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ERIC Number: ED165142
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1978
Pages: 15
Abstractor: N/A
The Development of the Ability to Write Argumentation: Moral and Rhetorical Maturity.
Miller, Susan
Freshman composition students have difficulties in moving to new stages of cognitive ability similar to the difficulties experienced by poorer writers in moving to new levels of syntactic maturity. A model of moral/cognitive development created by Lawrence Kohlberg indicates that human responses to moral choices move through as many as six stages of moral growth. Freshman composition students assigned one of Kohlberg's moral dilemma problems consistently gave responses that were between Kohlberg's stages three and four. One implication of this finding is that more accurate developmental models for teaching writing must go beyond those for remedial-level instruction to develop a model of cognitive growth in nonremedial students. Kohlberg notes a moving ahead and falling back in moral-cognitive development which seems to be paralleled in the development of cognitive complexity and rhetorical strategies. A second implication may be that the cognitive growth of students must be initiated by putting students in writing and discussion situations that lead them toward the level of moral/cognitive development typical of those who appreciate most literature. More highly developed writing and cognition will be fostered by teaching the terminology of complicated perspectives. (Student responses to a moral dilemma problem are appended.) (TJ)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Conference on College Composition and Communication (29th, Denver, Colorado, March 30-April 1, 1978)