The Merriam- Webster Dictionary (2003) defines morality and morals as the relation of principles of right and wrong behavior. It denotes the ability to choose between good and bad deeds. The aptitude to choose righteousness becomes the greatest virtue. For instance, the action of an individual to apply adequate value to human life versus value in material possessions, the worth of a life is more than that of a vehicle. What is the greatest virtue, saving the life of a child or taking the life of an elderly person due to pain? Should lying be punished when its outcome serves the greater good? This archival thesis will be devoted to the study of morality with the central framework of the Theory of Moral Development by Kohlberg (1984). The objective is to provide a foundation for the following questions: How can one make a person more moral? Does knowledge of right and wrong lead to more consistent moral behavior execution? What can moral education offer the framework of society?
In order, to fully understand all of the implications of Kohlberg’s theory it is essential to evaluate the predecessors and the person of Kohlberg. There will be a chronological description of theories influential to Kohlberg’s research. Piaget’s theory of cognitive development and moral development will be analyzed. Although, his research devoted most of its energies to children it has provided an invaluable foundation for unveiling the development of morality that laid the ground for Kohlberg’s Theory of Moral Development.
The developmental-structural approach was first taken by the Swiss psychologist Jean Piaget (1896-1980). He was a Swiss psychologist who developed a theory of child development known as genetic epistemology. This theory has had a wide impact, not only on psychology and education but also on fields as diverse as .linguistics and physics.