Criticism on Moral Development Theories of Piaget, Kohlberg, and Bandura and Providing a New Model for Research in Iranian Students' Moral Development

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Criticism on moral development theories of Piaget, Kohlberg, and Bandura and providing a new model for research in Iranian students' moral development Hossein Lotfabadi, Ph. D.1


It's been years in the psychology and assessment of moral development that theories of genetic epistemology and social behaviorism (which are based on Piaget, Kohlberg, and Bandura's approaches) have been in the center of attention for the psychologists and education experts and have been used by the educational counseling centers and other psychology centers in Iran. Therefore, there have not been a suitable theory and proper native assessing tools made in our country in the field of moral development. The main issue is that the theoretical foundations and the structure and content of these viewpoints are provided without considering the innate and eternal moral foundations, moral motive and feeling, moral belief and culture, and moral behavior and reactions. Such viewpoints are not in consistency with our school students' moral development. This article has shown that Piaget, Kohlberg, and Bandura's viewpoints have strictly positioned the moral judgment, learning social laws, and relations of the Western countries as the foundation for their theories without considering spiritual, rational, and motivational bases of moralities, which have roots in divine creation and the human nature.


1- Professor of educational psychology of Shahid-Beheshti University







Criticism on moral development theories of Piaget and Kohlberg and …

By providing a new model for moral development formation, this article has shown that individual's social and moral development is a result of complicated, dynamic, and mutual interactions of the five following factors: innate nature of the individual, social contexts, events and experiences, moral judgment development, and manifestation and change of stimulations and sentiments of sympathy and helping other people. The article tries, while criticizing the present psychological approaches on moral development, to prepare the way for a new scientific and authentic research in making theory for moral development and preparing theoretical basis for making national assessing scales for moral development. Key Words: Moral development, school students, moral assessment, Psychology of morality, Piaget, Kohlberg, Bandura


In this article we will show that firstly the theoretical foundations of moral development psychology, which Piaget and Kohlberg offered have theoretical limits and weaknesses; secondly we will show that the moral development theories based on these viewpoints, which have been driven from how people live in the West, cannot correctly identify moral development status of culturally different people with such tests. It is also impossible to clearly identify the people's moral problems who struggle with low-development and moral disorders. Those tests are mainly based on biological and genetic cognitivism attitudes, individual and social behaviorism attitude, and the theory of analyzes of information, and with a limiting-view understanding of the human moral development. Due to the fact that such attitude is strictly considering the moral judgment for




During the past half a century the findings of the psychology of moral transformation and development and the moral development tests offered by Piaget and Kohlberg have been used in the counseling centers of the education system and other centers for psychology across our country. The teaching of the lessons related to this aspect of children's, adolescents', and youths' development has been most often offered based on the these two scientists' viewpoints in teacher training centers and undergrad, grad, and doctoral levels. It has been so in different majors in psychology and educational sciences across all universities and higher education centers in Iran....
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