COGNITIVE paradigm and MORAL EDUCATION

                NATURAL DEVELOPMENT OF MORAL RATIONALITY OR 'MORALITY' AS INTEGRATION OF PERSONALITY: DEVELOPMENT OF SOCIAL CONSCIENCE... 'MORAL DEVELOPMENT' as spiritual development

 The child's behavior has an organizational pattern or 'cognitive structure' of its own which needs description independently of the degree of its correspondence to the adult culture.

theme: A rational analysis of moral development is based on the understanding of the human organism as a social organism with a social brain. Evolution of the human brain is characterised by a species specific 'moral faculty' required for social adaptability i.e. moral intelligence or 'social intelligence'.  Social intelligence is a function of development of natural morality which is free from external authority i.e. 'free morality'. Free morality is a function of spiritual development involving the 'transpersonal' dimension of the human personality or 'human nature'. Human nature is defined in terms of human motives for behaviour i.e. human needs. These include the 'lower' psychological needs for self-esteem i.e. 'ego needs' and the 'higher' psychological needs for moral growth i.e. spiritual needs or 'metaneeds'. Fulfillment of the metaneeds is prerequisite to development of moral consciousness or 'conscience' . Development of rational conscience... as 'social conscience'... moral development'... is a function of authentic interaction with the environment and the  learning derived from the experience. So-called 'experiential learning' is a function of thinking or 'cognition' (intellect) which is energised by interest or 'curiosity' (affect). Natural learning or 'cognitive development' moral development involves a continually changing perception of reality described in terms of a succession of developmental stages of moral reasoning i.e. 'socio-cognitive stages'. As a natural process of human growth derived from meaningful learning, moral development depends on educational environment which provides the appropriate conditions - freedom and mutual respect - for development of the personality as a whole i.e. 'holistic education'. Holistic education is concerned with human development in terms of the integration of the spiritual or 'moral' dimension of human nature i.e. development of 'social conscience'.

 Biology of ethics in terms of the natural development of moral consciousness or 'morality' of 'social intelligence' i.e. 'moral development'...  Moral development is a function of stages of ethical reasoning... the successive elaboration of complicated and differentiated cognitive structures out of simpler ones... i.e. moral stages or 'sociocognitive stages'. Sociocognitive stages... an order of increasingly differentiated and integrated structures for fulfilling a common function... are the product of the process of natural or 'holistic' learning. Cognitive and moral development go together... natural development of morality is a function of the process of education of the person as a whole i.e. 'holistic education'.

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Effective educational practice depends on the understanding of the human organism as a biological organism with the 'moral faculty' of a social brain...  see biological model of Decroly

Biological basis of moral development or 'morality': '

human organism as a biological organism...  The process of natural learning is directly related to the natural development of morality as a function of 'auto-regulation'.  

human organism as a social organism...  function of social values...  survival value of 'morality' as 'spiritual equipment'...  moral development is the same as 'spiritual development'.

 morality as sense of justice or 'empathy'...  

morality as personality development...    growth depends on communication of security or 'unconditional love'...

evolutionary significance of morality... 

Previous to research in cognitive development, it was generally believed that thought pattetrns of children are copies of adult thought.

Swiss psychologist Jean Piaget (student of Carl Jung) was the first to define the structure of the child’s intellect in terms of 'cognitive-developmental theory' and 'stages of cognitive development' representing basic thought patterns or 'cognitive structures'... based on the 'requilibration model' of cognitive development... Piaget demonstrated that children have their own thought patterns or 'cognitive structures' and these are modified during a normal process of development as a result of interaction with the environment... 'experiential learning'.

 The four cognitive stages: sensorimotor period (0-2 years)...   pre-conventional period (2-7years)...                                                   conventional period (7-12 years)...   formal operational (12-18 years)...

Harvard professor Lawrence Kohlberg expanded on the work of Piaget and proposed a theory of structural age-changes or 'sociocognitive stages' of moral development:    first and second stages (first level)...   (third and fourth stages (second level)...    fifth and sixth stages (third level)...

individual behaviour... 

implications for education... applications to educational theory specifically 'moral education'...

 The natural development of morality as construction of moral consciousness or conscience is directly connected to the process of natural or 'holistic' learning.

 cognitive-developmental value education...

psychological value of 'work' in the construction of conscience...

educator as facilitator...

Education and American culture: The understanding of biologically based moral development is key to resolving the so-called 'problem of ethics'.

references...

Traditional paradigm of education  In the traditional paradigm, the teacher’s role  is considered to be the transmission of collective social values from one generation to the next. Children are expected to be obedient and to imitate the adult.

 Though these are natural characteristics, little attention is paid to children’s growth needs and the laws of psychological development.The exclusivity of the two is the basis for the passive methods of traditional education;

Punishment of children is wrong according to the most elementary principles of child psychology. To quote the psychologist, philosopher, pedagogue and scholar Erich Fromm, discipline, dogmatically imposed, and punishment, create fear: and fear creates hostility. This hostility may not be conscious and overt, but it nevertheless paralyzes endeavor and authenticity of feeling. The extensive disciplining of children is harmful and thwarts sound psychic development." Resort to punishment when dealing with children is an admission of failure to communicate and a refusal to accept the responsibility of interaction and caring. The phenomenon of negativism in schools should be seen as a symptom of a disease. Punishment does not nurture responsibility nor does it encourage self-discipline. Punishment encourages irresponsibility because it focuses on bad behavior and stops it only temporarily. Punishment increases avoidance and escape behaviours and teaches children to punish also so that they become neative and aggressive punishing others in turn. Thought should be given to the long-term negative effects of disciplinary procedures and to the urgent need of young people to be rcognized for their humanity, individual potential and natural strivings towards sound psychic development.

Punishment stops bad behaviour ony temporarily, Punishment increases avoidance and escape behaviors, Punishment teaches children to punish also, Punishment focuses on bad behavior

Look for the positive behavior and reinforce positive.

Human organism as a biological organism and the principle of 'auto-regulation' Equilibrum... disequilibrium...re-equilibrium model of auto-regulation The child is a biological organism whose behaviour can be described in terms of the principle re-equilibration  a natural biological process of auto-regulation characteristic of all living organisms. During development, the human organism strives to achieve a balance between the assimilation of information from the environment and transformation of that information into 'intelligence' by interacting with the environment in order achieve a new and broader understanding of that information. As biological organism interacting with environment, the child becomes less egocentric and more objective with progression of cognitive development. The mind is actively engaged in processing information from the environment as a result of the instinctive tendency to adapt effectively to it. Systems of mental activity are invented for more adaptive knowing called ‘cognitive structures. Cognitive structures are represented by thinking patterns or ‘concepts’. The concepts are reflected in functional language. Continued interaction with the environment leads to the construction of increasingly complex and interrelated concepts required for processing information. In this way through a process of auto-regulation the individual derives meaning from the environment or ‘learns’. Learning is required for effective adaptation to environmental change i.e. 'adaptability'. Human adaptability depends on the integrated development of the brain in all its apects... spiritual and therefore moral... incorporates psychological or personal and transpersonal development which is a function of both emotional and intellectual development or 'growth'. Growth is a function of increased understanding... .  of one's core personality or 'human nature' i.e. 'self-knowledge'. Self-knowledge is the means of setting free those forces which are responsible for growth.

The criteria for morality depend on the needs for individual growth. Attitudes which are conducive to a person's growth are 'moral' and those which are obstructive to a person's growth are 'immoral.'

 "Under inner stress, a person may become alienated from his real self. He will then shift the major part of his energies to the task of molding himself, by a rigid system of inner dicates into a being of absolute perfection." He idealizes the image he has of himself. This neurotic development illustrates the strong human striving for 'perfection' ".... man by his very nature and of his own accord strives toward self-realization, and his set of values derives from such striving."

Growth is only possible with the assuming of self-responsibility. Growth and self-realization are not possible without truthfulness to oneself.  A universal value system is based on each person's need to be truthful to their own humanity - their own real self.

 Disciplinary measures are injurious to growth. Through growth, one outgrows undesirables attitudes.

 Self-realization is the natural product of growth through freedom to learn. Working for one's personal growth is a law of nature. The 'real self' is a the inner force of human nature which is the deep source of growth. Knowledge of the real self or 'self-knowledge' sets free the forces of human growth.

 Like any other living organism, the human individual needs favorable conditions for growth from 'seed to tree'... a learning environment or 'education' based on the communication of security...   'unconditional love'... inner security and the inner freedom which allows for acknowledgement of thoughts and feelings and the outer freedom of self -expression..  the good will of others for guidance and encouragement for growth to maturity and self-fulfillment...  i.e. 'self-actualisation'. Healthy friction with the wishes and wills of others to encourage the development of critical consciousness required for adaptation to changing environmental conditions i.e. adaptability . Allowed to grow with others, in love and in friction enables the individual to grow in accordance with their true  real self. 

"Unconditional love is an essential for the child's normal development, and when this is refused, the environment comes to be dreaded... it is perceived as a menace to his individuality, his development, his instinctive strivings to grow, his freedom and his happiness". (Horney, Karen, M.D.,Neurosis and Human Growth: The Struggle Toward Self-Realization)

Human needs or 'values' have a biological basis What are the 'intrinsic needs'? The higher needs (metaneeds being needs or 'Being-Values') for creation and production... morality, truth, beauty, transcendence, etc. are just as biologically based as are the lower, more obviously physiological ones such as hunger and thirst. The failure to satisfy metaneeds may result in corresponding forms of pathology (metapathology) analagous to those resulting from unsatisfied lower needs. Transcendant, religious, esthetic, and philosophical facets of life are as real and intrinsic to human nature as any biological needs. Both 'lower' and 'higher' needs are the prequisites to social intelligence. (see Abraham Maslow)

 "Upon the biological level, organisms have to respond to conditions about them in ways that modify those conditions and the relations of organisms to them so as to restore the reciprocal adaptation that is required for maintenance of life functions. Human organisms are involved in the same sort of predicament. Because of the effect of cultural conditions, the problems involved not only have different contents but are capable of statement as problems so that inquiry can enter as a factor in their resolution. Modes of response are correspondingly transfornmed. They avail themselves of the significance which things have acquired, and of the meanings provided by language. ....the environment in which human beings are directly involved is the 'commonsense' environment or 'world' and the inquiries that take place in making the required adjustments in behavior are 'common sense' inquiries." (Rosen H. The Development of Sociomoral Knowledge: A Cognitive -Structural Approach. New York: Columbia University Press, 1980. 60)

 The human organism is a social organism with basic needs for psychological and spiritual growth... social needs or 'values'

The human growth process of socialisation involves moral development which is a function of both emotion or 'affect' (interest) and cognition or 'intellect'... affect and intellect are indissociable. 

