Factors determining moral development - Child psychology

Factors determining moral development

Moral development, according to L. Kohlberg, is determined by four factors. As the first factor is the level of development of the child's logical thinking (the level of development of intelligence). Highlighting this factor, L. Kohlberg emphasizes his connection with the theory of J. Piaget. This means that in order for a child to have a high level of moral development, he must also have a high level of intellectual development, and conversely, a child with a low level of mental development can not have a high level of moral development.

As the second factor, motivation of the person. Whenever we talk about motivation, it is, on the one hand, the content of the motivation for this or that action, and on the other - the level of intensity activity of the child. L. Kohlberg in this respect argues that the moral development of the child may lag by virtue of the fact that he will not have any interests to solve moral problems. In other words, possible moral problems in life will be resolved not by the child himself, but by someone. This generates a formal attitude to this aspect of reality. In fact, this state of affairs can be found in the case when the child is trying to protect himself from various conflict, emotional situations.

The third factor is socialization. As you know, socialization is associated with the development of social roles and is one of the independent areas of child development. L. Kohlberg emphasizes that we can find a situation where a child is encouraged to learn social roles, and a situation where very little is available to the child. In particular, the possibility of accepting a role is crucial for the development of gender identity. In the studies of L. Kohlberg it was found that preschool children, in comparison with younger schoolchildren, react more severely to violations of sex-role behavior. At the same time, boys are more intolerant of violations of gender role behavior in boys than in girls. However, in the first place, the kids do not evaluate the behavior itself, but the external attributes of the role: the attention of children is attracted not by the fact that the girl plays football, but because she has a short haircut. As applied to the educational process in a pre-school institution, this factor is manifested in the characteristics of the child's interaction with peers. For example, if peers do not take the child into joint games, then we can expect that the process of socialization in such a child will be difficult. Also, the complexity of socialization may be due to the fact that peers are narrowing the social roles available to the child in the game, giving him the roles of secondary or subordinates (not allowing him to be a commander, captain of the ship). In any case, if the child does not communicate with peers and is closed with the family, his moral development will be delayed. L. Kohlberg emphasized that giving an opportunity to master social roles for moral development is more important than the expression of love. Children from the less well-off strata have fewer opportunities to test different social roles compared to middle-class children, so their level of moral development is often lower.

The fourth factor according to L. Kohlberg are forms of justice, supported by the social institution in which the child is brought up. He singles out two principles of social justice: equality and reversibility. The principle of equality is that a person applies to everyone "the same way", on the basis of the same rule. The principle of reversibility is connected with the exchange of punishments and incentives. The moral development of a child depends on how consistently these principles are applied and in what situations. For example, senior preschoolers and junior schoolchildren are very sensitive to the principle of equality. They expect that the teacher will treat all children equally well and, in particular, with a particular child. When the attitude of the teacher turns out to be different, the children usually say: "It's not fair. He did it too, they did not say anything to him, but they scolded me. "

Lawrence Kohlberg argued that the stages of moral development are the same for all cultures and in this sense they are universal. This suggests that moral diffusion is not just the mastery of rules and principles, but is associated with the formation of a certain structure of children's consciousness.

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