The focus of Lawrence Kohlberg’s Moral Judgment Model is to investigate and assess how the concept or consciousness about morality arises and what constitutes this perception about morality. He provides six stages of development which explains how a child obtains and develops his own idea of moral action. When a child experiences a dilemma in which he or she must be able to come up with a particular decision and actualize it, Kohlberg tells that the child’s judgment could be explain through his model.
The first three stages are crucial for the reason that the child’s response is dependent on his or her initial orientation on morality. The first stage explains that a child’s response might be based on the idea of obedience and punishment. The child would act in such a way that he or she obeys what the immediate authority imposes to him or her (e. g. rules set in the house or in the school). The right action for the child would be if he or she is able to follow the rules which would also make him or her free from any form of punishment.
The child would assert that he or she must not such and such acts to prevent being punished. The second stage is when the child realizes that his or her actions, whatever they are, have equivalent consequences. If he or she would act like this for the benefit or harm of others he or she might think that the same thing would be done for or against him or her. In short, his or her actions would be based on how he or she perceives the result of his or her actions which is still directed towards his or her own interests.
The third stage explains that the child in this period learns that it is not all about him or her or not always geared towards his or her own satisfaction. In this stage, the child becomes conscious about how others perceive him or her. Thus, his or her actions are not just dependent on what he or she likes but also on how others would see him or her as a moral person. The child would think that “I ought not to tell a lie because others will see me as a bad person for doing so. ” In short, the concept of conventional morality starts at this point.