Lawrence Kohlberg's Revolutionary Ideas

Moral Education in the Cognitive-Developmental Tradition

Authored by: John Snarey , Peter L. Samuelson

Handbook of Moral and Character Education

Print publication date:  March  2014
Online publication date:  April  2014

Print ISBN: 9780415532334
eBook ISBN: 9780203114896
Adobe ISBN: 9781136293122


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Lawrence Kohlberg's ideas about moral formation and moral education were revolutionary. He made morality a central concern in psychology, and he remains the person most often identified as a founding figure in the field of moral psychology, including moral development and moral education. He understood that children and adolescents, as well as adults, are developing moral philosophers, capable of forming their own moral judgments and capable of revising them. Kohlberg is best known for his three models of moral formation (moral stages, types, and atmosphere) and his three methods of moral education (moral exemplars, dilemma discussions, and Just Community schools). Overall, Kohlberg created lasting frameworks for approaching the study of moral cognition and development and inspired educational programs to prepare citizens for living in a participatory democracy.

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