 The natural development of human nature aims for the full maturation of the naturally inherent human potential for better adjustment to instrinsic needs.... the instinctive striving for 'self-actualisation'...

 The human organism is a social organism instinctively motivated to relate to others - to 'socialise' and to 'assimilate' - in order to acquire the things which it needs for work and for defence. Motivations for socialisation and assimilation are intrinsic to the nature of the human personality i.e. 'human nature'.  Human nature is defined in terms of instinctive motives for human thought and behaviour rooted in the instinct for self-preservation and the organismic striving for 'mature growth' or 'self-actualisation'  i.e. 'human needs'. Human needs are biologically based 'value choices' or 'operative values'. The human operative values or 'human values' are involved in the unfolding of human powers and human potential for 'wholeness' or 'health' i.e. 'wellness'. Human needs include psychological needs as well as the obvious physiological needs for survival of the organism and the species. The basic psychological needs - the needs for self-respect and self-esteem i.e. the 'ego needs' depend for their gratification on the communication of security by means of 'unconditional love'. With unconditional love the individual is independent of others for the gratification of the needs for spiritual growth i.e. 'growth needs'. Spiritual growth depends on the individual's reliance on their own inner resources for gratification of the 'higher psychological needs' - the 'spiritual needs' for 'ego-transcendance' i.e. the 'Being needs', 'B-needs' or 'metaneeds'. The metaneeds function as 'social values' for social cooperation or 'socialisation' required for successful adaptation to changing social conditions i.e. 'adaptability'. Human adaptability depends on normal personality development as 'mature growth' or 'self-actualisation'. Achievement of self-actualisation depends on environmental conditions... or 'education'... which provide for meaningful learning and the development of 'creative intelligence'.

The social nature of the human organism makes it a moral being... the basic 'goodness' of human nature: "We can certainly now assert that at least a reasonable, theoretical and empirical case has been made for the presence within the human being of a tendency toward, or need for growing in a direction that can be summarized in general as self-actualization, or psychological health, i.e. he has within him a pressure toward unity of personality, toward spontaneous expressiveness, toward full individuality and identity, toward seeing the truth rather than being blind, toward being creative, toward being good and a lot else. That is the human being is so constructed that he presses toward fuller and fuller being and this means pressing toward what most people would call good values, toward serenity, kindness, courage, honesty, love, unselfishness, and goodness" (Abraham Maslow Toward a Psychology of Being 2nd. ed. New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold Co., l968, p.l55)

 For the human organism as a social organism morality is a function of natural development of 'moral intelligence'.

Denial and frustration of human needs leads to 'immature growth' i.e. 'neurotic development' or 'neurosis'. Neurosis produces pathological behaviour which is socially inadaptive i.e. human wickedness or 'evil'.  Evil is the result of failed development of moral consciousness or 'morality'.

"A moral situation is one in which judgement and choice are required antecedently to overt action. The practical meaning of the situation - that is to say the action needed to satisfy it - is not self-evident. It has to be searched for. There are conflicting desires and alternative apparent goods. What is needed is to find the right course of action, the right good. Hence inquiry is exacted... this inquiry is intelligence. (Dewey The Quest for Certainty. 255)

Moral development is a natural process which takes place in all social interactions and communication situations... the development of 'morality'. Morality (in the sense of 'free morality' as opposed to 'moralism') is moral rationality or 'moral intelligence' - an 'emergent property' of the human brain. Morality is moral behaviour which results from moral consciousness or 'conscience'. Developed conscience is the source of human values, the guiding principles for human behaviour. Morality provides the security for survival of the human organism in a social context.

Morality is a natural product of a universal tendency toward 'justice'. Justice is a 'metavalue' in the realm of ego-transcendance...  'self-transcendance'

What is morality? Foundation of morality is sense of 'justice' as empathic awareness or 'empathy'  "In the cognitive-developmental view, morality is a natural product of a universal tendency toward empathy or role taking, toward putting oneself in the shoes of other conscious beings. It is also a product of a universal human concern for justice, for reciprocity or equality in the relation of one person to another." (Kohlberg)

Morality is manifest in adaptive thought and behaviour patterns which are represented by acts of social cognition referred to as the values of truth, beauty, logic, knowledge and justice i.e. 'human values'. The human value of justice is a product of empathic awareness or 'empathy' i.e. putting oneself in another's place and understanding them as in some way like oneself. Empathy is a natural human concern for reciprocity or equality in the relation of one person to another.

The natural human concern for justice involves an understanding of the roles of different members of the society of which one is a part. 

 Evolutionary significance of morality: favours equilibrium between the organism and its social environment i.e. 'socialisation' The structural development of morality as a process of survival value to the organism is a product of processes of interaction between the organism and the structure of the environment and thus involves the evolutionary process of natural selection                      

As a product of evolution, the development of morality is based on the promotion of thought and behaviour - acts of 'social cognition' - which favour greater equilibrium, reciprocity, balance or 'adaptation' in the interaction between organism and environment.  Morality favours the adaptation of the human organism as a social organism functioning in a social environment ... favours the adaptation of the self to perception of others toward the self i.e. 'socialisation'. Socialisation in its generalized form results from the human tendency towards equilibrium in the 'organism-environment interaction'. Morality is functional in the individual's ability for social adaptation i.e. 'adaptability'. Human adaptability as social adaptability... adaptability to a changing social environment depends on intelligent judgement and intelligent value choices i.e. intelligent morality or 'social intelligence'. Social intelligence is a function of moral development as the natural development of 'morality'.

Survival value of  moral sense or ‘ethics’ in human evolution: Human survival depends on COOPERATION which depends on social harmony which depends on COMPASSION which depends on SPIRITUAL VALUES or ‘NATURAL ETHICS' 

'Moral development (natural development of morality) is 'social development' or 'personality development'.  

Moral development is a natural learning process of 'social development' or 'personality development'... Moral development is defined in terms of organizational systems of the concept of the self and its relationship to one's concepts of others i.e. the 'social-personality' dimension of personality development. Personality development as moral development is in essence a process of intellectual development involving successive restructuring, elaboration and transformation of organizational patterns or 'cognitive structures' from simple structures into more complicated and differentiated ones.

Moral development can be described in terms of the successive elaboration of increasingly complicated and differentiated integrated cognitive structures out of simpler ones i.e. moral stages or 'sociocognitive stages'. The sociocognitive stages are different and sequential modes of thinking... organized systems of thought or 'modes of thought'... modes of thought-organization which form 'structured wholes'... structural organizations ...... modes of organizing experience... modes of moral or 'ethical reasoning'...and moral judgement. Cognitive stages imply distinct and qualitative differences in modes of thinking about solutions to the same problem. They represent different ways of tracing out implications and integrating considerations. In individual development the different stages form an order, or succession which is not changed - an 'invariant sequence'. Stages are not skipped and the sequence is not changed though it may be speeded up, slowed down or stopped by cultural factors. Movement is always upward except under extreme traumatic conditions.  .

Cognitive and moral development go together... development of morality is development of moral consciousness or 'moral intelligence' i.e. 'social intelligence'.

Moral development and cognitive development are different aspects of development of the human organism in the growth process of socialisation... affective development and functioning and cognitive development and functioning are not distinct realms - they represent different perspectives and contexts of structural change. In other words, the structural age-changes or 'stages' of social-personality - 'sociocognitive stages' - are developed along with the cognitive stages. Cognitive and moral development unfold together during the stages of intellectual and social development. During social-personality development, the sociocognitive stages parallel the cognitive stages. The parallel development of cognition and social-personality is known as 'cognitive-affective parallelism'. The individual experiences  emotions which are generated from within the moral sphere of their consciousness or 'consciousness state'. Depending on the sociocognitive stage of moral development which they have reached, the individual derives meaning... interprets the experience in a way which reflects their own point of view.

The successive elaboration of cognitive structures is described in terms of directed structural age-changes which are parallel with the 'cognitive stages' of cognitive development.

    Learning theory... Cognitive-developmental theory of moral development: Lawrence Kohlberg

 The process of natural learning is a system involving the succession of  developmental stages... stages of moral or 'ethical' reasoning known as  'sociocognitive stages'...

The natural development of moral consciousness or 'morality' is a function of stages of ethical reasoning i.e. 'sociocognitive stages'. Sociocognitive stages are the product of the process of natural or 'holistic' learning. Cognitive and moral development go together... development of morality is a function of the development of social intelligence and directly connected to the process of natural or 'holistic' learning.

The process involves the act of knowing or ‘cognition’...  cognition and affect work together

"There is no pure cognition without affect chanelled by cognitive structuration. The purest act of cognition relies upon interest from the affective mental component to energize it. This is the indisociable nature of affect and cognition. Together they form the basis for meaningful learning which emphasizes the affective as well as the cognitive aspect of learning. The direction of development of cognitive structures is determined by a process of interaction between the organism and the environment in an educational environment which stimulates the step by step process of mental maturation through the parallel stages of cognitive and moral development." (Kohlberg)

"The existence of moral stages implies that moral development has a basic structural component. While motives and affects are involved in moral development, the development of these motives and affects are largely mediated by changes in thought patterns." (Lawrence Kohlberg. Stage and Sequence: The Cognitive-Developmental Approach to Socialization. In D.A. Goslin (ed.) Handbook of Socialization Theory and Research. Chicago: Rand McNally 1969, page 390).  

RESEARCH IN MORAL DEVELOPMENT

The awareness that the child's behavior has a cognitive structure of its own is as old as Rousseau, but this awareness has only recently pervaded the actual study of cognitive development...

According to his 'constructivist model of the origin of knowledge', knowledge is created... 'constructed'... from the individual's continuous revision and reorganisation of cognitive structures in conjunction with experience.   He described the gradual unfolding over time of genetic programs of development which he called 'cognitive structures' and set forth a 'cognitive-developmental theory'... of knowledge (including 'moral knowledge' or 'morality').

Piaget was the first to define the structure of the child’s intellect in terms of 'stages of cognitive development'.  He emphasized the ‘primacy of cognitive maturation, guided by various sorts of experience’... and considered the ‘sensitive periods’ in terms of children’s ‘readiness’ to learn specific concepts. He concluded that the child is ready to learn any concept at any age as long as the level of presentation is appropriate to the level or stage of cognitive development which has been reached.

  LEARNING THEORY AND OBSERVATIONS OF COGNITIVE STAGES OF DEVELOPMENT Swiss psychologist Jean Piaget was a student of Carl Jung whose main interest was the human psyche in its totality, that is in terms of both the conscious mind and the unconscious mind.

