Generally schools do their best to run programs for character development or behaviour support to aid children in learning the right way to think about their behaviour. Or, to put it another way, to learn “correct behaviour” as viewed by adults.
At BIS, we know that often this approach can actually halt real moral development. Kolhberg’s staged development theory needs students to explore at the level they are at, not pretend to be at a higher level to please the adults around them.
This means at BIS we look at the child’s development across three distinct areas:
• Cognitive – information processing, conceptual resources, perceptual skill, language learning which impacts a child’s ability to understand concepts
• Physiological – their bodies readiness to be under their control, and
• Moral – how individuals treat each other and understand why they should behave this way.
Moral development is a major focus of our perception of the individual child and of the subsequent planning we design for the child to support changes in a child’s behaviour. Consequently we prefer the term Behaviour Development rather than Behaviour Management.
To help explain the way we support children’s behaviour development at BIS, we shall explore Kohlberg’s theory of staged moral development next week in Part 2 of this series.
We will also be running a workshop on Staged Moral Development and Conflict Resolution with Children on July 17 at 6pm. Please book by emailing us by July 15.
References: Kohlberg, L. (1975). Moral education for a society in moral transition. Educational Leadership, 33(1), 46-54.