Monday, 16 December 2013


I am not agree with Kohlberg´s levels. I don´t know if it is a matter of opinion, I don´t know, I just say it.
Kohlberg says these levels are much gated: Pre-conventional (9-10 years), Conventional (teenagers and most of adults) and Post-conventional (Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Santa Teresa de Calcuta and Jesucristo)

When we are teenagers or adults and we know about these levels, we can “chose” in which level we want to stay. This election is not easy because, as Piaget says “we need to assimilate and then accommodate into the new situation or stage in our live” and this is quite difficult. The Piaget´s stages and the Kohlberg´s are very different, I think, because in Kohlberg´s levels, one person can pass one stage, but it doesn´t mean that this person will be always in this stage or in a better one, he/she can go back (in the Piaget´s stages is the opposite due to they are more cognitive) Our expectations, the society, the situations, etc. promote our moral changes. We are all the time go up and down levels, I mean, we are changing all the time. It depends on the feedback and feedforward because we take part of the world.

Children often are in their corresponding level because they don´t know or don´t understand the others. Not every adult, but most of them (us) know and understand the levels and, as I have just said, we can choose in which one we want to stay. I don´t know if I understand it well, but we have more opportunities than children because of our experiences and our education.

I want to say that I feel that Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Santa Teresa de Calcuta and Jesucristo weren´t the unique that stayed in the 6º Kohlberg´s stage. More people have taken decisions in relation with this stage.

So we need to find strategies to be in the level that we want. This doesn´t ensure the levels are stable, it depends on our decisions, reasons, actions, etc.  And we can stay in the level we want, but effort is always necessary.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Laura

    I preferred not to answer this interesting post too soon. Once you have read more about Kegan it is likely you will have a broader perspective on Kohlberg.

    His Moral Theory is similar to Piaget in terms of structure. I mean, both theoretical models imply a discontinous conception of development, this is "stages". So you do not move so easily from these moral stages as you infer. To understand moral situations from a postconventional perspective is not so easy as you say. That's why reseach depicts very few cases behaving from this postconventional perspective compared with the most usual conventional points of view.

    Of course we can think in a post conventional manner if we have many resources in on concrete situation (we have time to think, we have support from others, we have a lot of information, etc...). But when the situation is not so ideally supportive (we need to decide fast, there is not enough information or it is biased, there is not others to talk with, we feel stress or anxiety, etc...) we use to behave from our normal moral development stage.

    The same could be said in relation to the cognitive perspective.

    We use to make meaning of complex or simple situations attending from our usual mind frame (or orden of consciousness in terms of Kegan). We can't scape so easily of that way of making meaning, if we can do it it means we are moving towards a more complex way of constructing meaning, so to speak. Although moving towards a more complex way of thinking does not imply that it is already stabilized.

    As you can understand we are never in a pure stable stage. In general we use to be in a more transitional position, in between two different stable points (or stages). So development is more dynamic that this theoretical models assume.

    That's something you realize and question, I think. The stability of these models.

    We cannot forget that we are always making meaning in a context. Without the context we cannot really understand what will mean a situation for us or how we are going to react or behave.

    Well I hope this will put more clarity to this matter.

    Best regards