Piaget was a psychologist concerned with moral development. In his early work he investigated the moral life of children.. their beliefs about right and wrong... through the study of the way in which they played games and how they applied the rules.... also interviewed chilldren about immoral acts such as stealing and lying. Some children believed in the absolute intrinsic truth of rules... strict adherence to the rules and obedience to authority... the letter of the law is valued above the purpose of the law... (early 'heteronomous stage' of moral reasoning based on egocentric cognitive structure... characterised by the inability to recognize the other person's perspective simultaneously with their own view of things resulting on the projection of their thoughts and desires onto others... unidirectional view...), some were interested in understanding the reasoning behind the rules (characteristic of more developed 'autonomous' moral reasoning which involves critical consideration of rules and their selective application in the context of mutual respect and cooperation). As a result of his studies, he concluded that development emerges from action... knowledge of the world is constructed and reconstructed as a result of the  person's interactions with the environment. Normal moral development involves a shift from egocentrism of heteronomous moral reasoning to perspective taking of autonomous moral reasoning.

       Piaget set out to answer the question 'what is the origin of knowledge' in terms of child cognitive development with the information processing approach to psychology. He describes the gradual unfolding over time of genetic programs of development in terms of a 'cognitive-developmental theory' involving 'cognitive structures'. According to his 'constructivist model of the origin of knowledge', knowledge is not a mirror of the world (traditional paradigm) but is created or 'constructed' from the individual's continuous revision and reorganisation of cognitive structures in conjunction with experience. The mind is actively engaged in processing information from the environment as a result of the instinctive tendency to adapt effectNormal moral development involves a shift from egocentrism of heteronomous moral reasoning to perspective taking of autonomous moral reasoning.

In the natural authority relationship between adults and children, power is handed down from the adult to the child. Childhood egocentrism the social relationship coupled with adults results in heteronomous moral orientation.  

Traditional paradigm of education In the traditional paradigm, the teacher’s role is considered to be the transmission of collective social values from one generation to the next. Children are expected to be obedient and to imitate the adult. Though these are natural characteristics, little attention is paid to children’s growth needs and the laws of psychological development.The exclusivity of the two is the basis for the passive methods of traditional education...

Cognitive development was thought to be brought about by language Previous to the work of Jean Piaget, educational theorists generally believed that the development of thought or ‘cognitive development ’ is brought about by language... It was believed that the language of instruction was responsible for cognitive development and that learning provides a ready-made lens which organizes the child’s perception of the world. It was believed that children copy adult cognition during  growth and development. Children were perceived as miniature adults whose responsibility it was to identify with adult models and then absorb their instruction. Sometimes children were even perceived in terms of the corruptness of human nature which required redemption; Consequently the function of education was considered in terms of adapting children’s constitution to adult values and adult society.

 Piaget demonstrated that the opposite was true... that it is cognitive development which  develops language.  He discovered that cognitive development is reflected in language. He rejected Emile Durkheim's view of 'moral education' as indoctrination of moral norms... based on the notion that morality results from respect for authority of the group to which one is attached...  internalisation of group norms.

Piaget discovered that cognitive development precedes language

 Piaget was a Swiss psychologist originally trained in zoology but with philosophical interests. Piaget made a lifetime study. His aim was to conduct a scientific study of the nature of knowledge in terms of its origins in the development of thinking or ‘cognition’ in the child. He combined his interests in zoology and philosophy in a lifelong study of the child’s evolving development of consciousness or ‘mind’. of the evolution of consciouness in the developing child. For forty years from 1927 he and his associates conducted interviews and collected thousands of observations – factual and theoretical – on their intellectual and moral development. mental  Careful attempts were made to train them in problem-solving by teaching them new ways to talk about the tasks and concepts involved. It was discovered that the training had no effect unless children had already reached the level of cognitive development required for understanding the concepts which were represented by the new language.  

  Piaget postulated four developmental cognitive periods or 'stages'As a result he postulated four developmental periods which represent a gradually expanding level of consciousness:

 by age seven consciousness appears... Development proceeds through four stages. The four stages of maturational development represent gradually expanding levels of consciousness or problem-solving 'intelligence'. The stages were defined in terms of qualitatively different modes of intellectual and moral reasoning at different ages – sensorimotor,  ‘pre-operational, ‘operational’ or 'concrete' and ‘formal operational’ or 'formal'. Each new stage does not arise full-blown but arises gradually from the integration and incorporation of earlier stages.

 First stage: sensorimotor period The first stage (0-2 years) called the ‘sensory-motor  period’ is concerned with the evolution of abilities required for construction and reconstruction of objects and involves an elementary form of reasoning. ..development of reflexes such as turning in response to light and sound, grasping dangling objects, sucking in response to touching of the lips, crying and waving the arms when startled...stimulus respmonse reflex behaviour...

 Second stage: intuitive period 'preoperational period' (2-7 years)The second stage called the ‘intuitive period’ – is concerned with the representation of things … symbolic functions. This is the ‘pre-conventional’ or ‘pre-moral stage’ and it involves ‘pre-operational thinking’. The child at this stage is motivated by biological and social impulses and has no sense of obligation to rules. Moral value or ‘justice’ is defined in terms of punishment and reward.

Third stage: conventional period The third stage (usually 7-12 years) called the ‘conventional’ or ‘heteronomous period’ is concerned with formation of logical inferences, classification, quantitative relationships about concrete things i.e. ‘operational thinking’. This stage the child is concerned with obedience to rules.

Fourth stage: autonomous period   The fourth stage (usually 12-18 years) called the ‘autonomous period’ is concerned with abstract reasoning, consideration of possibilities, formation of hypotheses, deduction of implications and testing these against reality i.e. ‘formal operational’ thinking. At this stage the child is actively considerate of rules.

Language reflects cognitive development The child perceives the world through a lens which is not ready-made but is constructed through the cognitive development which results from the child’s interaction with the environment. The interiorisation of this interaction forms internal models of reality or ‘operational structures’ which form the lens of perception upon which the child acts.

As biological organism interacting with environment, the child becomes less egocentric and more objective with progression of cognitive development. Systems of mental activity are invented for more adaptive knowing called ‘cognitive structures’. Cognitive structures are represented by thinking patterns or ‘concepts’. The concepts are reflected in functional language.

Continued interaction with the environment leads to the construction of increasingly complex and interrelated concepts required for processing information. In this way through a process of auto-regulation the individual derives meaning from the environment or ‘learns’.

Piaget was the first to define the structure of the child’s intellect in terms of 'stages of cognitive development'. He emphasized the ‘primacy of cognitive maturation, guided by various sorts of experience’... and considered the ‘sensitive periods’ (Maria Montessori) in terms of children’s ‘readiness’ to learn specific concepts. He concluded that the child is ready to learn any concept at any age as long as the level of presentation is appropriate to the level or stage of cognitive development which has been reached.

Cognition is always undergoing change and development. Description of stages is meant to be for purposes of convenience only...

Equilibrium-disequilibrium-reequilibration model Piaget proposed a theory of child development on the basis of the biological ‘equilibrium-disequilibrium-re-equilibration’ model of cognitive  development. Re-equilibration is a natural biological process of auto-regulation characteristic of living organisms. During development, the human organism strives to achieve a balance between the assimilation of information from the environment and transformation of that information by interacting with the environment in order achieve a new and broader understanding of that information. The process involves the act of knowing or ‘cognition’.

Applied to educational theory, methods of teaching are most effective when they consider the child as a biological organism whose behaviour can be described in terms of the principle of auto-regulation.

Implications for education Education involves the child’s growth and development as well as norms of socialisation - social, intellectual and moral values. The child is an actively participant in the learning process ... constructing meaning is 'learnin'...

The educator’s responsibility is to respect the child’s own efforts to strive for a more stable equilibrium in dealing with their world. Their active learning involves interaction with the learning environment which must be prepared appropriately to correspond to their stage of development. In this context education is a matter of offering optimal conditions for effective learning... conditions which allow children to take responsibility for their own growth through learning i.e. ‘optimalearning’.

An understanding of Kohlberg's work depends on an acquaintance with Piaget's research and observations on moral development..

"Piaget and his colleagues made careful attempts to train children in problem solving by teaching them new ways of talking about particular tasks and concepts. The general finding: special linguistic training is of no avail to a child unless his level of cognitive development has already reached the point at which it can embrace the relevant concepts represented by the words. See page 163 Inhelder, B., Bovet, M. Sinclair, H. & Smock, C.D. 'On Cognitive development. American Psychologist, 1966, 21, 160-164.

Interaction with the environment is both verbal and nonverbal. Piaget was concerned with the development of thought in the child. He emphasized the 'primacy of cognitive maturation, guided by various sorts of experience'

Kohlberg (Harvard) built on the insights of Piaget  (Piaget, Jean. The Moral Judgement of the Child. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1932) and the educational views of Dewey. (Lawrence Kohlberg "The Cognitive Developmental Approach to Moral Education" chapter 12 in Moral Education: It Comes With the Territory (Ed) David Purpel and Kevin Ryan, Berkeley,CA: McCutchen Publishing Co. 1976, 173) 

He referred to John Dewey as "the only modern thinker about education worth taking seriously." (Kohlberg, L., and Turiel,E. "Moral Development and Moral Education." Psychology and Educational Practice, edited by Lesser.G. Chicago il: Scott Foresman, 1971

COGNITIVE-DEVELOPMENT APPROACH: DEWEY "The cognitive-developmental approach was fully stated for the first time by John Dewey. The approach is called 'cognitive' because it recognizes that moral education, like intellectual education, has its basis in stimulating the active thinking of the child about moral issues and decisions. It is called 'developmental' because it sees the aims of moral education as movement through moral stages. Dewey's thinking about moral stages was theoretical." (Lawrence Kohlberg "The Cognitive Developmental Approach to Moral Education" chapter 12 in Moral Education: It Comes With the Territory (Ed) David Purpel and Kevin Ryan, Berkeley,CA: McCutchen Publishing Co. 1976, 176-177)

Dewey postulated three levels of moral develoment: 1. the 'premoral' or 'preconventional' level of "behavior motivated by biological and social impulses with results for morals" 2. the 'conventional' level of behavior "in which the individual accepts with little critical reflection the standards of his group" and 3. the 'autonomous' level of behavior in which "conduct is guided by the individual thinking and judging for himself whether a purpose is good and does not accept the standard of his group without reflection."

 According to Dewey, ("What Psychology Can Do for the Tearcher" John Dewey on Education: Selected Writings, edited by Reginald Archambault. New York: Random House 1964) "The aim of education is growth and development, both intellectual and moral. Ethical and psychological principles can aid the school in the greatest of all constructions - the building of a free and powerful character. Only knowledge of the order and connection of the stages in psychological development can insure this. Education is the work of supplying the conditions which will enable the psychological functions to mature in the freest and fullest manner."

