Complete the Strategic section in the "Model Matrix" worksheet.


PCN-518 Topic 4: The Six Stages of Kohlberg


A female adolescent's parents place a low priority on the value of an education. In fact, they prefer that she care for younger siblings instead of studying or completing a high school education. It is March. The student has told her parents that she has in-school suspension for the rest of the school year in order to have time to study, as she dreams of attending college one day.

Directions: Read the scenario listed above. Complete all sections of the matrix provided below from the perspective of an individual in each of the six stages of Kohlberg’s theory of moral development and the information from the provided scenario. Use complete sentences and include proper scholarly citations for any sources used.

Level 1: Preconventional Morality


Adolescent’s Perspective

Rationale for your Responses

Stage 1: Obedience and Punishment Orientation

The adolescent should take care of her younger siblings because her parents want her to do so.

A child assumes that those with authority hand down a set of rules which the child must obey unquestionably. In this case, the adolescent must unquestionably obey her parents’ desire for her to quit school to take care of her siblings (Gibbs, 2013).

Stage 2: Instrumental Relativist Orientation/Exchange of Favors

The child can go to the in-school suspension to improve her chances of going to college one day, or obey her parents and stay at home to take care of her siblings.

The child recognizes that there is no single right view handled down by authorities and different individuals have different opinions. Everyone is free to pursue his/her own personal interests because everything is relative (Gibbs, 2013).

Stage 3: Conventional Level/Good Boy or Girl

The adolescent should live up to her parents’ expectations of her taking care of her siblings. She should exhibit good intentions to her siblings by taking care of them.

Goswami (2008) argues that children see morality as being more complex; people should conform to the expectations of their family and community and be good mannered. People should exhibit good behavior by having good feelings and motives such as empathy, love trust as well as concern for others.

Stage 4: Maintaining the Social Order

Should go to the in-school program to enhance her knowledge.

In this stage, the respondent is more concerned with the society in its entirety. They emphasize on respecting authority, obeying laws and performing one’s duties to maintain the social order. One should not break the law whenever he/she feels they have a good reason (Gibbs, 2013).

Stage 5: Social Contract and Individual Rights

Adolescent should continue with her studies as it is her right to get basic education

Respondents believe that a good society is based on a social contract which they freely enter. They argue that basic rights should be protected (Goswami, 2008).

Stage 6: Universal Principles

Adolescent should go to school as getting an education is a protected right.

According to Gibbs (2013), Respondents in this stage almost consider the society as good. They believe people need to protect certain individual rights, and settle disputes democratically.


Gibbs, J. C. (2013). Moral development and reality: Beyond the theories of Kohlberg, Hoffman, and Haidt. Oxford University Press.

Goswami, U. (Ed.). (2008). Blackwell handbook of childhood cognitive development. John Wiley & Sons.

© 2017. Grand Canyon University. All Rights Reserved.

© 2017. Grand Canyon University. All Rights Reserved.