Moral Development: Implications for Pedagogy

Hersh, Richard H.; Paolitto, Diana Pritchard
January 1977
Education Digest;Jan1977, Vol. 42 Issue 5, p13
This article presents information on moral education in the U.S. The concern for values and moral education has taken on greater urgency in the past several years due to such issues as war, racial conflict, political corruption, and drug abuse. The cognitive structures consist of active processes, which depend on experience to produce change or development in how the individual makes sense of the world. The stimulation of moral development requires that the teacher create the conditions for specific modes of classroom interaction. Such interaction requires that students go beyond the mere sharing of information--they must reveal thoughts, which concern their basic beliefs. The theory of moral development demands self-reflection stimulated by dialogue. Given that the goal of a moral education classroom is to enhance students' development, an atmosphere of mutual trust and respect is essential. There is an interaction between the level of structural development and a student's ability to conceive of a particular concept like "trust." It takes time for this mutual trust and respect to evolve in the moral education classroom. That is to say that development takes time.


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