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Children's Morality Vs How Moral Are You

A Reaction Paper to: “How Moral Are You?” by Kohlberg, L. (1963); The Development of children’s orientation…of moral thought & “Telling The Truth” by Barasch, Douglas S.(Family Life)

I read both of these articles and found them to be interesting. In the first article, “How Moral Are You?” published in Forty Studies that changed Psychology IV by Roger R. Hock, what is discussed is Lawrence Kohlberg’s research on the formation of morality. Kohlberg believed the ability to moralize situations encountered in life develops in a specific pattern during our childhood years. He believed that a child must reach a certain stage and mentality in order to create a level of morality. I found the information he presented was interesting. Things such as: each ‘stage’ a child undergoes increases the understanding of the concept of morality and the stages always occur in a step-by-step pattern.

Kohlberg reasoned the stages are “prepotent,” meaning the child understands every stage that he/she has been through and a vague idea of the stage above them (197). As for how he researched his theory, the process seems simple enough. He supplied children of different ages with “10 hypothetical moral dilemmas”(197). I found myself answering the questions about moral issues with confusion. The question that was most difficult to answer was the ‘Heinz Dilemma’ in which a man commits a crime to save his wife from dying. I would forgive his [the husband] actions because the druggist was being unfair in his offering price for his medicine. That kind of druggist shouldn’t be allowed to be creating drugs anyway…his job is to aid people not the antithesis.

I enjoyed reading this article but conceived of a few flaws in his theory that he [Kohlberg] did not address though many other critiques did. The glitches in his theory were such as: although Kohlberg represents an interpretation of morality, most of these ideas represent Western culture’s and failed to apply to non-Western cultures. It was also difficult to apply his theory equally for both men and women. He did a wonderful job of explaining morality even though it would not stand up on it’s own in the years to come.

The second article I read, I found to be similar to my first in the fact that they both discussed moral reasoning of children and different so-called ‘stages.’ It was published by Douglas S. Barasch in the 1998 February...

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