Level 2: Conventional 3. Interpersonal accord and conformity (social norms) i.e. what is socially acceptable. 4. Authority and social order maintaining orientation (law and order morality).53 Kohlberg’s conventional level of moral development is also identifiable in different phases. At this first phase, obedience to legal and established authority is the child’s moral standard in securing social approval. It is significant that this stage is generally attained from early to late adolescent years i.e, the period of secondary school education. If a child learns the values of obedience to rules and internalizes it at this stage of life, he/she is on the path to principled morality if properly so guided. The higher level of this second stage starts when a child begins to appreciate the relativity of social practices and begins to develop his own values or philosophy of life, as long as these do not hurt others around him. Since this level of moral development is attainable at the secondary school age it is a gross omission for our senior secondary school curricula to focus only on intellectual development to the exclusion of a purposeful moral education programme. Research has submitted that by age 16, a boy is either a saint or a sinner but that girls are capable of further moral development till later. The secondary school age which is period of the efflorescence of a child’s intellectual powers is also the ideal time for focused moral education.
Level 3: Post Conventional 5. Social contract orientation 6. Universal ethical principles (Principled conscience).54 53 54
Kohlberg’s stages of moral development, op. cit. Kohlberg’s stages of moral development, op. cit.