Lawrence Kohlberg

By: Hannah Bomar

Theory Explanation

Level 1 (Pre-Conventional)

1. Obedience and punishment orientation(How can I avoid punishment?)

2. Self-interest orientation(What's in it for me?)(Paying for a benefit)

Level 2 (Conventional)

3. Interpersonal accord and conformity(Social norms)(The good boy/good girl attitude)

4. Authority and social-order maintaining orientation(Law and order morality)

Level 3 (Post-Conventional)

5. Social contract orientation

6. Universal ethical principles(Principled conscience)

Pros & Cons

Pros- He studied both genders between the ages of 5-63 using responces to hypothetical moral dilemmas. Kohlburgs experiences show no different from the sexes of humans.


Cons- Other theory contridict Kohlburgs theory that is is universal. Also, it shows that it does not go follow all 6 levels of his theory explanations.

Does this theory still exist in education today?

The theory is used in everyday life whether you know it or not. Yes, the theory is still used in education today. The widespread of this theory is used throughout history.

Lawrence Kohlberg

"Lawrence Kohlberg was born in Bronxville, New York. He was the youngest of four children of Alfred Kohlberg, a Jewish man, and of his second wife, Charlotte Albrecht, a Protestant woman. His parents separated when he was four years old and divorced finally when he was fourteen. Kohlberg attended high school at Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts, and then served in the Merchant Marine at the end of World War II.Kohlberg's first academic appointment was at Yale University, as an assistant professor of psychology, 1958-1961. In 1955 while beginning his dissertation, he had married Lucille Stigberg, and the couple had two sons, David and Steven. Kohlberg spent a year at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, in Palo Alto, California, 1961-1962, and then joined the Psychology Department of the University of Chicago as assistant, then associate professor of psychology and human development, 1962-1967. He held a visiting appointment at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, 1967–68, and then was appointed Professor of Education and Social Psychology there, beginning 1968, where he remained until his death." (Wikipedia)

How can the theory be applied to the classroom?

1. Writing assignments will be used to demonstrate the understanding on misbehavior, and the quality of classroom work.


2. Plan group projects where students work together toward the understanding of curriculum instead of sitting back and listening to the teacher talk at them. Not only is this sure to get students more involved. But it places the responsibility of learning onto the students, forcing them to adhere to the classroom goal of educational enrichment as in Kohlberg's fifth morality stage on upholding a social contract


3. Give students the opportunity to help create a classroom code of conduct. In this way, they will become responsible for the rules that they set and follow them accordingly, rather than blindly agreeing to standards set by school administrators or other authorities. By creating classroom policy, students can advance from stage one submission to stage three where they are accountable within the small classroom community.

Read more: http://www.ehow.com/how_7964934_apply-kohlbergs-theory-classroom.html#ixzz2jhq4s4C0

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