Other formats

    Adobe Portable Document Format file (facsimile images)   TEI XML file   ePub eBook file  


    mail icontwitter iconBlogspot iconrss icon

Salient. Victoria University Student Newspaper. Vol 35 no. 15. 1972


What is the role to be played by educators in the formation of morals? What should the prime goal of the educator be? What methods are being employed to further moral education?

These are some of the questions discussed recently at a Seminar held by the Head Teachers Association, concerning the role of moral judgement in the education system.

The principal speaker at the Seminar, Dr. John Nicholls (Department of Education, V.U.W.) hit this somewhat staid group with Lawrence Kohlberg's theories on the stages of moral development, which most students of Education will be familiar with. Briefly this system divides moral development into three levels — the pre-conventional, the conventional, and the post-conventional. These groups being in turn divided into six stages. Stage I focuses on punishment and obedience orientation; Stage II on instrumental relativist orientation, both these stages fitting into the prep-conventional level. At the conventional level, conformity and its maintenance form the basis of the two stages — Stage III focussing on interpersonal concordance or "good boy - nice girl" orientation, and Stage IV on "law and order" orientation. The post-conventional level can also be divided into two stages — Stage V, social-contract orientation, and Stage VI universal ethical-principle orientation. The practical relativity of these theories to those present at the Seminar was to see at what level the child is reasoning, and in so doing create a frame of reference to explain their actions and reactions.