Lisa Was a Sophomore and While in Essay

Excerpt from Essay :

Lisa was a sophomore and while in the Alternative school, as was the case in the regular high school, she had been a student who had been in trouble frequently for talking back to and swearing at teachers, skipping class, not doing homework, hanging out after school and violating many of the community rules that were established by the group including smoking on school grounds, lying, being late for classes, and doing drugs. She hung out with what teachers called "the wrong crowd" after school: kids from a nearby community that were not as well off, and were part of a street gang. Lisa was white, but many of her friends were black, and the kids in this gang were vocally resistant to the inequalities that they saw in wealthy Scarsdale that were not in their poor community. Some of her afterschool friends were dropping out, and others were fighting to stay in school, but all were involved in drugs and alcohol. Lisa was very smart; particularly adept at mathematics, and was a relative genius in that area. She had many similarities to Christopher, in The Curious Incident of a dog in the Night, but did not have such extreme autism because she was very unique like billions of stars in the sky that it had its own meaning such as the following "And when the universe has finished exploding, all the stars will slow down, like a ball that has been thrown into the air, and they will come to a halt and they will all begin to fall toward the center of the universe again. And then there will be nothing to stop us from seeing all the stars in the world because they will all be moving toward us, gradually faster and faster, and we will know that the world is going to end soon because when we look up into the sky at night there will be no darkness, just the blazing light of billions and billions of stars, all falling" (Haddon, 2002 p. 7). She was diagnosed along the lines of the Asperger syndrome -- classified as an autism spectrum disorder at that time. That would make her to be a functioning autistic person, therefore she would need special consideration from the teachers and the community because with guidance, Lisa will be able to make those changes to fit into society.

Within Moral Development and Moral Education, it is shown that children who come from a high adversity environment become aggressive later in life. These results often are accurate and even so children who come from a broken home show aggressive behavior in the classroom. For example, children from divorced homes have issues with low self-esteem and social competence because they left out from one or both parents (Moral Development and Moral Education). This is due to the fact that the parent is usually self-absorbed from their own emotional pain, which causes them to unintentional neglect their son or daughter's needs. By this occurring, children become very withdrawn in the classroom even though they do attempt express their emotional pain to their teacher. From there, it has been concluded from research divorced children have more emotional and social issues than those who come from a two-parent home. When children do not have the attention that they need at home, they show aggression in the classroom. As observers, we tend to believe there is a high adversity environment where Lisa lives and a change to positive environment will help her due to the following statistics.

"Moral education is becoming an increasingly popular topic in the fields of psychology and education. Media reports of increased violent juvenile crime, teen pregnancy, and suicide have caused many to declare a moral crisis in our nation. While not all of these social concerns are moral in nature, and most have complex origins, there is a growing trend towards linking the solutions to these and related social problems to the teaching of moral and social values in our public schools. However, considerations of the role schools can and should play in the moral development of youth are themselves the subject of controversy. All too often debate on this topic is reduced to posturing reflecting personal views rather than informed opinion. Fortunately, systematic research and scholarship on moral development has been going on for
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most of this century, and educators wishing to attend to issues of moral development and education may make use of what has been learned through that work" (Moral Development and Moral Education).

Furthermore, family has a big influence on a child behavior. This could determine their adult future, which could lead to a very productive life or serving a criminal sentence. If children do not have the proper setting, school misbehavior, drug and alcohol consumption, sexual activity and teen pregnancy, and psychological distress can definitely occur. Therefore, nurture plays a bigger role in personality development rather than genetics. The article showed that a high adversity environment can lead to a violent adult and it clearly showed this to be true in the results as shown above. Even before I read the article, I believed nurture over ranked nature in personality development. Therefore, if children have a broken home, where family members are against one another, it contributes to the aggression in the classroom, which may lead to other adverse behavior later in life as it could be with Lisa if proper measures are not taken by teachers and the community.

With that, diversity is very important in schools because they have the most diverse group of children to the point most new teachers do not have any strategies to handle them. It has caused schools to lose so many good new teachers each year. Therefore, they need to develop programs that will teachers how to handle diversity in their classrooms so that students such as Lisa will not be another bystander of the school system ethics (Carter).

Currently, the moral psychological domain is divided between justice and care judgments. Traditionally, Kohlberg's theory falls into the deontic side, and Gilligan's theory falls into the aretaic side of the moral domain. Kohlberg makes the claim (discussed at length in Lapsley) that there are universal moral structures underlying our moral judgment. He did cross-cultural work that showed these underlying structures in various cultures, although not all members of all cultures get to post-conventional morality -- some of that depends on role-taking opportunities and opportunities for higher education and discussion. Kohlberg rejected cultural relativism both philosophically and psychologically and argued that moral development had an ideal endpoint (Lapsley). Therefore, with counseling and molding from teachers, Lisa must be taught from right and wrong because we have a moral structure to have a this young lady to develop with the moral structure.

Within Bronfenbrenner's Theory, the social contexts in which people live and the people who influence their development are focused on. Lisa was again brought to the "Discipline/Resolution Committee" of the school. This instance was that she made a scene with a teacher -- cursing, name calling, and acting violently. Lisa stormed out of school after this incident, and left school property without permission (which was against the student-created rules of the school). The DC recommended that this matter go to the larger community for a decision, since this was a recurrent theme with Lisa. The DC felt they needed more than their "power" -- the power of the entire community-- to make a change or to make a decision as to what to do to sanction Lisa for violating the community rules and underlying spirit of the community. In a Community Meeting (a weekly meeting of the entire school community that discusses all rules and issues that come up in school), the community, including the teachers, discussed with Lisa the issues and the reasons for her behavior, and her future at the school. In other words, within the Bronfenbrenner's Ecological Theory, Lisa needs direct contact with teachers and the community to improve.

Since Lisa is in between the ages of fifteen and eighteen, her ego is developing and as this is occurring, she is making friends that are shaping her into the person she is going to be. Therefore, it is very important that teachers and people in the community take warning to Erikson's Ego Development Outcome: Identity vs. Role Confusion Basic Strengths: Devotion and Fidelity because it shows that the young lady that we should use the cognitive behavioral therapy on must find her own philosophy on life. In order to get her that way, we must find a way for her not to get approval from her so called friends even though it may be therapeutic to seek out that companionship from other friends that can support her. According to Erikson, development depends primarily upon what we do. And while adolescence is a stage at which we are neither a child nor an adult. Life is definitely getting more complex as we attempt to find our own identity, struggle…

Sources Used in Documents:


Lapsley, D. Moral Stage Theory. In Killen, M. & Smetana, J. (Ed). Handbook of Moral Development.

Moral Development and Moral Education: An Overview

Week 9: (October 22): Self development and Social Contexts

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