Kohlberg's method is to record and children's responses...  Kohlberg's viewpoint is structuralist and specifically Piagetian. For both Piaget and Kohlberg, cognition and affect together determine the mental state.Kohlberg emphasized the "indisociable nature of affect and cognition...There exists no pure cognition without affect, just as affect cannot arise in a vaccuum without being chanelled by cognitive structuration... The purest act of cognition relies upon interest from the affective side to energize it. An emotion generated from within the moral sphere will derive its meaning to the individual from the sociocognitive stage of moral development that he is at."  Piaget used the expression 'genetic epistemology' and Kohlberg 'cognitive-developmental' to label the general concept." The classification of moral judgement into levels and stages of development... not yet related to the remainder of biology. However, the results will eventually become incorporated into a broadened developmental biology and genetics.

 

 

Books by Piaget

 

Behaviour and Evolution (1976)

The Development of Thought (1977)

Adaptation and Intelligence (1980)

 Piaget, Jean. The Moral Judgement of the Child. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1932.

 Interaction with the environment is both verbal and nonverbal.--

 "The official pedagogy is motivating students against intellectual work." (page 5 Politics of Education) Students refuse to perform and the resulting power struggle (students vs. teachers and administration) leads a stalemate in schools- called "student mediocrity." .

See page 163 Inhelder, B., Bovet, M. Sinclair, H. & Smock, C.D. 'On Cognitive development. American Psychologist, 1966, 21, 160-164. "Learning does not provide, in our opinion, a ready-made 'lattice' or lens which organizes the child's perceptual world. Rather, the lattice is constructed in the process of the development of intelligence, i.e. through the actions of the child on the environment and the interiorization of these actions to form 'operational structures'." This is to say that "the child acts upon the world and builds internal models of the nature of reality on the basis of these actions and their results."(Slobin 115)

Piaget made the first effort to define stages of moral reasoning in children through actual interviews and through observations of children (in games with rules). Using the interview material,  Piaget defined the premoral, conventional or heteronomous, and autonomous levels or 'stages'. Piaget named and defined the stages of the child's maturational development in terms of 'preoperational', 'operational', and 'formal operational' thinking. .

 premoral,with no sense of obligation to rules (up to age four) conventional  stage as the 'heteronomous' tage with obedience to rules (ages four to eight) and autonomous levels  stage with active consideration of rules (ages eight to twelve).

 (Lawrence Kohlberg "The Cognitive Developmental Approach to Moral Education" chapter 12 in Moral Education: It Comes With the Territory (Ed) David Purpel and Kevin Ryan, Berkeley,CA: McCutchen Publishing Co. 1976, 177)

Piaget named and defined the stages of the child's maturational development in terms of 'preoperational', 'operational', and 'formal operational' thinking.  

..Piaget emphasized the maturational development of the child through the stages of preoperational, operational, and formal operational thinking. At the premoral level the child has no sense of obligation to rules (up to age four)...At the conventional level or the 'heteronomous' stage the child obedient to rules (ages four to eight) ...At the autonomous stage the child is actively coinsiderate of with active consideration of rules (ages eight to twelve). Piaget's three stages of reasoning - 1. intuitive (to age seven) 2. concrete operational - child can make logical inferences, classify, handle quantitative relations about concrete things (seven to twelve ) 3. formal operational - child is capable of abstract reasoning , i.e consider all possibilities, form hypotheses, deduce implications from hypothesses and test them against reality (twelve to eighteen) (Lawrence Kohlberg "The Cognitive Developmental Approach to Moral Education" chapter 12 in Moral Education: It Comes With the Territory (Ed) David Purpel and Kevin Ryan, Berkeley,CA: McCutchen Publishing Co. 1976, 179).

"On the basis of his observations with children, he considered the child 'ready' to learn any subject at any age, providing it is approached at the right level...on the level appropriate to the age and thus the developmental stage of the developing child." "As it interacts with the environment over time from birth onward, the human organism undergoes a progression of decentrations through which the knower becomes increasingly less egocentric and more objective. Acting upon the environment he invents cognitive structures for more adaptive knowing. The practical intelligence of the sensorimotor period is interiorized as representational thought emerges. Continuing to act upon the environment, the growing child constucts complex interrelated mental action systems for processing information. The external world does not impose meaning upon the person, but through assimilation to one's developmental level and the process of autoreguation the person confers meaning upon the environment. Hence, acts of knowing involve the process of mental formations."

 According to Piaget, at the stage of concrete operations, the child has a general tendency to maintain that a physical object conserves its properties of various physical dimensions in spite of apparent perceptual changes. This tendency is 'structural', it is not a specific belief about a specific object. The implication is that both conservation and other aspects of logical operations should appear as a logically and empirically related cluster of responses in development. 4. Cognitive stages are hierarchical integrations. Stages form an order of increasingly differentiated and integrated structures to fulfill a common function. ....If the child goes through qualitatively different stages of thought, his basic modes of organizaing experience cannot be the direct result of adult teaching or they would be copies of the adult thought from the start." (Lawrence Kohlberg "The Cognitive Developmental Approach to Moral Education" chapter 12 in Moral Education: It Comes With the Territory (Ed) David Purpel and Kevin Ryan, Berkeley,CA: McCutchen Publishing Co. 1976, p.179)

 

Interaction with the environment is both verbal and nonverbal. Piaget was concerned with the development of thought in the child. He emphasized the 'primacy of cognitive maturation, guided by various sorts of experience' (Slobin 115)  

 

SCIENCE OF ETHICS - SCIENCE OF VALUES "The crucial question to be asked is: can science discover the values by which men should live? I think it can and I have advanced this thesis in various places supporting it with whatever data I could muster... (Maslow : New Knowledge in Human Values, Toward a Psychology of Being,

 

"Piaget and his colleagues made careful attempts to train children in problem solving by teaching them new ways of talking about particular tasks and concepts. The general finding: special linguistic training is of no avail to a child unless his level of cognitive development has already reached the point at which it can embrace the relevant concepts represented by the words. See page 163 Inhelder, B., Bovet, M. Sinclair, H. & Smock, C.D. 'On Cognitive development. American Psychologist, 1966, 21, 160-164.

"Learning does not provide, in our opinion, a ready-made 'lattice' or lens which organizes the child's perceptual world. Rather, the lattice is constructed in the process of the development of intelligence, i.e. through the actions of the child on the environment and the interiorization of these actions to form 'operational structures'." This is to say that "the child acts upon the world and builds internal models of the nature of reality on the basis of these actions and their results."(Slobin 115)

Piaget made a lifetime study of the evolution of consciouness in the developing child. Since 1927 Piaget and his associates accumulated thousands of factual and theoretical observations on children's mental development. As a result he postulated four developmental periods which represent a gradually expanding level of consciousness: The first is the 'sensory-motor period' (1-2 years). ..development of reflexes such as turning in response to light and sound, grasping dangling objects, sucking in response to touching of the lips, crying and waving the arms when startled...stimulusrespmonse reflex behaviour... The second is the 'preoperational period' (2-7 years)... by age seven consciousness appears...  

 See page 163 Inhelder, B., Bovet, M. Sinclair, H. & Smock, C.D. 'On Cognitive development. American Psychologist, 1966, 21, 160-164.

 "The child acts upon the world and builds internal models of the nature of reality on the basis of these actions and their results". (Piaget)

 Previous to the work of Jean Piaget it was believed that the language of instruction was responsible for cognitive development..  it was thought that learning provides a ready-made 'lattice' or lens which organises the child's perceptual world.... it was thought that the child's way of organising experience is a direct result of adult teaching. Children were  perceived as miniature adults whose responsibility it was to identify with adult models and then absorb their instruction. Sometimes children were even perceived in terms of the supposed corruption of human nature... born of sin and requiring  redemption. The function of education was considered in terms of adapting children’s constitution to adult values and adult society. Educational theorists generally believed that the development of thought or ‘cognitive development ’ is brought about by the use of language... and that learning provides a ready-made lens which organises the child’s perception of the world. It was believed that during their growth and development, children copy adult cognition. According to Emile Durkheim in  'moral education' involves indoctrination of moral norms... based on the notion that morality results from respect for authority of the group to which one is attached...  internalization of group norms. "In order to commit ourselves to collective end, we must have above all a feeling and affection for the collectivity. We have seen that such feelings cannot arise in the family where solidarity is based on blood and intimate relationship since the bonds uniting the citizens of a country have nothing to do with such relationships. The only way to instill the inclination to collective life is to get hold of the child when he leaves his family and enters school. We will succeed the more easily because in certain respects, he is more amenable to this joining of minds in a common consciousness than is the adult. To achieve this tonic effect on the child, the class must really share a common collective life... The most powerful means to instill in children the feeling of solidarity is to feel that the value of each is a function of the worth of all..There is a great distance between the state in which the child finds himself as he leaves the family and the one toward which he must strive. Intermediaries are necessary, the school environment the most desirable. It is more extensive than the family or the group of friends,. It results neither from blood nor free choice but from a meeting among subjects of similar age and condition. In that sense it resembles political society. On the other hand it is limited enough so that personal relations can crystallize. It is groups of young persons more or less like those of the social system of the school which have enabled the formation of societies larger than the family. Even in simple societies without schools, the elders would assemble the group at a given age and initiate them collectively into the moral and intellectual patrimony of the group. Induction into the moral patrimony of the group has never been conducted entirely within the family." (Moral Education )

It was Piaget who demonstrated that instead of language developing cognition, the opposite was true... that it is cognitive development which  develops language... cognitive development is reflected in language. Piaget discovered that cognitive development precedes language and  language reflects cognitive development. His findings showed that the reverse is true. The child perceives the world through a lens which is not ready-made but is constructed through the process of the development of intelligence... 'cognitive development'... which results from the child’s actions of the child on the environment... interaction with the environment. The interiorisation of this interaction forms internal models of reality or 'operational structures' or 'cognitive structures' which form the lens of perception upon which the child acts. 

Piaget was concerned with the development of thought in the child and made a lifetime study of the evolution of consciouness in the developing child.

"On the basis of his observations with children, (Piaget) considered the child 'ready' to learn any subject at any age, providing it is approached at the right level...on the level appropriate to the age and thus the developmental stage of the developing child." "As it interacts with the environment over time from birth onward, the human organism undergoes a progression of decentrations through which the knower becomes increasingly less egocentric and more objective. Acting upon the environment he invents cognitive structures for more adaptive knowing. The practical intelligence of the sensorimotor period is interiorized as representational thought emerges. Continuing to act upon the environment, the growing child constucts complex interrelated mental action systems for processing information. The external world does not impose meaning upon the person, but through assimilation to one's developmental level and the process of autoreguation the person confers meaning upon the environment. Hence, acts of knowing involve the process of mental formations."

