orientation
      • The post- conventional level
        • Stage 5- the social contract orientation
        • Stage 6- the universal ethical principles orientation
    • Conclusions
      • The stages are invariant and universal so everyone, everywhere goes through the same stages in the same order
      • Moral discussion classes will help children develop their moral thinking
        • Discussions between stages 3 and 4 will encourage the children at stage 3 to move forward
      • As children get older they get a more balanced understanding which results in logical thinking


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