Classical and contemporary approaches for moral development

Zekeriya Çam*, Duygu Çavdar, Sedef Seydooǧullari, Figen Çok

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Most of the information in the moral development literature depends on Theories of Piaget and Kohlberg. The theoretical contribution by Gilligan and Turiel are not widely known and not much resource is available in Turkish. For this reason introducing and discussing the theories of Gilligan and Turiel and more comprehensive perspective for moral development were attempted. The purpose of this paper is to presenting and discussing comparatively the psychological theories of moral development. Piaget had proposed two stage theory in children's development as called "moral heteronomy stage" and "autonomous stage". Kohlberg, on the other hand, had established his comprehensive theory of moral development based on Piaget's cognitive developmental stages in which he suggested 3 levels and 6 stages. Although Kohlberg's theory had been very influential, it has limitations with ignoring local, cultural, moral ideas and being disconnected between moral behavior and moral judgment. Gilligan particularly as a reaction of focus on male development rather than females contributed to the literature of moral development. For her, women tend to consider other's care and protection and she emphasized this difference of ethic of care and ethic of justice. However only few studies in the literature have pointed out differences between women and men in terms of moral judgment. Besides Gilligan's ideas are also been criticized for lack of different contextual and cultural support. Turiel, has quite a different perspective for moral development and he specifically focused on connections between social life and morality. As the pioneer of Social Domain Theory he mentioned the difference between "social convention" and "morality". In this paper, theories are presented with their major concepts.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1222-1225
Number of pages4
JournalKuram ve Uygulamada Egitim Bilimleri
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 30 Aug 2012

Structured keywords

  • SoE Centre for Psychological Approaches for Studying Education


  • Eliott turiel
  • Gilligan's moral development approach
  • Moral development
  • Social domain theory
  • Theories of moral development


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