Select either Kohlberg’s theory of moral development, Gilligan’s theory of moral development, or Fowler’s theory of faith development. Discuss the strengths and weaknesses of your selected theory. Which stage of your selected theory, do you think that you are currently experiencing? Provide examples to reinforce your answer.
Guided Response: Review several of your classmates’ posts. Provide a substantive response to at least two of your peers who chose a theory different from the one you chose. What stage of your peers’ selected theory are you currently experiencing? Explain your answer.
I have selected Kohlberg’s theory of moral development for this assignment. I have researched this theory in previous Ashford classes and feel more comfortable with the stages. The theory is a strong theory for the majority of individuals growing up in America and most countries today. One small weakness in the theory is that every parent will raise their children similarly. I am sure everyone is a little different and there are others who do not teach their children with any negative consequences, and other parents that do not teach their children with positive consequences. This develops a hole in Kohlberg’s theory during the early stages of moral development. Obviously, with the proper research we could probably identify which stage some criminal’s parents have gone wrong. Perhaps, the authoritarian and permissive parents fail on this level of Kohlberg’s moral theory. Some strengths of Kohlberg’s theory are many. Most parent today start their children young on the theory of consequences (Zastrow, 2010). As a young child, I remember making decisions based on something as simple as, is my mother going to smile if I do this or that? I think the strongest part of Kohlberg’s theory is within level 3: developing moral independence. This time is critical for every individual. Everyone wants to be like and accepted socially, and following the rules, guidelines, and laws are a massive contributing factor of be accepted.
The stage I believe I am currently growing through is ranging from level two stage four and level three stage five. I still have a tremendous respect for my community’s laws and regulations. Even in the summer time when I take the kids swimming at the community pool, they have a ten minute break every hour for adult swim. The make all of the children get out of the pool so the adults can have peace for ten minutes. Many of the children sit around the side of the pool with their feet in the water. This bothers me and my girls are not allowed to do this. It is a simple rule. You, as a child, are not allowed in the pool for ten minutes and it is disrespectful to put your feet in the pool. Of course, I get the complaints that all of the other kids are doing it, and I teach them about why I enforce the rule so strongly. This is why I believe I am still living strong in stage two level four, but I have begun to think of issues on an internal level as well. I consider the rules that are being applied and if they are for the greater good, or a selfish rule. There are many way to analyze Kohlberg’s theory and it has been argued it cannot be applied to all cultures and societies, but for Americans, I believe, Kohlberg has accurately set the bar for morality study.
Zastrow, C. H. & Kirst-Ashman, K. K. (2010). Understanding human behavior and the social environment (9th ed.). Mason, OH: Cengage.