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What is morality? What does it mean to us? How does the child achieve morality? These questions have been the main starting point of many scientists and researchers who have worked in different fields so far and led them to study moral development. In this article, I wanted to give you information about the moral development of children and show you what you, as families and educators, can do about it.
Let us start with the question n What is morality? Öncelikle. Morality can be explained by a general definition; “It is the process of accepting the value judgments of the society in which the child lives and continuing to learn the good and the bad while socializing while the child starts in the first years of his life and continues throughout his life”. In this way, morality continues to exist in every section of our lives as certain values or rules from the beginning of our lives.
Kohlberg *, who has signed an important study on this subject, explains the moral development as follows:
stage 1: Punishment and obedience: In this stage, the accuracy and inaccuracy of the behavior are examined. For example, the child is punished if he has made a moral mistake, not if he has done the right thing.
Stage 2: Although it has pre-tradition features, the second stage shows more advanced features than the first stage. These characteristics arise from the child's new mental and role-playing abilities. In this phase, eye to eye is dominant. The rules are followed as long as they meet the need. Everything is mutual for the individual in this period.
Stage 3: In this phase, interpersonal harmony or “good girl, good boy” orientation is good behavior, pleasing others, helping them and being liked by them. There is a stereotypic compromise with the behavior of the majority or with natural behavior. It is important to be appreciated as polite. At this stage the good citizen must pay taxes; the good child follows the rules set by the parents and acts accordingly.
Stage 4: Law and rule orientation. The tendency towards obeying authority and rules and fulfilling the demands of the society has started. The reason for following the rules is to preserve the social system. The individual in this period argues that the student should not copy, because cheating is against the rules.
Stage 5: Good action is defined according to norms accepted by the whole society. Agreements are not considered “good” or “bad çe unless they conflict with fundamental human rights such as life and freedom. Agreements that violate fundamental rights are void in moral terms, even if the parties voluntarily entered them.
Stage 6: In the phase of universal principles, personal moral values are based on abstract characteristics according to social rules.
According to experts, the first two stages of moral development cover only childhood, while the other parts begin with adolescence (as the abstract thinking skill develops, transition to other stages begins) and include a process that lasts until the end of human life.
What can families do?
• Most moral development theories emphasize the importance of family and early educators. Because the moral development of children is directly proportional to the moral development of the people around them in the first years. In other words, children follow and adopt the moral understanding of the people around them. For this reason, the fact that the examples that children see are successful models will support their moral development positively.
• Experts argue that the models of families' discipline of their children also play a major role in moral development. Because this type of discipline, the child leads to poor relations with the outside world, and the child motivates him to protect himself with violence. Experts argue that violence and moral development are inversely proportional, arguing that the child's attitudes will adversely affect his or her moral development.
* Who is Kohlberg?
Lowrence Kohlberg was born in Bronxville, New York in 1927 and studied at the University of Chicago.
trained. His doctoral review in 1958 was the study of new level theories on morality (www.faculty.plts.edu). Kohlberg is one of the researchers who focuses on cognitive factors in moral development and develops the concept of development accordingly.
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