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Compare and contrast two theories that account for the child’s development of morality.

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Introduction

Compare and contrast two theories that account for the child's development of morality. Jean Piaget is recognised as the pioneer researcher of moral development in children. His cognitive developmental approach to morality begins with the assumption that the child's mind has its own structure. Piaget also assumed that this structure was unique within each child and proceeded through a precise sequence or order. According to Piaget the early stages focus on what the child can see and hear, whereas the later stages involve the ability to sense in a non-figurative way about possible events that would never occur. Piaget believed that children build their own framework of moral and judgmental constructs centred on their sense of justice. Piaget began to develop his ideas about moral reasoning by playing marbles with children of different ages. By playing marbles with the children he was mainly concerned about how well the children comprehended the rules of marbles, how important they thought it was to oblige by the rules and so on. ...read more.

Middle

Piaget said that the children would believe in "expiatory punishment" and "immanent justice". Expiatory punishment is when the behaviour of the child is proportional to the punishment. Saying this I mean if the child misbehaves severely than the punishment he would receive would be equal to the behaviour. Secondly children in this stage strongly favour notion of fairness. Therefore the child would think every time they misbehave they would get punished. It can be said that heteronomous morality tends to maintain a state of equilibrium that requires no resolution and that would result in a lack of personal growth. Referring to the marbles game Piaget realised that the children would begin to take this game more socially. The children would know the rules but due to the authority figures they would not be able to change the rules of the game. The third stage (10 years up) of moral development is called autonomous morality. ...read more.

Conclusion

Also Piaget noted that the children tended to become more mature because if they the children themselves wanted to change the rules of the game they could do that as long as everyone playing mutually agrees. They children became more mature because mutual respect for one another and also because there was no authority figure to interfere with their rational rules. Therefore it can be said that this form of morality tends to create states of disequilibrium that are resolved while creating personal growth in a culturally impacted scenario. The way Piaget came to the above conclusions was mainly by telling the children some short stories and he would ask them for their opinion about them. They would be "the story of the broken cup" or "the story of roll and the ribbon" etc. However Piaget was not the only one who undertook research in moral development. There were other psychologists as well for example Kohl berg, Gilligan, Freud etc. however I will discuss the theories that Sigmund Freud came up with moral development in children. Sigmund Freud ...read more.

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