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I need to get started on a short case study on Kohlberg's continuum of moral development.
The course text, Human Development, uses the story of Heinz to explain the reasoning process underlying decisions made at different stages of Kohlberg's continuum of moral development. Based on this, develop a case study of a moral dilemma likely to be faced by an individual in the stage of middle childhood. The moral dilemma can be fictional or non-fictional.
Describe how both Kohlberg and Piaget would describe the stage of moral development of the child in the study. Is the child at an age-appropriate stage, according to the theorists?
- If you answered yes to this question, what behavior is the child exhibiting to lead you to this conclusion?
- If the answer is no, what stage better fits this child?
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I would start by first considering the definition of middle childhood and asking myself what types of "moral dilemmas" children at his age are likely to face. One of the benefits of Kohlberg;s stages is that it is especially appropriate for understanding gifted children. These children progress more rapidly through the stages but are likely not to fit in with their peers. Perhaps a scenario related to the gifted child who is outcast from his peers (or her) for not conforming to a "bad behavior" more typical of the age group?
You could focus on the idea of theft, for example, tying it in to the Heinz scenario. In the Heinz scenario, the theft of the drug was predicated by a higher order need - to obtain the drug for a dying wife - coupled with a potentially morally arguable reaction to the fact that the pharmacy was acting immorally by overpricing the drug in the first place. There is a great ethical dilemma there, but it is not one that is likely faced by children. A child may be faced with a similar situation, however, when given the desire for a piece of candy or other similar temptation and the lack of funds to purchase the item in question. How the child responds to that situation can be then tied to the stages of moral development. A gifted child might react differently than a non gifted child, perhaps, and rate at a different stage from his or her peers.
This site deals with the theory as it applies to gifted children. Perhaps you will find some additional ideas here:
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