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The development of moral reasoning in Singaporean youths
Development of moral reasoning
Moral and values education
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Paper presented at the 1st Global Conference on “Probing the boundaries: Ethics in everyday life”, Salzburg, Austria, 17-19 March 2009
A large body of Western research literature has provided extensive discussions on the development of moral values, moral education and moral reasoning in adolescents and youths. Of particular interest, are the theoretical frameworks proposed and/or debated by researchers such as Kohlberg, Gilligan, Rest Lickona and Lipman. Whereas Kohlberg is credited as the originator of the theory of moral development, purporting six stages the cognitive development of moral judgment, his epic work has been critiqued, refined and improved over the years. In Asian contexts, however, research in these areas is still at the stage of early progression and expansion. Nevertheless, values education and moral development are two pertinent aspects in the citizenship building agenda of young nations such as Singapore. This paper explores the moral development of Singaporean youths using a Kohlbergian research framework, with the aim of providing an Asian perspective to the existing model. It presents an overview of the role of moral development in the Singapore educational context, before describing the methodology used and the interim results obtained.
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