Ch.14 - CHAPTER 14: MORAL DEVELOPMENT The Focus of this...

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CHAPTER 14: MORAL DEVELOPMENT The Focus of this chapter is how children come to understand various kinds of rules and to follow them even when parents or other authority figures are not around. Children’s moral development involves the ways in which they come to understand and follow (or not) the rules of their social world Contemporary research focuses on 3 facets of morality: affect, cognition and behaviour. THEORIES OF MORAL DEVELOPMENT There are 2 theoretical issues: the first one is whether children’s moral beliefs and behaviours reside in the child and simply emerge overtime, or whether they reside in the culture (nature vs nurture). The second issues involves the generality of moral rules COGNITIVE-DEVELOPMENTAL APPROACHES It is concerned with the development of children’s moral reasoning as they struggle with issues involving moral rules and social conventions. Conclusion from cognitive developmentalists is that advances in moral reasoning abilities depend heavily on children’s improving cognitive abilities. There are 3 models Piaget’ theory : He used 2 very different methods to investigate how children’s conceptions of morality develop. The first one was a naturalistic approach in which he observed the kids playing common street games, looked how the rules were created and enforced by the kids, and questioned them on how the rules could be modified or ignored. The second one represents a more experimental approach , in which every child is face to solve moral dilemmas (Stories used by Piaget and others to assess kids’ levels of moral reasoning by deciding which character is naughty). It is from this research that Piaget develop his 4 stages of moral development, which focused on how kids follow the rule 1) 2 to 4 years: no real conception of morality behaviour; they play and imagine game with no formal rule, the only thing that they may invent are some restrictions. 2) 5 to 7 years: it is called moral realism, stage in which children’s reasoning is based on objective and physical aspects of a situation and is often inflexible. Characteristics : rule following games emerge; social rules are heteronomous (externally dictated) and cannot be change; kids don’t question the rule even if they don’t like it; inflexible about changing the rules, even if it could be funnier; immanent justice, that is punishment must follow any rule violation, even if unnoticed by an adult; the act causing more damage will be regarded as morally wrong, motives doesn’t matter here. 3) 8 to 11 years: it is called the moral relativism , stage in which children view rules as agreements that can be altered and consider people’s motives or intentions when evaluating their moral conduct.
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Characterisitcs : kids realize that rule are agreements create by people to help or protect one another; obey represents an autonomous and personal decision to cooperate with the given person; adapt the rules to fit the circumstances of moment (ex. If they are more than 2
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Ch.14 - CHAPTER 14: MORAL DEVELOPMENT The Focus of this...

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