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The moral lives of four children

1 December 1993


The moral lives of children are as richly textured as those of adults and provides the foundation from which children's adult morality is established. How might children perceive their moral decisions in a hypothetical situation? In this study, four elementary school children, two males and two females, were presented with a hypothetical situation which required them to make a moral distinction between "right" and "wrong" as defined by Webster's Dictionary. Based on the research of Robert Coles, the children were then asked questions about movies, T.V., and social class in an effort to understand what might have influenced their decisions. The findings of my study indicate that the ways in which children rationalized moral choices varied more than the ways in which they perceived moral choices and that these rationalizations differed between male and female students.


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