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Relevance: a framework for understanding moral development

The article by Saltzstein offered a way to understand how children develop moral beliefs, and especially to understand the change from moral heteronomy to moral autonomy. By imposing controls on the procedures (uniform interviews) and on the selection of participants (particular ages, particular societies or cultures), the researchers eliminated certain sources of ambiguity or variability in children's responses. By framing their project in terms of previous theories of moral development (Piaget’s, Turiel’s), furthermore, they made it easier to interpret their new results in the general terms of these theories as well. In these ways the investigation aspired to provide a general perspective about children's moral development. Providing a framework for understanding, you recall, is one of the major purposes of many professional publications.

But note that the authors paid a price for emphasizing this purpose. By organizing their work around existing general theory and research, they had to assume that readers already had some knowledge of that theory and research. This is not an unreasonable assumption if the readers are expected to be fellow researchers; after all, many of them make a living by "knowing the literature" of psychology. But assuming such knowledge can be an obstacle if the authors intend to communicate with non-psychologists: in that case, either the authors must make more of an effort to explain the relevant background research, or readers must educate themselves about the research. The latter activity is not necessarily difficult (the background knowledge for Saltzstein's work, for example, took me only a few paragraphs to explain in writing), but it must be done to make full sense of research that tries to provide a universal framework of psychological knowledge.

The reader's role: interested observer of children

In conducting and reporting their research, Saltzstein and his colleagues were not presenting themselves as school teachers, nor were they expecting readers necessarily to respond as teachers. As they put it in the first paragraph of the article, they sought to offer "a more contextualized perspective for understanding the development of moral judgments" [p. 37]. Unlike most teachers, they seemed indifferent to recommending how children's moral judgements ought to be fostered. Observation of children was their purpose, not intervention. The meaning of the term "contextualized perspective" was not obvious to Kelvin when he first read it, but eventually it became clearer: they were talking about the importance of distinguishing among types of moral decisions and moral beliefs. They did sometimes note information relevant to teaching—for example, they pointed out that for cultural reasons, teachers in Brazil do not command high respect and therefore compared to American children, Brazilian children may feel less compelled to tell the truth to their teachers. But this comment was not the primary focus of their research, nor did the authors discuss what (if anything) it might imply about teaching in the United States.

Questions & Answers

How we are making nano material?
what is a peer
What is meant by 'nano scale'?
What is STMs full form?
scanning tunneling microscope
what is Nano technology ?
Bob Reply
write examples of Nano molecule?
The nanotechnology is as new science, to scale nanometric
nanotechnology is the study, desing, synthesis, manipulation and application of materials and functional systems through control of matter at nanoscale
Is there any normative that regulates the use of silver nanoparticles?
Damian Reply
what king of growth are you checking .?
What fields keep nano created devices from performing or assimulating ? Magnetic fields ? Are do they assimilate ?
Stoney Reply
why we need to study biomolecules, molecular biology in nanotechnology?
Adin Reply
yes I'm doing my masters in nanotechnology, we are being studying all these domains as well..
what school?
biomolecules are e building blocks of every organics and inorganic materials.
anyone know any internet site where one can find nanotechnology papers?
Damian Reply
sciencedirect big data base
Introduction about quantum dots in nanotechnology
Praveena Reply
what does nano mean?
Anassong Reply
nano basically means 10^(-9). nanometer is a unit to measure length.
do you think it's worthwhile in the long term to study the effects and possibilities of nanotechnology on viral treatment?
Damian Reply
absolutely yes
how to know photocatalytic properties of tio2 nanoparticles...what to do now
Akash Reply
it is a goid question and i want to know the answer as well
characteristics of micro business
for teaching engĺish at school how nano technology help us
How can I make nanorobot?
Do somebody tell me a best nano engineering book for beginners?
s. Reply
there is no specific books for beginners but there is book called principle of nanotechnology
how can I make nanorobot?
what is fullerene does it is used to make bukky balls
Devang Reply
are you nano engineer ?
fullerene is a bucky ball aka Carbon 60 molecule. It was name by the architect Fuller. He design the geodesic dome. it resembles a soccer ball.
what is the actual application of fullerenes nowadays?
That is a great question Damian. best way to answer that question is to Google it. there are hundreds of applications for buck minister fullerenes, from medical to aerospace. you can also find plenty of research papers that will give you great detail on the potential applications of fullerenes.
what is the Synthesis, properties,and applications of carbon nano chemistry
Abhijith Reply
Mostly, they use nano carbon for electronics and for materials to be strengthened.
is Bucky paper clear?
carbon nanotubes has various application in fuel cells membrane, current research on cancer drug,and in electronics MEMS and NEMS etc
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Source:  OpenStax, Educational psychology. OpenStax CNX. May 11, 2011 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col11302/1.2
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