He was the first to make the effort  to define stages of moral reasoning in children through actual interviews and through observations of children (in games with rules). rom 1927 Piaget and his associates accumulated thousands of factual and theoretical observations on children's mental development.

Using the interview material, Piaget defined the premoral, conventional or heteronomous, and autonomous levels or 'stages'. At the premoral level the child has no sense of obligation to rules (up to age four)... At the conventional level or the 'heteronomous' stage the child is obedient to rule with obedience to rules (ages four to eight) ...At the autonomous stage the child is actively coinsiderate of with active consideration of rules (ages eight to twelve).

Piaget emphasized the 'primacy of cognitive maturation, guided by various sorts of experience'   As a result he postulated four developmental periods which represent a gradually expanding level of consciousness:.

   Piaget originally trained in zoology (University of Zurich) but with philosophical interests. He combined his interests in zoology and philosophy in a lifelong study of the child’s evolving development of consciousness or mind’.  He was concerned with the development of thought in the child and made a lifetime study of the evolution of consciouness in the developing child. With the same information processing approach to psychology, he set out to answer the question 'what is the origin of knowledge' in terms of cognitive development of children. His aim was to conduct a scientific study of the nature of knowledge in terms of its origins in the development of thinking or ‘cognition’ in the child.

For forty years from 1927 he and his associates conducted interviews and collected thousands of observations – factual and theoretical – on their intellectual and moral development. Careful attempts were made to train them in problem-solving by teaching them new ways to talk about the tasks and concepts involved. It was discovered that the training had no effect unless children had already reached the level of cognitive development required for understanding the concepts which were represented by the new language.  

  Piaget and his colleagues made careful attempts to train children in problem solving by teaching them new ways of talking about particular tasks and concepts.

 The general finding: special linguistic training is of no avail to a child unless his level of cognitive development has already reached the point at which it can embrace the relevant concepts represented by the words.

 Piaget: observations of cognitive developmentPiaget proposed a theory of child development on the basis of the biological ‘equilibrium-disequilibrium-re-equilibration’ model of cognitive development.

 knowledge is not a mirror of the world (traditional paradigm)

   "The child's basic modes of organizing experience are not the direct result of adult teaching or they would be copies of adult thought from the start. The child's behaviour has organizational patterns or 'cognitive structures' of its own. The child's cognitive structures can be described independently of the degree of their correspondence with adult thinking and the adult culture. Mental development or maturation of the human organism involves structural change in intellectual development and includes moral development for ethical behaviour." (Kohlberg)

Piaget postulated four developmental cognitive periods or 'stages' Cognition is always undergoing change and development. Description of stages is meant to be for purposes of convenience only...

Piaget's classification of the cognitive stages is as follows: the 'intuitive' stage (to age seven), the 'concrete operational' stage (from ages seven to twelve) and the 'formal operational' stage (from ages twelve to eighteen). Thinking at the various stages depends on an underlying thought pattern... a mode of organizing experience and thought... an organisational pattern or 'cognitive structure'.  This is the formal structural base of cognitive development.

Development proceeds through four periods or 'stages'. The four stages of maturational development represent gradually expanding levels of consciousness or problem-solving 'intelligence'. The stages were defined in terms of  qualitatively different modes of intellectual and moral reasoning at different ages  – sensorimotor, ‘pre-operational, ‘operational or 'concrete' and ‘formal operational’ or 'formal'. Each new stage does not arise full-blown but arises gradually from the integration and incorporation of earlier stages.

 Stages of cognitive development: 'cognitive stages' At different ages the child goes through qualitatively different modes of thinking with respect to problem-solving i.e. stages of reasoning or 'cognitive stages'.

  The concept of stages implies the following characteristics:

1. Stages are 'structured wholes', or organized systems of thought. Individuals are consistent in level of moral judgement. Each of the different and sequential modes of thought forms a 'structured whole' ...a given stage-response on a task does not just represent a specific response determined by knowledge and familiarity with the task or tasks similar to it.

2. Stages form an 'invariant sequence'. Under all conditions except extreme trauma, movement is always forward never backward. Individuals never skip stages; movement is always to the next stage up... the different modes of thought form an invariant sequence, order, or succession in individual development... cultural factors may speed up, slow down or stop development... they do not change its sequence... The developmentally 'lower' stages are prerequisites of the 'higher' stages; the more complicated higher stages deal more effectively with problems of wider scope and intricacy than do the lower stages. Hence stages are sequenced in a certain order because the earlier stages are less difficult and are attainable before the later stages. Higher stages are said to be 'better' than lower stages in the sense that the higher structural organizations can do a better job in analyzing problems, tracing out implications, and integrating considerations.

3. Stages are 'hierarchical integrations'. Thinking at a higher stage includes or comprehends within it lower-stage thinking. There is a tendency to function at or prefer the highest stage available. The classification of moral judgement into levels and stages of development and behaviour.

 ...Piaget emphasized the maturational development of the child through the stages which he named and defined in terms of 'preoperational', 'operational', and 'formal operational' thinking.

 

3. formal operational - child is capable of abstract reasoning , i.e consider all possibilities, form hypotheses, deduce implications from hypothesses and test them against reality (twelve to eighteen)

 Cognitive stages are hierarchical integrations. Stages form an order of increasingly differentiated and integrated structures to fulfill a common function. ....If the child goes through qualitatively different stages of thought, his basic modes of organizaing experience cannot be the direct result of adult teaching or they would be copies of the adult thought from the start."

  Interaction with the environment is both verbal and nonverbal.

 First stage: sensorimotor period (0-2 years)The ‘sensory-motor  period’ is concerned with the evolution of abilities required for construction and reconstruction of objects and involves an elementary form of reasoning... development of reflexes such as turning in response to light and sound, grasping dangling objects, sucking in response to touching of the lips, crying and waving the arms when startled...stimulus response reflex behaviour.The first is the 'sensory-motor period' (1-2 years). ..development of refelexes such as turning in response to light and sound, grasping dangling objects, sucking in response to touching of the lips, crying and waving the arms when startled...stimulusrespmonse reflex behaviour...

The three cognitive stages are stages of reasoning... tendencies of reasoning at the various stages are 'structural'...  Just as there are stages or directed structural age-changes in the area of cognition ...there are stages or directed structural age-changes in the area of social-personality development...age-development trends in moral judgement have a formal structural base parallel to the structural base of cognitive development... 'cognitive-affective parallelism' Moral judgement has a basic structural component... an underlying thought pattern... modes of organizing experience ...mode of thinking... thought-organization ... Cognitive developmentalists describe the successive elaboration of more complicated and differentiated structures out of simpler ones in terms of 'stages'...tracing out implications, and integrating considerations. Cognitive stages are hierarchical integrations. Stages form an order of increasingly differentiated and integrated structures to fulfill a common function...stages of moral development: .. stages or directed structural age-changes in the area of social-personality development

Second stage: ‘pre-conventional’ stage.. The second is the 'preoperational period' (2-7 years)... by age seven consciousness appears.... preoperational period' or intuitive period  (to ages two to seven) is concerned with the representation of things … symbolic functions. This is the or ‘pre-moral stage ... involves ‘pre-operational thinking’. The child at this stage is motivated by biological and social impulses and has no sense of obligation to rules. Moral value or ‘justice’ is defined in terms of punishment and reward. By age seven consciousness appears... child can make logical inferences, classify, handle quantitative relations about concrete things

Third stage: conventional  stage (from ages seven to twelve)  conventional period (egocentric)  Concrete operational period or ‘heteronomous period’ is concerned with formation of logical inferences, classification, quantitative relationships about concrete things i.e. ‘operational thinking’. At this stage the child is concerned with obedience to rules. The letter of the law is more valued than its purpose....  

The concrete operational stage determines responses to tasks which are not manifestly similar at the level of 'concrete operations', the child has a general tendency to maintain that a physical object conserves its properties of various physical dimensions in spite of apparent perceptual changes. At this stage, the child can classify data, make logical inferences and handle quantitative relations about concrete things. This tendency is 'structural', it is not a specific belief about a specific object but depends on an underlying thought pattern... modes of organizing experience ...mode of thinking...thought - organization ...  both conservation and other aspects of logical operations should appear as a logically and empirically related cluster of responses in development

Fourth stage: Formal operational stage (from ages twelve to eighteen) autonomous period:At this stage the child is capable of abstract reasoning, i.e consider all possibilities, can form hypotheses, deduce implications from hypothesses and test them against reality concerned with abstract reasoning, consideration of possibilities, formation of hypotheses, deduction of implications and testing these against reality i.e. ‘formal operational’ thinking.  At this stage the child is actively considerate of rules.The purpose of the law is more valued than the letter of the law. 

The formal operational stage determines responses to tasks which depend on abstract reasoning. At this stage the child is capable of considering all possibilities 

He referred to John Dewey as "the only modern thinker about education worth taking seriously." (Kohlberg, L., and Turiel,E. "Moral Development and Moral Education." Psychology and Educational Practice, edited by Lesser.G. Chicago il: Scott Foresman, 1971

Kohlberg's method is to record and children's responses...  Kohlberg's viewpoint is structuralist and specifically Piagetian

 Labels for the general concept: Piaget used the expression 'genetic epistemology' and Kohlberg 'cognitive-developmental'

 The classification of moral judgement into levels and stages of development... This is the structuralist viewpoint which is not yet related to the remainder of biology. However, the results will eventually become incorporated into a broadened developmental biology and genetics.

 affective development and functioning and cognitive development and functioning are not distinct realms - they represent different perspectives and contexts in defining structural change... social development is in essence the restructuring of the concept of self in its relationship to concepts of other people ...social cognition involves 'role-taking' awareness that the other is in some way like the self... the direction of social or ego development is always towards an equilibrium or reciprocity between the self's actions and those of others toward the self. In its generalized form this equilibrium is the end point or definer of morality, conceived as principles of justice, etc.... function of stage of cognitive and moral development... in the cognitive-developmental view, morality is a natural product of a universal tendency toward empathy or role taking... toward putting oneself in the shoes of other conscious beings....a product of the universal human concern for justice ...for reciprocity or equality in the relation of one person to another ...function of process of 'role-taking' involves an organized structural relationship between self and other... involves relating to all the roles in the society of which one is a part... role-taking goes on in all social interactions and communication situations... involves the cognitive as well as the affective aspect of understanding ......development of motives and affects are largely mediated by changes in thought patterns... ...cognitive stages imply distinct and qualitative differences in modes of thinking or problem solving at different ages... the child goes through qualitatively different modes or stages of thought...

