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Module 5: Moral Development

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Moral Development – Summary

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Morality is a system of beliefs about what is right and good compared to what is wrong or bad.

Moral development refers to changes in moral beliefs as a person grows older and gains maturity.
A morality of justice is about human rights or more specifically, about respect for fairness, impartiality, equality, and individuals’ independence.

A morality of care is about human responsibilities or more specifically, about caring for others, showing consideration for individuals’ needs, and interdependence among individuals.

One of the best-known explanations of how morality of justice develops was developed by Lawrence Kohlberg and his associates. Using a stage model similar to Piaget’s, Kohlberg proposed six stages of moral development, grouped into three levels:
Preconventional
Conventional
Postconventional

Carol Gilligan developed a framework where the ideas in it centre on a morality of care, or system of beliefs about human responsibilities, care, and consideration for others.
The goal of character education is to develop students' capacities to respond to daily ethical choices not only consciously and cognitively, but also intuitively and emotionally. To the extent that this goal is met, students can indeed live a good, ethically responsible life.