Kohlberg's moral development and plagiriasm - Term Paper Example

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Kohlberg describes the different stages of moral development to describe how individuals move through different stages of moral reasoning in their lifetimes. In this case, Level 2 (conventional morality) and Level 3 (postconventional morality) would seem to apply to areas of…
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Kohlbergs moral development and plagiriasm
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Response to Posting Kohlberg describes the different stages of moral development to describe how individuals move through different stages of moralreasoning in their lifetimes. In this case, Level 2 (conventional morality) and Level 3 (postconventional morality) would seem to apply to areas of plagiarism. This posting reported that roughly 60 percent of students in higher education have engaged in plagiarism in some fashion and often do this because they do not fully understand it is wrong. However, by the time an individual reaches the age where higher education is explored, they should have well-developed moral centers which no longer rely on the social approval and perceptions of being with the in-crowd. Simply because other students are plagiarizing is not a valid excuse for engaging in the practice.
The posting identified that students have expressed they did not understand the act was wrong, however virtually ever college and university clearly states their plagiarism policy, and the consequences of this action, in their policy handbooks at the freshman year. If students are not understanding that plagiarism is considered to be a universally-accepted concept of morality, then there is a disconnect between teacher reinforcement of these values or the university’s promotion of its plagiarism policy. “The role of the teacher is to translate moral ideology into a working social atmosphere in which students understand the meaning of the “hidden curriculum” based on the universal principle of justice” (Ercegovac and Richardson, 2004, p.309). What this means is that teachers should be at the postconventional stage of morality, in the role of instructor, and should be expressing these moral values in relation to plagiarism. It would seem that the role of promoting moral judgment starts at the administrative level at colleges to move students from Level 2 to Level 3 in moral development.
Ercegovac, Z. and Richardson, J. 2004. “Academic Dishonesty, Plagiarism Included, in the Digital Age: A Literature Review”. Retrieved November 19, 2009 from
Response to Posting 2
This posting utilized the argument that divinity, and attempting to meet the expectations of God, should be the moral center which guides moral lifestyles. However, these are not necessarily the “broad, universal moral principles” described by Kohlberg’s moral model (Feldman, 2008, p.340). Not all members of society agree with these values. For example, an individual who has barely made it into Level 2, where gaining approval of the social group drives moral decision-making, might not be able to conform to divinely-inspired moral principles if they still cannot let go of the social norm when making decisions. Living life according to religious doctrine for moral behavior would rely on an individual in Level 3 of Kohlberg’s model in order to carry out these strict moral rules. It would seem that having a positive sense of self-identity, without relying on social approvals, and genuinely desiring to be morally sound are necessary in order to reach Level 3. Divinely-inspired morality principles would seem to be impossible to use as a model until Level 3 has been reached.
This posting also mentioned the role of parents in incorporating moral values in their children. In relation to plagiarism, parents must reinforce that individual student work should reflect their own ingenuity and innovation. However, again, this would rely on the idea that these parents have, themselves, found their own positive self-identity and do not raise their children to weigh the opinions of others when making moral choices. A youth in Level 2, relying on parental interaction in moral learning, would need his or her parents to be in Level 3 in order to successfully embed moral values in a way where social opinion is no longer a consideration when making decisions to plagiarize or not to plagiarize.
Feldman, R.S. (2008). Development Across the Life Span (5th edition). Upper Saddle River: Pearson Prentice Hall. Read More
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