According to the cognitive-developmental theory of learning, cognitive development involves the organism's motives and affects... This is the 'indisociable nature of affect (emotion derived from interest... 'curiosity') and cognition'  "There exists no pure cognition without affect, just as affect cannot arise in a vaccuum without being chanelled by cognitive structuration... cognition and affect together determine the mental state. The purest act of cognition relies upon interest from the affective side to energize it. An emotion generated from within the moral sphere will derive its meaning to the individual from the sociocognitive stage of moral development that he is at." (Kohlberg)

 Kohlberg

An understanding of Kohlberg's work depends on an acquaintance with Piaget's research and observations on moral development..

Kohlberg (Harvard) built on the insights of Piaget and the educational views of John Dewey.

Dewey postulated three levels of moral development: 1. the 'premoral' or 'preconventional' level of "behavior motivated by biological and social impulses with results for morals" 2. the 'conventional' level of behavior "in which the individual accepts with little critical reflection the standards of his group" and 3. the 'autonomous' level of behavior in which "conduct is guided by the individual thinking and judging for himself whether a purpose is good and does not accept the standard of his group without reflection."

"The cognitive-developmental approach was fully stated for the first time by John Dewey. The approach is called 'cognitive' because it recognizes that moral education, like intellectual education, has its basis in stimulating the active thinking of the child about moral issues and decisions. It is called 'developmental' because it sees the aims of moral education as movement through moral stages. Dewey's thinking about moral stages was theoretical." (Lawrence Kohlberg "The Cognitive Developmental Approach to Moral Education" chapter 12 in Moral Education: It Comes With the Territory (Ed) David Purpel and Kevin Ryan, Berkeley,CA: McCutchen Publishing Co. 1976, 176-177)

"The aim of education is growth and development, both intellectual and moral. Ethical and psychological principles can aid the school in the greatest of all constructions - the building of a free and powerful character. Only knowledge of the order and connection of the stages in psychological development can insure this. Education is the work of supplying the conditions which will enable the psychological functions to mature in the freest and fullest manner." (John Dewey What Psychology Can Do for the Tearcher John Dewey on Education: Selected Writings, edited by Reginald Archambault. New York: Random House 1964)

 Kohlberg delineated six sequential stages of ethical reasoning through which an individual may progress as part of his mental maturation. According to Kohlberg's classification of moral judgement there are three levels for the basis of moral judgement....definition of moral value... Each level comprises two stages of moral development regarding the individual's concept of 'justice'... six moral stages ... stages of moral reasoning in children ...

 Structural age changes of moral development:      COGNITIVE-DEVELOPMENTAL THEORY OF MORAL DEVELOPMENT:  STAGES OF ETHICAL REASONING OR 'socio-cognitive stages'

Moral development  can be described in terms of the successive elaboration of increasingly complicated and differentiated integrated cognitive structures out of simpler ones i.e. moral stages or sociocognitive stages'. Sociocognitive stages are stages of moral reasoning . the stages of moral development, are modes of moral judgement and moral behaviour. . The sociocognitive stages are different and sequential modes of thinking... organized systems of thought or 'modes of thought'... modes of thought-organization which form 'structured wholes'... structural organizations ...... stages are 'hierarchical integrations'... modes of organizing experience... modes of moral or 'ethical reasoning'. Cognitive stages imply distinct and qualitative differences in modes of thinking about solutions to the same problem. They represent different ways of tracing out implications and integrating considerations. In individual development the different stages form an order, or succession which is not changed - an 'invariant sequence'. Stages are not skipped and the sequence is not changed by cultural factors though it may be speeded up, slowed down or stopped  Movement is always upward except under extreme traumatic conditions. The earlier developmentally 'lower stages' are less difficult and are attainable before the later more complicated 'higher stages'. The higher stages deal more effectively with problems of wider scope and intricacy than do the lower stages. They do a better job of analyzing and solving problems. Thinking at a higher stage includes lower-stage thinking. The individual prefers to function at the highest stage available... is consistent on a given level of moral judgement. As part of mental maturation, an individual progresses through six sequential sociocognitive stages of moral development... stages of moral reasoning.

      

According to the cognitive-developmental theory of mora l development or 'morality', moral judgement has a basic structural component, an underlying thought pattern, a mode of moral reasoning which is a function of the sociocognitive stage of moral development. The approach is called 'cognitive' because it recognizes that moral education, like intellectual education, has its basis in stimulating the active thinking of the child about moral issues and decisions.The approach is called 'developmental' because moral education is seen as movement through stages - the moral stages or sociocognitive stages. The stages involve the cognitive as well as the affective aspect of understanding. The age-development stages of moral development are parallel to the age-development stages of cognition... This is known as 'cognitive-affective parallelism'.  

"The existence of moral stages implies that moral development has a basic structural component. While motives and affects are involved in moral development, the development of these motives and affects are largely mediated by changes in thought patterns." (Lawrence Kohlberg. Stage and Sequence: The Cognitive-Developmental Approach to Socialization. In D.A. Goslin (ed.) Handbook of Socialization Theory and Research. Chicago: Rand McNally 1969, page 390).                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      

During the growth process of moral development...in children.. 'mental maturation', the individual progresses through six sequential sociocognitive stages of moral  or 'ethical' reasoning according to the classification of Lawrence Kohlberg  based on s research and observations of Jean Piaget. The six moral stages can be divided into classes of three levels of moral development. Each level comprises two stages. Each stage is described in terms of a concept of 'justice' as the basis for forming social contracts.

Implications for education:

Educator as 'facilitator'. The function of the educator as facilitator is to foster to facilitate the development of the stages - to stage 6 - in the development of conscience for mature moral judgement.
 

 Ethical and psychological principles can aid the school in the greatest of all constructions - the building of a free and powerful character. The principles of the cognitive-developmental theory of moral development  provide the foundation for education of character. Only knowledge of the order and connection of the stages in psychological development - the sociocognitive stages - can insure this. Education is the work of supplying the conditions which will enable the psychological functions to mature in the freeest and fullest manner... to stimulate development step by step through the stages... To foster stage development, chil...
 

Education based on the knowledge of the sociocognitive stages is the work of supplying the necessary conditions for mental maturation in the social context of freedom and responsibility...  encourages self-responsibility, self-discipline, freedom of expression, opportunities to take responsibility, make decisions ... depends on a social environment which stimulates development step by step through the stages.

The individual prefers to function at the highest stage available... To foster stage development, children must be exposed to a stage of reasoning at least one stage higher than the stage which they have reached.

 The natural development of morality is directly connected to the process of natural or 'holistic' learning which engages development of the conscience.

The age-changes (age-development trends) of moral development have a formal structural base (a basic structural component) which is parallel to (corresponds with) the basic structural component of cognitive development. The stages of moral development together make up a system of increasingly differentiated and integrated structures fulfilling a common function - a system of 'hierarchical integrations'. Each of the different stages of moral development is a separate organized system or 'mode' of thought which forms a 'structured whole'. The successive stages of moral development form the basis of human personality development and behaviour. Six sequential modes of thought or 'stages' have been described for the development of ethical reasoning through which the human organism progresses as part of its mental maturation i.e. 'sociocognitive stages'. During development, the stages occur in same sequence... move from a primary dependence on external controls and sanctions to an increasingly sophisticated set of internalized standards. There is no variation in the sequential order of stages - no stage is skipped. Movement is always forward and never backward under all conditions - except under conditions of extreme trauma. Development always progresses from one stage to the next one up. They occur in a succession which is invariant. Cultural factors may speed up, slow down or stop development but they do not change its sequence. The developmentally 'lower' stages are prerequisites of the 'higher' stages; the more complicated higher stages deal more effectively with problems of wider scope and intricacy than do the lower stages. Hence stages are sequenced in a certain order because the earlier stages are less difficult and are attainable before the later stages. Higher stages are said to be 'better' than lower stages in the sense that the higher structural organizations can do a better job in analyzing problems, tracing out implications, and integrating considerations. The individual's thinking at one particular stage comprehends thinking of stages below it. Thinking at a higher stage includes or comprehends within it lower-stage thinking. The individual functions at the highest stage possible. Although individuals in the various stages are consistent in their level of moral development, they tend to prefer to think and to function at the highest stage which is possible for them.

                  COGNITIVE-DEVELOPMENTAL THEORY OF MORAL DEVELOPMENT:  STAGES OF ETHICAL REASONING OR 'SOCIOCOGNITIVE STAGES'

theme: Biology of ethics in terms of the natural development of moral consciousness or 'morality' of 'social intelligence' i.e. 'moral development'...  Moral development is a function of stages of ethical reasoning... the successive elaboration of complicated and differentiated cognitive structures out of simpler ones... i.e. moral stages or 'sociocognitive stages'. Sociocognitive stages... an order of increasingly differentiated and integrated structures for fulfilling a common function... are the product of the process of natural or 'holistic' learning. Cognitive and moral development go together... natural development of morality is a function of the process of education of the person as a whole i.e. 'holistic education'.

"The existence of moral stages implies that moral development has a basic structural component. While motives and affects are involved in moral development, the development of these motives and affects are largely mediated by changes in thought patterns." (Lawrence Kohlberg. Stage and Sequence: The Cognitive-Developmental Approach to Socialization. In D.A. Goslin (ed.) Handbook of Socialization Theory and Research. Chicago: Rand McNally 1969, page 390).                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Moral development  Moral development can be described in terms of the successive elaboration of increasingly complicated and differentiated integrated cognitive structures out of simpler ones i.e. moral stages or 'sociocognitive stages'. The sociocognitive stages are different and sequential modes of thinking... organized systems of thought or 'modes of thought'... modes of thought-organization which form 'structured wholes'... structural organizations ...... modes of organizing experience... modes of moral or 'ethical reasoning'...and moral judgement. Cognitive stages imply distinct and qualitative differences in modes of thinking about solutions to the same problem. They represent different ways of tracing out implications and integrating considerations. In individual development the different stages form an order, or succession which is not changed - an 'invariant sequence'. Stages are not skipped and the sequence is not changed though it may be speeded up, slowed down or stopped by cultural factors. Movement is always upward except under extreme traumatic conditions
Sociocognitive stages are the stages of moral reasoning in children - the stages of moral development, moral judgement and moral behaviour. According to the classification of Lawrence Kohlberg (based on s research and observations Piaget... there are six sociocognitive stages.

Individual behaviour is consistent with stage of moral development  The behaviour of an individual is consistent with the stage of moral judgement which they have reached. During the growth process of moral development... 'mental maturation'... the individual progresses through six sequential sociocognitive stages of ethical reasoning.

 The six moral stages can be divided into classes of three levels of moral development. Each level comprises two stages. Each stage is described in terms of a concept of 'justice'...as empathy or role-taking (care)... as the basis for forming social contracts. The earlier developmentally 'lower stages' are less difficult and are attainable before the later more complicated 'higher stages'. The higher stages deal more effectively with problems of wider scope and intricacy than do the lower stages. They do a better job of analyzing and solving problems. Thinking at a higher stage includes lower-stage thinking. 

