Prof. Spitzer: “Just as children start learning grammatical rules at the age of seven months, for example, they also learn to interact with one another very early on. However, getting along with each other is definitely more difficult than speaking, which is why moral development takes longer than language development, which is more or less completed by the age of six: Anyone who goes to school can speak German fairly flawlessly. By no means, however, can he behave morally flawlessly in every respect. So the moral development takes place much further into human development, as we know today, into the third decade of life. “

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What influence do digital media have on the development of moral feelings in children?

Prof. Spitzer: “If small children nowadays spend a large part of their time doing social contacts via the screen, they will have problems developing compassion. In order to understand how the speech melody or the facial expressions or the gestures of a person is to be judged with regard to their emotional content, one needs real people and real contact with them. This cannot be learned through screens. Correspondingly, a connection between screen media use and lack of compassion was found in large longitudinal studies and published in high profile as early as 2010. “

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How can parents encourage and teach moral behavior in children? 

Prof. Spitzer: “It is one of the truisms of upbringing that children take their parents as role models. So if parents occasionally lie or do things and say the opposite, then children will learn that too from their parents. If, on the other hand, parents behave with moral integrity towards their children or towards other adults, this behavior is also taken up by the children. If parents threaten to punish or impose sanctions, it is important that they are consistent: ‘Clean up your room’ – this admonition only makes sense if it also has a consequence if the room is not tidy. If the child learns that breaking rules has no consequences, it will tend to break the rules of interpersonal behavior as well.


“Low voter turnout, presumed or actual political disinterest of young people, manifestations of extremism and willingness to use violence – this or something like that looks again and again the backdrop in front of which the need for political education in schools is discussed in public” [1] , whereby political Education at this point as “value education and personality development” [2]should be understood. Social morality does not seem to be in good order, and therefore the call for moral education and a revival of values ​​is getting louder and louder. At this point the question arises again and again as to what extent schools can counteract this situation by making a contribution. This seems to be a huge task for the education system and the teachers working in it [3] , especially since the image of an alleged decline in values ​​that already exists in society is solidified and not by politics, business, science, technology or family more to get out of the way. [4]Nevertheless, schools are required to develop concepts for moral education without, however, elaborating on what exactly is meant by them.

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It should be noted that today’s social situation is characterized by numerous problems and increasing challenges, which are undoubtedly due to processes such as globalization, pluralization and individualization, which are accompanied by different, changed and increased values ​​and morals. Due to the complexity of our modern, innovative and pluralistic society, a consensus on certain basic questions of lifestyle is no longer possible. Instead, lifestyles and the underlying views of values ​​and morals are sometimes so different within our society that they are in competition with one another or sometimes even no longer compatible with one another. So it’s understandable that students[5] are unsettled by the diverse lifestyles of our society and often do not know which moral concepts and ideals they should be guided by.

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The task of giving the children and young people tools that enable them to deal rationally with the existing diversity seems all the more necessary. Teachers and parents need to equip adolescents with all the skills necessary to prepare them for this new time. Care must be taken to ensure that not only a “one-sided emphasis on moral ideals” [6] , but also the “ability to make judgments and discourse” [7] required for this.mediated. Because if education is limited exclusively to conveying values, it can “under certain circumstances represent a danger, namely if it encourages adolescents in their moral ideals without at the same time promoting their ability to solve the dilemmas that inevitably come with it” [ 8] . A mere mention of values ​​and norms on the part of parents and teachers and imitation of these on the part of the pupils cannot achieve the desired effect.

The present thesis should therefore deal with the question of how the school and especially the ethics class can convey not only morality but also the ability to make judgments in order to counteract the current social situation possibly even through a contribution.

 Overview of the work

In order to provide an overview of the course of this work, the structure is briefly outlined below:

While the first part is still devoted to definitional considerations and addresses moral education in the school context, the second chapter introduces the concept of Lawrence Kohlberg. In addition to its basic assumptions and the developed step model, above all the cognitive-moral conflict with regard to its benefits for the moral education of students is examined. This then results in the work with dilemma stories, which are the focus of this work and are therefore examined in more detail in the following third chapter. Since this methodical approach is not intended to remain purely theoretical, an implementation example for practice is presented at the end (Chapter 4). In a series of lessons designed for the upper school level, it should be shown here as an example:

First, however, I would like to describe what is to be understood by the term morality in the further course of this work.

 What is morality?


Anyone who walks through life with open eyes will probably quickly find that many situations in political and human coexistence quickly become moral questions. One could think, for example, of problems that concern “the distribution of social wealth, the handling of ecological livelihoods, [or] the question of war and peace” [10] . Likewise, “ending a dispute with a fist or through an amicable settlement, the violation or consideration of the dignity, the need for help, the privacy of another person” [11]always questions that have a moral value. Without morality of the individual human coexistence would be unpredictable. The same would apply to the social and political level if neither the legal system nor the political decision-making structures would take “morals” into account. [12] At first glance, it takes on a diverse and important role in human coexistence, but even on closer inspection, “a multidisciplinary and traditional discussion of the term ‘morality’ can be made out, which contains many definitions with different accents and structures . ” [13] At this point, however, no various definitions are made.

Instead, the term “morality” in the following is intended to mean autonomous and at the same time responsible judgment and action in social conflicts.

It should be noted, however, that this understanding thus differs from the moral term that is also common in linguistic usage, which understands “a shameless or repressive determination of what ‘the’ authorities or ‘society’ mean ‘normal’ and ‘decent'” [14 ] hold, delimit. Why this definition was chosen will become clear in the further course of this work.