Analysis of Moral Development in Young Children Essay

Analysis of Moral Development in Young Children Essay

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This paper is written to examine various influences on the moral development of young children. Specifically, the paper will speak to the definition of moral development, the views held by educators Piaget and Kohlberg on this area of development in young children and the application of moral development theories by Early Childhood Educators. Theories posited by Sigmund Freud with regards to the psychological development of children in the early childhood arena will be discussed as well. Suggestions for parents on supporting the moral development of their children will also be addressed.
Moral Development is defined as “changes in thoughts, feelings and behaviors regarding standards of right and wrong” (Santrock, 2010). Moral development can further be described as learning what is and is not acceptable within the limits of “polite” society, and is an arguably elastic notion, with differences in culture (Pekarsky, 1998), religion, geography etc. somewhat complicating and expanding the definition. The theories of Sigmund Freud regarding the id, ego and superego are important here, because each of these factors defines an area of moral development.
The id is that which we cannot control. It is subconscious activity in the brain that operates solely on the pursuit of pleasure, and immediate gratification. The id is that part of the human psyche personified in Roald Dahl’s character Veruka Salt of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (Dahl, 1964). She doesn’t care how, she wants it now, and according to Freud the id is responsible for this uncontrolled urge to satisfy all needs immediately.
The second part of Freud’s triumvirate of psychological components is the superego. As a child develops and learns what is expected of him by not...

... middle of paper ...

...e pathway to strong moral development.

Brown, B. (2010). Moral development theory for young children., Retrieved from
Dahl, R. (1964). Charlie and the chocolate factory. New York: Alfred Knopf.
Goldwater, E. (2010). Happiness: a structural theory. In , Modern Psychoanalysis (pp. 147-163). Center for Modern Psychoanalytic Studies. Retrieved from EBSCOhost.
Merchant, R. L., & Rebelsky, F. (January 01, 1970). Effects of participation in rule formation on the moral judgement of children. Genetic Psychology Monographs, 85.
Pekarsky, D. (1998). The role of culture in moral development. Parenthood in America, Retrieved from

Santrock, J.W. (2010). Child development. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.

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