Bachelors in Elementary Education
Case #4-Choices (Kohlberg-Moral Development)
In this case, Russell is in Mr. Willow’s eighth-grade biology class. After scoring a 72 percent on his first test, Russell’s dad threatens to take away his extracurricular activities. Worried that his dad will take away his social life, Russell decides that he is going to work extra hard on his genetics assignment so that he can improve his grade and get back on his dad’s good side. After hearing that Mr. Willow’s genetics assignment is extremely difficult, Russell is persuaded by his soccer teammate, Luis, to use his brother’s assignment that he turned in to Mr. Willow a few years back that had received a high grade. Thinking about pleasing his dad, keeping his social life, and not getting made fun of by his teammate, Russell turns in Luis’ brother’s assignment as his own. Mr. Willow notices that the paper is not Russell’s original work and embarrasses him in front of the entire class. Given Russell’s age and actions, Russell is in the conventional stage of Kohlberg’s Moral Development, more specifically the “Good boy/Good girl” stage because he is looking to meet other people’s expectations when he is making decisions. For example, Russell used Luis’s brother’s assignment because he wanted to get a good grade that would please his dad. Secondly, Russell knew that if Luis found out that he didn’t use his brother’s assignment, Luis would more than likely make fun of him.
Mr. Willow should have kept the situation private and not have shared the situation before Russell’s class period. Also, Mr. Willow should not have called Russell out in front of classmates. The class should be made aware that someone in the class had cheated and of the consequences that the student will face, but the conversation with Russell should have been kept private. In the future, Mr. Willow should keep the situation private until he has had a private conversation with the student. Next, Mr. Willow should let the class know that someone had cheated and the students should be told the consequences for cheating. Mr. Willow should change up his assignments every year. In a survey taken, students reported