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A Summary of Kohlberg's Theory

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A Summary of Kohlberg’s Theory
Tiffany Easterling, Sandra Maxey, and Nakeia Trimble
PSYCH/600 – Developmental Psychology
October 5, 2014
Vicki Koenig

Abstract
How the development of morality in children develops has been a big question for parents and philosophers for decades. The issue of moral development has been and has become a hot topic within education and psychology. “One of the best known theories was developed by a psychologist named Lawrence Kohlberg who modified and expanded up Jean Piaget’s work to form a theory that explained how children develop moral reasoning” (Cherry, 2014). Moral development was described in two stages by Piaget. Kohlberg took those two stages described by Piaget and elaborated on them. The theory of moral development, which is described by Kohlberg, outlines three levels with six stages. Kohlberg believes that political liberalism “will not be replaced by a new ideology of the West but will continue to be its dominant ideology for the next century” (Crain, 1985). Kohlberg’s proposed moral development is a process that is continuous and occurs over the period of a person’s lifetime. “Furthermore, Kohlberg believes that the liberalistic concept of justice represents a higher conceptualization of justice in the same sense in which a higher developmental stage in morality represents a higher understanding of justice” (Crain, 1985). However, Carol Gilligan a well-known psychologist, ethicist, and feminist is against Kohlberg’s theories. “Through a review of psychological and literary sources, she illustrates the feminine construction of reality” (Gilligan, 1982). Her belief is that women or girls develop morality differently than men or boys.

A Summary of Kohlberg’s Theory
Lawrence Kohlberg created what is known as a theory of six stages of moral development. Within the six stages are three separate...

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