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ERIC Number: ED124491
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1976-Apr
Pages: 12
Abstractor: N/A
Developmentalists' Approach to Alternative Schooling.
Scharf, Peter
The Harvard University Center for Moral Education is conducting research on Kohlberg's assumption that development of moral thinking and of practical understanding of democratic institutions may be most effective in schools where students judge the moral atmosphere to be just. Students perceptions of three types of school are compared: (1) traditional high schools where administrators make the important decisions, (2) laissez-faire "open classroom" schools where there are no rigid rules, and (3) democratic schools where the student community participates in policy making. The comparison was made by using the author's Moral Atmosphere Scoring System, involving hour-long interviews of 12 randomly selected students at each of the three types of school. Findings show clear qualitative differences in perceptions of "rules and authority" in the three schools: 82% of the students at the democratic school accepted that atmosphere; 17% at traditional schools accepted their atmosphere; and 42% at the laissez-faire school approved of the rules. These preliminary indications that students evaluate settings in terms of their perceived justice must be followed by conceptual and methodological progress before one can genuinely categorize school moral atmospheres and link them to changes in ethical reasoning. (AV)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: N/A
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (San Francisco, California, April 19-23, 1976)