Stages are 'hierarchical integrations'.

During the growth process of moral development... 'mental maturation', the individual progresses through six sequential sociocognitive stages of ethical reasoning.

First level comprises the first and second stages (up to age four). .results for morals The first level of social or moral development and behaviour comprises the first and second stages and is called the 'preconventional' or 'premoral' level. At the premoral level, the concept of justice is defined in terms of the equal exchange of punishment and reward ... The individual is motivated by biological and social impulses with with no sense of obligation to rules. In the first stage, moral value is defined by obedience to rules and authority in order to avoid punishment. In the second stage, moral value is defined by conformity to the practice of equal exchange of favors and goods in order to obtain rewards.

Second level  conventional level of moral development comprises the third and fourth stages (ages four to eight). The second level of behaviour which comprises the third and fourth stages of moral development is the 'heteronomous' or 'conventional' level. At the conventional level, the concept of justice is defined in terms of treating people as they desire in terms of the conventional rules... the equal exchange of favors and goods. with obedience to rules ...moral value resides in filling the correct roles, in maintaining order and meeting the expectations of others... The individual has a sense of obligation and obedience to conventional rules for treating people as they desire and accepts with little critical reflection the standards of the group. In the third stage, moral value is defined by maintenance of the social order by filling the correct roles and meeting the expectations of others... conformity to avoid dislike and rejection by others i.e. the 'good-boy orientation'. In the fourth stage, moral value is defined by conformity to shared standards, rights and duties... to expectations in order to avoid dislike followed by censure by authority disruption of order, rejection by others and resulting guilt i.e 'duty orientation'.

Third level comprises the fifth and sixth stages (ages eight to twelve). The third level of behaviour which comprises the fifth and sixth stages of moral development is the 'autonomous' level  At the autonomous level, the concept of justice is defined in terms of the active consideration of moral value of rules... conformity to a set of given standards, rights and duties which are shared by the members of the group. The individual is guided by their own thinking and judging for themselves  whether a purpose is good and does not accept the standard of its group without reflection...

The individual recognizes that arbitrary rules and laws are the result of a social contract between the governors and the governed ...that they were designed to protect the equal rights of all... accepts them in order to maintain the common good. In the fifth stage, moral value is defined by the recognition of the value of contracts....and active consideration of rules ... and the necessity of arbitrariness in formation of the rules to maintain the common good... 'legalistic orientation'. In the sixth stage, moral value is defined by conscience with primary allegiance to the principles of choice, which can overrule law in cases where the law is judged to do more harm than good. The organism recognizes that personally chosen moral principles are also principles of justice. The chosen principles are the same which any members of the society would choose if they did not know what their status would be, even if they would be the most disadvantaged... the organism is guided by its own thinking and judging for itself whether a purpose is good and does not accept the standard of its group without reflection... depends on its own developed conscience for the guiding principles of ethical behaviour... 'principle orientation'. .. also 'conscience orientation'.

The individual prefers to function at the highest stage available... To foster stage development, children must be exposed to a stage of reasoning at least one stage higher than the stage which they have reached.                  

Children reach stage six if they are educated in a social environment which encourages self-responsibility, self-discipline, freedom of expression, opportunities to take responsibility, make decisions etc.

Implications for education: COGNITIVE APPROACH TO MORAL EDUCATION

Educator as 'facilitator'. The function of the educator as facilitator is to foster the development of the stages in the development of conscience for mature moral judgement...

 
The approach is called 'cognitive' because it recognizes that moral education, like intellectual education, has its basis in stimulating the active thinking of the child about moral issues and decisions.The approach is called 'developmental' because moral education is seen as movement through stages - the moral stages or sociocognitive stages. The stages involve the cognitive as well as the affective aspect of understanding. The age-development stages of moral development are parallel to the age-development stages of cognition... This is known as 'cognitive-affective parallelism'.  

 Ethical and psychological principles can aid the school in the greatest of all constructions - the building of a free and powerful character. The principles of the cognitive-developmental theory of moral development  provide the foundation for education of character. Only knowledge of the order and connection of the stages in psychological development - the sociocognitive stages - can insure this. Education is the work of supplying the conditions which will enable the psychological functions to mature in the freeest and fullest manner... to stimulate development step by step through the stages... To foster stage development, chilthe function of the educator is to facilitate the development of the stages - to stage 6 - development of conscience for mature moral judgement.
 

Responsible education for construction of free and powerful character, is based on the knowledge of the sociocognitive stages. Education as the work of supplying the necessary conditions for mental maturation in the social context of freedom and responsibility... which encourages self-responsibility, self-discipline, freedom of expression, opportunities to take responsibility, make decisions ... depends on a social environment which stimulates development step by step through the stages.

The individual prefers to function at the highest stage available... To foster stage development, children must be exposed to a stage of reasoning at least one stage higher than the stage which they have reached.

The function of the educator as facilitator is to foster the development of the stages in the development of conscience for mature moral judgement.

 The natural development of morality is directly connected to the process of natural or 'wholistic' learning. conscience..

 Connection between moral education and sociocognitive stage According to the cognitive-developmental theory of moral development or 'morality', moral judgement has a basic structural component, an underlying thought pattern, a mode of moral reasoning which is a function of the sociocognitive stage of moral development


The moral or 'sociocognitive' stages are different and sequential modes of thinking, modes of thought, modes of thought-organization which form a 'structured whole'. Moral stages are structural organizations ...organized systems of thought, modes of organizing experience, modes of moral or 'ethical reasoning', modes of moral judgement.
Cognitive stages imply distinct and qualitative differences in modes of thinking about solutions of the same problem. They represent different ways of tracing out implications and integrating considerations. In individual development the different stages form an order, or succession which is not changed - an 'invariant sequence'. Stages are not skipped. The sequence is not changed by cultural factors though it may be speeded up, slowed down or stopped. Except under extreme traumatic conditions, movement is always upward. The behaviour of the individual is consistent with the given level of moral judgement which has been reached.
The earlier developmentally 'lower' stages are less difficult and are attainable before the later more complicated 'higher' stages. The higher stages deal more effectively with problems of wider scope and intricacy than do the lower stages. They do a better job of analyzing and solving problems. Thinking at a higher stage includes or comprehends within it lower-stage thinking. Stages are 'hierarchical integrations'. During the growth process of 'mental maturation', the individual progresses through six sequential sociocognitive stages of moral development and moral or ethical reasoning. The six moral stages can be divided into classes of three levels of moral development. Each level comprises two stages. Each stage is described in terms of a concept of 'justice' as the basis for forming social contracts.
The individual prefers to function at the highest stage available... is consistent on a given level of moral judgement. As part of mental maturation, an individual progresses through six sequential sociocognitive stages of moral development... stages of moral reasoning. The six moral stages can be divided into classes of three levels of moral development. Each level comprises two stages. Each stage is described in terms of a concept of 'justice' as the basis for forming social contracts.



implications for education: Importance of educational environment in stimulating the step by step process of mental maturation through the parallel stages of cognitive and moral development (moral development is a function of cognitive development)

  The principles of the cognitive-developmental theory of moral development provide the foundation for education of character: 'cognitive-developmental value education' Responsible education for construction of free and powerful character, is based on the knowledge of the oral development.

 Education is the work of supplying the necessary conditions for mental maturation in the social context of freedom and responsibility... which encourages self-responsibility, self-discipline, freedom of expression, opportunities to take responsibility, make decisions ... a social environment which stimulates development step by step through the sociocognitive stages.

According to the 'cognitive-developmentalist' approach to value education.. cognitive-developmental theory of learning and development of morality... moral education should not be aimed at teaching some specific set of morals but should be concerned with developing the organizational structures by which one analyzes, interprets and makes decisions about social problems... education must be aimed at development of capabilities in decision making and problem solving... Aims of education are conceptualized not in terms of specific performances but in terms of cognitive development and 'cognitive structures'which provide the framework for the individual's interpretation of affective experiences.

Moral development involves basic transformations of cognitive structure which must be defined by parameters of organizational wholes or systems of internal relations...development of cognitive structure is the result of processes of interaction between the organism and the structure of the environment... cognitive structures are always structures of action...the direction of development of cognitive structure is toward greater equilibrium in the organism-environment interaction... a balance in interaction which represents truth logic, knowledge or adaptation...

 The approach is called 'cognitive' because it aims to stimulate active thinking about moral issues and decisions. It is called 'developmental' because it aims for progression through moral stages... 'sociocognitive stages'. The stages involve the cognitive as well as the affective aspect of understanding. The age-development stages of moral development are parallel to the age-development stages of cognition...known as 'cognitive-affective parallelism'.

School's function of socialisation ...make a school in which children are allowed freedom to be themselves... 'freedom' entails a sense of responsibility to the community. The educational use of the 'hidden curriculum'...is to bring the dialogue of justice into the classroom. The aim ...goal of education is growth and development, both intellectual and moral. Curriculum based on knowledge of developmental stages.

Education is the work of supplying the conditions which will enable the psychological functions to mature in the freest and fullest manner... Ethical and psychological principles can aid the school in the greatest of all constructions - the building of a free and powerful character. Only knowledge of the order and connection of the stages in psychological development can insure this...(first stage: obedience to rules to avoid punishment; second stage: equal exchage of favours and goods; third stage 'good-boy orientation'; fourth stage: 'duty orientation'; fifth stage: 'legalistic orientation'; sixth stage: 'principle orientation'... moral consciousness or 'conscience'.)  To foster stage development, children must be exposed to stages of reasoning higher than their current stage... Children reach stage six if they are educated in a caring social environment in which they are  given opportunities to take responsibility for themselves and encouraged to make decisions... if they are given the freedom to concentrate on their own interests and thus cultivate their own self-discipline... if they are allowed  freedom of expression so that they can build on their own self-confidence...

 Educator as 'facilitator': The function of the educator as facilitator is to foster the development of the stages in the development of conscience for mature moral judgement. The educator’s responsibility is to respect the child’s own efforts to strive for a more stable equilibrium in dealing with their world. Their active learning involves interaction with the learning environment which must be prepared appropriately to correspond to their stage of development. In this context education is a matter of offering optimal conditions for effective learning... conditions which allow children to take responsibility for their own growth through learning i.e. ‘optimalearning'.

 Education involves the child’s growth and development as well as norms of socialisation - social, intellectual and moral values. The child is an actively participant in the learning process ... the process of constructing meaning is 'learning'... 

 holistic education... Cognition and affect together determine the stage of moral development or 'mental state'. Role of the teacher is defined as 'facilitator of learning'.

