Moral and Character Development According Term Paper
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As Kohlberg proposed, children undergo "a sequence of qualitative changes in the way an individual thinks," (Nucci 2002). As children encounter new environmental stimuli including new peers, new social group situations, and new challenges to the developing ego, moral character begins to emerge. While it would be impossible to assess the Rising Star Montessori academy based on the Web copy on their site, it is safe to say that the school does not overtly claim to contribute to their students' moral and character development. Learning and interacting with the environment at the child's own pace are emphasized, and social interactions may be left to the individual teachers at the school.
Kohlberg proposed three stages of moral reasoning that impact character development: pre-conventional, conventional, and post-conventional. Pre-conventional moral reasoning is based on an egocentric outlook and reciprocal actions. Social norms are of little worth to a child at the pre-conventional stage of moral development. Conventional moral reasoning does incorporate social norms. At this stage, children become aware of the restrictions on their respect for peers. At this stage, children can bond with peers to the degree that they help each other and do not base moral decisions on self-centered motives. The Rising Star Montessori program does not outline exactly how character and moral development are encouraged in students. However, the individualistic approach and communal outlook of Montessori suggests that the programs offered at Rising Star conform to the prevailing theories of child moral and character development.
Nucci, L. (2002). Moral development and moral education. Retrieved May 12, 2008 at http://tigger.uic.edu/~lnucci/MoralEd/overview.html
Rising Star Montessori School. Web site retrieved May 12, 2008 at http://www.risingstarschool.org/index.php
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