Based on this analysis, young children would need Kant`s outlook on morality in order to be sufficient in society. In this paper, I will argue that we as moral agents have a sense of duty to educate young children on how they should act by allowing them to reason and make rational decisions in society. In order to do this, educators which includes parents and caregivers, must teach young children the true purpose of good will based on Kantian ethics. Secondly, educators must instruct young children on how to implement policies, which Kant refers to as maxims, which are universal (Kant, 287). This concept is based on Kant`s principle of universal law.
Lawrence Kohlberg's Stages of Moral Development Lawrence Kohlberg conducted research on the moral development of children. He wanted to understand how they develop a sense of right or wrong and how justice is served. Kohlberg used surveys in which he included moral dilemmas where he asked the subjects to evaluate a moral conflict. Through his studies, Kohlberg observed that moral growth and development precedes through stages such as those of Piaget’s stages of cognitive development. He theorized that moral growth begins at the beginning of life and continues until the day one dies.
They are able to use deductive reasoning and develop hypothetical ideas to problem solve (Seifert, 2013). Kohlberg Moral Development Kohlberg focused on child development but more emphasize was on how moral reasoning is developed. It is based on how we interact with others (Potter, Perry, & Hall, 2017). Level I: Preconventional Reasoning- Children start out by only having morals set out by our authority figures. Children are not yet able to process right and wrong, but rather focus more on the consequences certain action might result in.
Morality is the differentiation of intentions, decisions, and actions between those that are good or right and those that are bad or wrong (Srivastava et al., 2013). A person with authoritative parents lead their kids to do what is right but also to think for themselves, having creativity and being self-assured, children with these abilities have all the tools to advance up the scale of moral development very easily. Authoritarian parents have adolescents that may have a more difficult time climbing this scale and may very well be stuck on a lower level, for example a child like this may have a hard time achieving anything past the second level because they are very conforming and passive. Permissive parenting leaves kids who may even have a harder time getting past level one due to lack of control and obedience but if they do they are sure to be stumped again at a later stage. Disengaged children have a tendency to do basically whatever is pleased and often have behavior issues, this said, making life especially with authority surrounding them cause problems changing from one stage to the next.
Stage 3 is called interpersonal relationships which is often referred to when the adults say good boy and good girl ,also in this stage the children who are now usually starting their teens ad they can see morality as more than simple deals. In this stage as well the children are focused on living up the social expectation which and roles from family and other relationships . Good behaviour means they will have good motives and interpersonal feelings such as love and empathy trust and concerns for others that they make relationships with. Stage 4 gives the same response as his stage 1 the similarity is that they both think that if you do something wrong you are breaking the law. The differences between stage 4 and 1 is that the child/adolescent can deliberate the answers now for when they were in stage 1 when they couldn’t explain .
Most of the rules are set up by the authoritative figure and children follow the rules to avoid punishment. During the stage of obedience and punishment orientation children follow the rules to avoid punishment. The next stage is when children follow rules to earn rewards (Robbins et al., 2011, p. 277). Next, the conventional level ranges from age six through fifteen-year-old where the children start to win approval from others or conforming to the existing social order. The stage of good boy/nice girl orientation comes from children seeking social approval or positive evaluations from others.
This theory goes on to state that parenting is the most important factor in determining a person’s self-control. According to the theory a person will have low self-control in the future if they have an unsupervised neglectful and abusive upbringing. Due to this, they could be prone to be impulsive, risk taking, non-verbal and tend to engage in crime throughout their lives. High self-control is taught at a young age by parents who supervise and spend the needed time with their kids. Parents teach their kids by punishing them for misconduct and they eventually develop the self-control needed which allows them to resist the temptations of crime.
Lying is considered by most child development specialist as natural development occurred in childhood. But, parental honesty is recognized as a primary influence on the development of truth ness in children. According to Kohlberg, children progress gradually through several stages of moral development. In this case study, Tamara who is in stage one, was scared of consequences to her actions, so she often says lie to cover up. Consequently, Tamara thinks that she should do what teacher say, to avoid being punished.
The obedience and punishment orientation is the earliest stage of moral development and is also very common in young children; however, adults are also capable of expressing this stage of reasoning. In this stage, young children perceive rules to be fixed and absolute and that obeying them is a necessary means to avoid punishment (McLeod, S.A., 2013). The individualism and exchange orientation is the second stage of pre-conventional morality. At this stage, children take into account individual points of view and judge their actions based on how they serve individual needs (Cherry, K., 2014, October
Level 2: Conventional Morality with Stage 3: Good Interpersonal Relationships the child/individual is good in order to be seen as being a good person by others. Therefore, answers are related to the approval of others. Stage 4: Maintaining the Social Order the child/individual becomes aware of the wider rules of society so judgements concern obeying rules in order to uphold the law and to avoid guilt. Level 3: Post-conventional Morality with Stage 5: Social Contract and Individual Rights the child/individual becomes aware that while rules/laws might exist for the good of the greatest number, there are times when they will work against the interest of particular individuals. The issues are not always clear.