COGNITIVE - DEVELOPMENT AND MORAL STAGES

DEVELOPMENT OF MORALITY IS DEVELOPMENT OF SOCIAL INTELLIGENCE...Morality is a function of social intelligence.

COGNITIVE - DEVELOPMENTAL THEORY OF LEARNNG

References

 Slobin

Inhelder, B., Bovet, M. Sinclair, H. & Smock, C.D. 'On Cognitive development. American Psychologist, 1966, 21, 160-164.

Barger, Robert A Summary of Lawrence Kohlberg's Stages of Moral Development  University Notre Dame, Notre Dame Indiana  2000

 Piaget, Jean. The Moral Judgement of the Child. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1932. The Free Press: New York 1965

Behaviour  and Evolution (1976)

The Development of Thought (1977)

Adaptation and Intelligence (1980)

 Kohlberg, Lawrence "The Cognitive Developmental Approach to Moral Education" chapter 12 in Moral Education: It Comes With the Territory (Ed) David Purpel and Kevin Ryan, Berkeley,CA: McCutchen Publishing Co. 1976

Rosen H. The Development of Sociomoral Knowledge: A Cognitive -Structural Approach. New York: Columbia University Press, 1980.

 Carl Jung (1875-1961) Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung spent half a century of passionate and painstaking research in an attempt to provide a psychological definition of the human psyche in terms of the symbol in the world of dreams, art, mythology, religion and philosophy. Much of his time was devoted to the teachings of the medieval European alchemists who searched for the wholeness of the personality and the 'indestructible essence of the soul'.The question which concerned him most was one going back to Rousseau and ultimately to Plato - how does one free a child and shape him at the same time? (In the light of the present inquiry one could answer his question in terms of the definition of education as a process of shaping children for a future of freedom as 'self-empowerment'... freedom of thought or inner freedom. One can only shape the child for a future of freedom if the child is the allowed the freedom to develop their human potential of complete 'humanness' as in transcendant 'self-actualsation'. There is no dichotomy between children's freedom and the necessity of shaping them for the future if that future is one of freedom in the sense of effective adaptability to changing environmental conditions i.e. 'self-empowerment'. The problem is a 'pseudoproblem')

The foundation of morality is care or empathy.

MORAL DEVELOPMENT: PERSONALITY DEVELOPMENT AS SYSTEM OF DEVELOPMENTAL STAGES

 theme: Moral development or development of 'morality' is a natural learning process.

The child's basic modes of organizing experience are not the direct result of adult teaching or they would be copies of adult thought from the start. The child's behaviour has organizational patterns or 'cognitive structures' of its own. The child's cognitive structures can be described independently of the degree of their correspondence with adult thinking and the adult culture. Mental development or maturation of the human organism involves structural change in intellectual development and includes moral development for ethical behaviour. Moral development is the development of morality and morality is the source of human values, the guiding principles for human behaviour. As the source of values, morality provides the security for survival of the human organism in a social context. In a changing social environment, the human organism depends for survival on intelligent judgement - intelligent value choices - intelligent morality - social intelligence. The structural development of morality as a process of survival value to the organism is a product of processes of interaction between the organism and the structure of the environment and thus involves the evolutionary process of natural selection. As a product of evolution, the development of morality is based on the promotion of thought and behaviour - acts of 'social cognition' - which favours greater equilibrium, reciprocity, balance or 'adaptation' in the interaction between organism and environment. For the human individual, it is adaptation as equilibrium in the organism-environment interaction which in its generalized form defines morality.

Morality favours the adaptation of the human organism as a social organism functioning in a social environment... favours the adaptation of the self to others toward the self. Morality is manifest in adaptive thought and behaviour patterns which are represented by acts of social cognition referred to as the human 'values' of justice, truth, beauty, logic, knowledge and so on. The human value of justice involves empathic awareness i.e. putting oneself in another's shoes and understanding the other as in some way like oneself. Empathy is a natural human concern for reciprocity or equality in the relation of one person to another. The natural human concern for justice involves an understanding of all the roles in the society of which one is a member. Morality is a natural product of a universal tendency toward justice - a natural process which takes place in all social interactions and communication situations. As a process of the natural development of morality, moral development is a natural learning process of social development. As a learning process, moral development involves basic transformations of cognitive structure. Moral development is in essence a basic process of intellectual development which involves the restructuring and transformation of cognitive structures. Moral development is defined in terms of organizational systems of the concept of oneself and its relationship to one's concepts of other people. This is the 'social-personality' dimension of personality development.

Personality development involves the successive restructuring and elaboration of cognitive structures from simpler structures into more complicated and differentiated ones. The successive elaboration of cognitive structres can be described in terms of directed structural age-changes in the organism's social-personality development. The structural age-changes or 'sociocognitive stages' can be used to describe the process of social-personality development which includes human moral development. And a description of human moral development can be used to describe human social behaviour.

The stages in the area of social-personality - the sociocognitive stages - are parallel with the stages of development of cognition - the 'cognitive stages'. The cognitive stages imply distinct and qualitative differences in modes of thinking with respect to problem-solving. At different ages the child goes through qualitatively different modes or stages of thought. The cognitive stages are stages of reasoning classified by Piaget as the intuitive (to age seven), the concrete operational (from ages seven to twelve) and the formal operational (from ages twelve to eighteen). The concrete operational which determines responses to tasks which are not manifestly similar. At this stage, the child can classify data, make logical inferences and handle quantitative relations about concrete things. In the formal operational stage, the child is capable of abstract reasoning, i.e is capable of considering all possibilities, can form hypotheses, deduce implications from hypotheses and test them against reality. Thinking at the various stages are not a matter of belief. For example at the level of 'concrete operations', the child has a general tendency to maintain that a physical object conserves its properties of various physical dimensions in spite of apparent perceptual changes. This tendency is not based on a specific belief. The tendency is 'structural' i.e. it depends on an underlying thought pattern.. a mode of organizing experience and thought. The structural age-changes (age-development trends) in moral judgement have a formal structural base which is parallel to the formal structural base of cognitive development. Moral development and cognitive development are different aspects of development of the human organism in the growth process of socialization... affective development and functioning and cognitive development and functioning are not distinct realms - they represent different perspectives and contexts in defining structural change. Age-development trends in moral judgement have a formal structural base... a basic structural component which is parallel to... corresponds with ...the basic structural component of cognition... the structural base of age-development trends in cognitive development. In other words, the stages in area of social-personality are developed along with structural age-changes in the area of cognition. Cognitive and moral development unfold together during the stages of intellectual and social development. During social-personality development, the sociocognitive stages parallel the cognitive stages. This parallel development of cognition and social-personality is known as 'cognitive-affective parallelism'. As a result of cognitive-affective parallelism, an individual experiencing an emotion which is generated from within the moral sphere derives meaning or 'interprets' from the point of view of the sociocognitive stage of moral development which he has reached.

 

The stages in the area of social-personality - the sociocognitive stages - are parallel with the stages of development of cognition - the 'cognitive stages'. The cognitive stages imply distinct and qualitative differences in modes of thinking with respect to problem-solving. At different ages the child goes through qualitatively different modes or stages of thought. The cognitive stages are stages of reasoning classified by Piaget as the intuitive (to age seven), the concrete operational (from ages seven to twelve) and the formal operational (from ages twelve to eighteen). The concrete operational which determines responses to tasks which are not manifestly similar. At this stage, the child can classify data, make logical inferences and handle quantitative relations about concrete things. In the formal operational stage, the child is capable of abstract reasoning, i.e is capable of considering all possibilities, can form hypotheses, deduce implications from hypotheses and test them against reality. Thinking at the various stages are not a matter of belief. For example at the level of 'concrete operations', the child has a general tendency to maintain that a physical object conserves its properties of various physical dimensions in spite of apparent perceptual changes. This tendency is not based on a specific belief. The tendency is 'structural' i.e. it depends on an underlying thought pattern.. a mode of organizing experience and thought. The structural age-changes (age-development trends) in moral judgement have a formal structural base which is parallel to the formal structural base of cognitive development. Moral development and cognitive development are different aspects of development of the human organism in the growth process of socialization... affective development and functioning and cognitive development and functioning are not distinct realms - they represent different perspectives and contexts in defining structural change. Age-development trends in moral judgement have a formal structural base... a basic structural component which is parallel to... corresponds with ...the basic structural component of cognition... the structural base of age-development trends in cognitive development. In other words, the stages in area of social-personality are developed along with structural age-changes in the area of cognition. Cognitive and moral development unfold together during the stages of intellectual and social development. During social-personality development, the sociocognitive stages parallel the cognitive stages. This parallel development of cognition and social-personality is known as 'cognitive-affective parallelism'. As a result of cognitive-affective parallelism, an individual experiencing an emotion which is generated from within the moral sphere derives meaning or 'interprets' from the point of view of the sociocognitive stage of moral development which he has reached.

 The stages of moral development together make up a system of increasingly differentiated and integrated structures fulfilling a common function - a system of 'hierarchical integrations'. Each of the different stages of moral development is a separate organized system or 'mode' of thought which forms a 'structured whole'. The successive stages of moral development form the basis of human personality development and behaviour. Six sequential modes of thought or stages have been described for the development of ethical reasoning through which the human organism progresses as part of its mental maturation. During development, the stages move from a primary dependence on external controls and sanctions to an increasingly sophisticated set of internalized standards. There is no variation in the sequential order of stages - no stage is skipped. Movement is always forward and never backward under all conditions - except under condition of extreme trauma. Development always progresses from one stage to the next one up. They occur in a succession which is invariant. Cultural factors may speed up, slow down or stop development but they do not change its sequence. The developmentally 'lower' stages are prerequisites of the 'higher' stages; the more complicated higher stages deal more effectively with problems of wider scope and intricacy than do the lower stages. Hence stages are sequenced in a certain order because the earlier stages are less difficult and are attainable before the later stages. Higher stages are said to be 'better' than lower stages in the sense that the higher structural organizations can do a better job in analyzing problems, tracing out implications, and integrating considerations. The individual's thinking at one particular stage comprehends thinking of stages below it. Thinking at a higher stage includes or comprehends within it lower-stage thinking. Although individuals in the various stages are consistent in their level of moral development, they tend to prefer to think and to function at the highest stage which is possible for them. Cognition and affect together determine the mental state. There is no pure cognition without affect chanelled by cognitive structuration. The purest act of cognition relies upon interest from the affective mental component to energize it. This is the indisociable nature of affect and cognition. Together they form the basis for meaningful education which emphasizes the affective as well as the cognitive aspect of learning. The direction of development of cognitive structures is determined by a process of interaction between the organism and the environment in an educational environment which stimulates the step by step process of mental maturation through the parallel stages of cognitive and moral development