Lawrence Kohlberg’s Stages of Moral development Theory. He was the psychologist born in Bronxville New York. served as a professor at Harvard University he started as a developmental psychologist in the early 1970s and became famous for his later work in moral education and moral reasoning.
• His theory emphasizes on how moral reasoning develops in stages similar with the theory of Piaget’s cognitive development.
• Like Piaget, Kohlberg believed that development is flourished by social interaction.
• Moral education can be taught in formal education by confronting people with moral dilemmas that evoke/ arise cognitive conflicts.
• According to Kohlberg, discussion over these dilemmas promotes development, which further helps in higher stages of moral reasoning showing benefits of the higher stages of reasoning. He and others formulated dilemmas for this purpose.
Moral reasoning, which Kohlberg thought is the basis for ethical behavior, has developmental stages. There are six identifiable stages of moral development. These stages can be classified into three levels.
i. Obedience and Punishment Orientation
ii. Self- interest orientation
i. Interpersonal accords
ii. Conformity (good boy/Good girl attitude)
iv. Social order orientation (law and order morality)
i. Social contract orientation
ii. Universal ethical principles (principled conscience)