Religious Education:What are the stages of moral development?

CHAPTER FOUR

4b iii).Examine the stages of moral development

It is important for a teacher to be aware of these various stages so that s/he will be able to know what to emphasis at a given age e.g. for a child who is in pre- school to primary class 3, the appeal should be more on the rules set by God, the parents and the teacher. These are authority figures in the lives of children and whatever they say is likely to be accepted and therefore obeyed. For a child who is in class six and seven, the teacher has to allow discussions on the importance of rules set. Kolberg (1963) like Piaget found three levels of moral development but each with two stages.

  1. The pre- conventional level stage. This has two stages;

Stage 1: marked by obedience to rule, for the sake of avoiding punishment
Stage 2: marked by obedience to rules for the sake of obtaining rewards

  1. The level of conventional role conformity.

Stage 3: marked by obedience to rules for the sake of getting adults approval

Stage 4: marked by obedience to rules for the sake of avoiding social censure and the guilt resulting from it.

  1. The level of post – conventional morality.

Stage 5: This is marked by a readiness to abide by social contract and democracy. Stage 6: Is marked by the acceptance of principles of conscience.

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