Jean Piaget's Theory Of Moral Development

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Four Moral Development Theories
Jean Piaget’s Theory of Moral Development According to Piaget, cognitive ability must be developed before a child is able to reason in social situations (Schunk, 2017). The study of the different responses between a younger child and an older child’s way of thinking was a key part of Piaget’s research. His researched showed that Moral development in younger children focuses more on what happens after an incident compared to an older child who will tend to look at why the incident took place (Schunk, 2017).
Heteronomous and Autonomous Morality are the 2 stages Piaget named to support his Theory of Moral Development in children (Schunk, 2017). Heteronomous Morality is the key stage till about age 9 or 10. Its
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Where Piaget used two stages to categorize moral development, Kohlberg felt that moral development progressed through six stages represented by three different levels (Schunk, 2017). The preconventional level includes stage 1, punishment and Obedience, and stage 2, equal exchange in order to satisfy ones needs (Ryan, 2011). The conventional level includes stage 3, in which a search for approval takes precedence in putting others needs before their own in peer groups (Ryan, 2011). Stage 4 is where ones right is showing respect and duty by following the laws for society sake (Slavin, 2017). The postconventional level contains stages 5 and 6, often combined, and refers to choosing to follow or not follow rules and/or laws for moral and legal reasons (Slavin, 2017). While progression through these levels and stages of moral reasoning is far more encompassing and detailed then Piaget's theory, Carol Gilligan criticized Kohlberg’s theory by stating it placed too much emphasis on the justice of moral reasoning rather than the a focus of self and caring (Ryan, …show more content…
In the social context, the observed modeled behavior is internalized and the child later experiments with it to determine their own actions (Ryan, 2011). Bandura’s Social Theory of Moral Development gives examples of how actions come about through different types of motivators or reinforcements. Past reinforcements are what the child has been rewarded or punished for in the past, promised reinforcements are what the child knows is coming for a desired behavior, and vicarious reinforcements are what the child observes happening to other children modeling certain behaviors (Ryan, 2011). The different types of reinforcements work together to create a social context in which the child’s moral development can begin to grow. Teachers can aid in this process by spending time discussing inappropriate behaviors and appropriate behaviors in different social situations as well as reinforcements for the desired behaviors (Ryan,

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