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 Growth & Development

  Emerging Adulthood
Cognitive Development
- Morals & Religion -

 Growth & Development

Ψ  The responsibilities, experiences, & concerns of adulthood affect moral reasoning.

Ψ  Re: Kohlberg - In order to be capable of "truly ethical" reasoning, a person must have "the experience" of

•   sustained responsibility for the welfare of others.
 •   irreversible moral choice.

Ψ  Re: Gilligan

•   As all people's experience of life expands, they broaden their moral perspectives.

•   Adults began to construct principles that are relative & changeable. seeking a synthesis of ethical principles with life experiences of justice & care.

It's a Mickey Mouse World , isn't it?

•  Critics of Kohlberg's theory have pointed out that it overemphasizes the concept of justice when making moral choices. Other factors such as compassion, caring, & other interpersonal feelings may play an important part in moral reasoning. Gilligan feels that Kohlberg's theory has gender bias & does not consider the "morality of care" only the "morality of justice."

Ψ  Defining Issues Test (DIT) - A series of questions developed by James Rest - designed to assess respondents' level of moral development by having them rank possible solutions to moral dilemmas. Scores rise with age & education.

The Development of Faith - Fowler (1981, 1986)

Ψ   Fowler’s stages follow along the lines of the stage theorists Jean Piaget , Erik Erikson & Lawrence Kohlberg. To understand Fowler more fully is to understand these other stage theories as well--particularly Jean Piaget’s theory of Cognitive Development.

•  Stage 1: Intuitive-Projective - ages 3 to 7-  Intuitive-Projective faith is the fantasy-filled, imitative phase in which the child can be powerfully & permanently influenced by examples, moods, actions & stories of the visible faith of primarily related adults.

•  Stage 2: Mythic-Literal - ages 7- 11 (some adults) -  Mythic-Literal faith is the stage in which the person begins to take on for him- or herself the stories, beliefs & observances that symbolize belonging to his or her community. Beliefs are appropriated with literal interpretations, as are moral rules & attitudes.

    It's a Mickey Mouse World , isn't it?

•  Stage 3: Synthetic-Conventional - adolescents (many adults) -  Synthetic-Conventional is a "conformist" stage in the sense that it is acutely tuned to the expectations & judgments of others.
•  Stage 4: Individual-Reflective - takes form in young adulthood - in this stage an individual articulates his or her own values & takes personal responsibility for their beliefs & feelings.
•  Stage 5: Conjunctive - unusual before mid-life (may precipitate a "midlife crisis") - The conjunctive stage acknowledges paradox & transcendence. This stage involves the embrace & integration of opposites & polarities in one’s life. It means realizing in one’s late thirties, forties, or beyond that one is both young & old, & that youth & age are held together in the same life . . .It means coming to terms with the fact that we are both constructive people &, inadvertently destructive people.
•  Stage 6: Universalizing: - exceedingly rare - a powerful vision of universal compassion, justice, & love. What some might call "enlightenment".

Growth & Development
Robert C. Gates
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