The children or students are often told socially behaviour. By doing so we want to make them aware of socially desired behaviour.

Generally, students at the middle and secondary school stage get confused when they find that people sometimes break the rules and the rules apply to some are not always applied to others.

For example, we tell children not to tear pages from their exercise books. But many a time we take out one or two blank pages from their exercise books. Similarly we teach them a lie for petty things. Such experiences probably change the children’s concept of rules.

Piaget’s Views on Moral Development:


Used the interview method to find out the various stages of moral development of the child. According to him, there are four stages of child’s moral development-

1. Anomy:

The first five years.

2. Heteronomy:


Authority (5-8 years)

3. Heteronomy:

Reciprocity (9-13 years).

4. Autonomy:


Adolescence (13-18 years).

Each stage of moral development is discussed as under:

Anomy (The first five years):

This is the stage without the law. At this stage the behaviour of the child is neither moral nor immoral but non-moral or amoral. His behaviour is not guided by moral standard. The regulators of behaviour are pain and pleasure not morality or immorality.


Heteronomy- Authority (5-8 years):

Moral development at this stage is controlled by external authority Rewards and punishments are the things that regulate moral development.

Heteronomy- Reciprocity (9-13 years):

At this stage, there is the morality of co-operation with peers or equals.


Autonomy- Adolescence (13-18 years):

This stage is called the equity stage also. While reciprocity demands strict equality, autonomy demands equity. The individual at this stage is fully responsible for his behaviour.

Kohlberg focused his attention on the development of moral judgement in children. He treated the child as a moral philosopher. Kohlberg investigated how children and adults reason about rules that govern their behaviour in certain situations. He secured their responses to a series of structured situations or moral dilemmas.

These are Kohlberg’s stages of moral growth:


A. Pre-conventional level:

In this level, the rules are set down by others to be followed by the children. There are two stages in this level.

1. Stage one:

In this stage physical consequences of an action determine whether it is good or bad.

2. Stage two:

Satisfaction of one’s needs and sometimes the needs of other determine what is right

B. Conventional level:

At this level the individual adopts rules and sometimes subordinates his needs to this level we can see two stages

1. Stage three:

At this stage every student wants to be good boy or girl. Good behaviour is what pleases others and is approved by them. Student wants to perform these kinds of behaviors.

2. Stage four:

Every student performs one’s own duty, properly, shows respect for authority and maintains the given social order for own sake.

C. Post-conventional level:

At this stage people define their own values in terms of ethical principles, they have chosen to follow. This level also has two stages

1. Stage five:

At this stage laws are not frozen, they can be changed for the good of society.

2. Stage six:

Self chosen ethical principles define what is right. These principles are abstract and ethical not specific moral prescriptions.