Definition: The development of values, beliefs, and thinking abilities that act as a guide regarding what is acceptable behaviour.

Diversity in reasoning 
Brought cultural distinctions influencing

moral reasoning.  Traditional cultures emphasis on customs and rituals that change slowly over time.  Traditional cultures customs may become moralized.  An eldest son eating chicken a day after his father s death was considered the worst violation and beating a disobedient wife was the least offensive.

Moral behaviour 
Three important influences on moral behaviour

are modeling, internalization and self-concept.  Generous adult models will tend to be more concerned for the rights and feelings of others.  Theories of moral behaviour assume that young children s moral behaviour is first controlled by others through direct instructions, supervision, rewards, punishment and correction.  We must integrate our moral beliefs and values into our total sense of who we are, our selfconcept.

Research indicates cheating seems to have

more to do with the particular situation than with the general honesty and dishonesty of the individual.  A student who cheats in math class is probably more likely to cheat in other classes, but may never consider lying to a friend or taking candy from the store.

Theory of mind: An understanding that other people are people too. Perspective taking ability: Understanding that others have different feelings and experiences. Moral reasoning: The thinking process involved in judgments about questions of right and wrong. Moral dilemmas: Situations in which no choice is clearly and indisputably right.

Morality of cooperation: Stage of development wherein children realize that people make rules and people can change them. Distributive justice: Beliefs about how to divide materials or privileges fairly among members of a group, follows a sequence of development from equality to merit to benevolence.

Social conventions: Agreed upon rules and ways of doing things in a particular situations. Internalize: Process whereby children adopt external standards as their own. Moral realism: Stage of development wherein children see rules as absolute.

Pre-conventional: Where judgment is based solely on a person s own needs perceptions. Conventional: Where the expectations of the society and law are taken into account. Post-conventional: Where judgments are based on abstract, moral, personal principles of justice.

Moral development at earlier age:
Dividing and sharing materials Understanding of rules Develop a community of mutual respect Application of rules Emphasize the harm done to others Encourage perspective taking Restate the rule Command Discuss stealing, cheating and behavior toward classmates with disabilities

Teaching values Social values Cultural values Religious values Law of the country Equity and justice Rights of others Personal values Consequences

Criticism of Kohlberg's theory:
The stages do not seem to be separate, sequenced and consistent. Making moral choices involves more than reasoning. People may be able to reason at higher level but make choices at lower level.

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