ERIC Number: ED223173
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1982
Reference Count: 0
Service Experience and the Moral Development of College Students.
Gorman, Margaret; And Others
The development of moral judgment of students was studied in two types of college courses requiring readings, lectures, and discussions. In one of the courses, students gained exposure to or served disadvantaged people; they combined reflection on this experience in the light of readings and lectures. The other course was a more traditional college course. Seventy undergraduates at Boston College, a medium-sized, church-related institution, were studied. Forty-one of the students were enrolled in the service course and 29 were in the nonservice course. The majority of the students were freshmen and sophomores. Rest's Defining Issues Test (DIT) was used to assess the development of moral judgment in a pretest/posttest design. The DIT's moral issues represent one of Kohlberg's stages; the respondent is asked to choose the most important items for a particular dilemma. Students who engaged in community service work showed a significant increase in moral reasoning on the DIT, while the comparison group did not. It was hypothesized that scores on principled morality would increase significantly more for the group involved in service than for the comparison group. It was also projected that principled thinking would increase significantly more for women in both groups than for the men. In the nonservice course, a shift to higher stages was found: while only 8 percent were on the principled level on the pretest, 28 percent were on that level on the posttest. For the service course, the percentage of students on the principled level rose from 26 to 54 percent. On the posttest, the mean scores of women in both groups were higher than those of men in both groups. (SW)
Descriptors: Church Related Colleges, College Students, Comparative Analysis, Developmental Stages, Disadvantaged, Experiential Learning, Females, Higher Education, Institutional Research, Males, Moral Development, Moral Issues, Nontraditional Education, School Community Relationship, Student Experience, Values
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Boston College MA
Note: Not available in paper copy due to marginal legibility of original document.