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Phase i—moral relevancestage two: a moral foundation

This position paper highlights the doctoral dissertation of educational administration in the context of the relationship between knowledge and moral leadership. The theoretical framework is Kohlberg’s (1973) theory of moral development. Kohlberg theorized that we progress through three phases and six stages in life. As children, we encounter the Preconventional Phase of moral development. This phase consists of two stages. The first stage is obedience and punishment. During this stage, our behaviors are greatly influenced by authoritative figures. During the second stage, we began to display attitudes of selfishness to protect our own best interests.

After completing this stage, we enter the Conventional Phase of moral development. This phase consists of the third and fourth stages of development. During the third stage, we begin to conform to society’s expectations for appropriate behavior. We purposefully display behavior that pleases other people. During the fourth stage, we develop a clear understanding of the laws and duties of society.

Kohlberg (1973) stated that during the Postconventional Phase and stages of moral development, we are adults who begin to serve others. We also began to reflect on our contributions to society. Kohlberg argued that most adults never reach these stages. This inability is due to the fact that as children, they failed to grasp or were not exposed to the moral implications of life experiences. As a result, Kohlberg (1973) posited that adults must model moral judgment for children. He modeled this belief by presenting morals based vignettes to young people.

Phase ii—the moral dilemmastage three: moral concussions

In my opinion, Kohlberg’s (1973) stages of moral development are related to the doctoral dissertation of educational administration. In effect, they both take people through sequential stages of cognitive development. Kohlberg, however, does not specify that a specific knowledge guides us through his stages of moral development. Instead, he believed that reflection on the morality of knowledge helps us to advance through the stages. Kohlberg (1973) believed that when encountering views that conflict with our thoughts, we reorganize our thinking to include new views. This reorganization process allows us to proceed to higher stages of moral thinking.

I agree with Kohlberg’s (1973) assessment of the relationship between moral development and social justice. With regard to the doctoral dissertation, I disagree with his views on the significance of an external knowledge base. One reason is that knowledge can bridge the gap between moral and social justice leadership. The second reason is the dissertation requires students to use a previous established knowledge base to reconstitute their thinking about a particular subject (Holbrook, 2002).

Bertrand Russell (1959) indicated that knowledge and morals are two inseparable entities. According to him, knowledge facilitates morality by building the intelligence to:

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Source:  OpenStax, The handbook of doctoral programs: issues and challenges. OpenStax CNX. Dec 10, 2007 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col10427/1.3
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