Kohlberg 's Theory Of Moral Development And Fowler 's Stages Of Faith Development

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“Socialization is so basic to human development that we sometimes overlook its importance.” (Macionis, Pg. 84) Both Lawrence Kohlberg and James Fowler developed theories on how people develop in stages. Both Kohlberg’s Theory of Moral Development and Fowler’s Stages of Faith Development contain 6 stages that people are believed to go through as they develop.
Kohlberg’s theory is related to how people develop a sense of what is right and wrong. It was influenced by the work of Jean Piaget, on moral reasoning. He classifies the stages into three levels each containing two sublevels. The first level is called the preconventional level of moral development. Children in this level experience the world in the terms of pain or pleasure. Something considered right in this stage would be what feels good to the child. The next level would be the conventional level. This occurs in the teen years where children start to think of right or wrong in terms of what pleases their parents or follows cultural norms. Children at this stage are also learning to assess intention when determining if a situation is right or wrong. “For example, they understand that stealing food to feed one’s hungry children is not the same as stealing an iPod to sell for pocket change.” (Macionis, Pg. 90) The final stage is the postconventional level. People being to consider abstract ethical principle and not just society’s norms.
Kohlberg used stories of moral dilemmas to study the stages of development. In
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