Journal of Moral Education 27 (1):89-98 (1998)

Abstract Kohlberg's theory of moral development draws a distinction between content and structure of moral thought. An inference based on this distinction is that content and structure are independent. To investigate this inference, we studied fourth?and eighth?grade students in two distinct educational settings in the United States. Sample 1 contained 83 students attending a church?sponsored, evangelical Christian school. Sample 2 contained 60 students attending government?supported public schools. Students were administered Kohlberg's moral dilemmas of life versus law, punishment versus conscience, and authority versus contract. Christian school students made more religious references in resolving dilemmas. More Christian than public school students favoured law, punishment and authority. More importantly, regardless of the school attended, students who used religious terminology to resolve dilemmas were less likely to reason in Kohlberg's Stage 2 than those who did not. Grade differences emerged. Regardless of terminology, most fourth?grade students used some Stage 2 reasoning. However, among eighth?grade students, using religious terminology correlated with less Stage 2 reasoning. The results of our study raise doubts as to the independence of structure and content
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1080/0305724980270106
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 68,944
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

The Measurement of Moral Judgment.Anne Colby - 1987 - Cambridge University Press.
Method, Content and Motivation in Moral Education.John Wilson & Barbara Cowell - 1987 - Journal of Moral Education 16 (1):31-36.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Moral Growth in Medical Students.James A. Knight - 1995 - Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 16 (3).
Moral Reasoning in a Communist Chinese Society.Lawrence J. Walker & Thomas J. Moran - 1991 - Journal of Moral Education 20 (2):139-155.
Tolerance and Moral Reasoning Among Adolescents in Ireland.Ann Breslin - 1982 - Journal of Moral Education 11 (2):112-127.


Added to PP index

Total views
11 ( #848,380 of 2,498,136 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #428,301 of 2,498,136 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes