Moral Development

Helping children step on the right path
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  • Lectures 9
  • Length 1.5 hours
  • Skill Level All Levels
  • Languages English
  • Includes Lifetime access
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About This Course

Published 6/2015 English

Course Description

This course summarises the results of over 30 years author's work on the problem of children's moral development. It explains what moral behaviour is, what types of moral behaviour exist, and how the first sprouts of morality emerge in preschool children. I will explain what cognitive abilities children need to develop to be able to follow the rules of morality. I will show and discuss video clips of children solving moral dilemmas in the modelled real life situations. I will explain what types of moral behaviour exist, and compare advantages and disadvantages of each of these types. We will see what stages preschool children go through in their moral development. I will give distinct recommendations to parents and moral educators on how to promote different types of moral development in preschool children.

In this course I avoid special terminology and boring statistical data, but I do have to employ certain psychological concepts, such as "identification" or "self-esteem", so I expect my students to have an elementary background in psychology at an introductory level, or at least be familiar with such concepts from their general reading. This is a video course, which includes power point slides, videos with author's comments, live videos showing children working on moral dilemmas tasks, graphs and drawings. It will take students about 120 minutes to watch all the lectures and answer quizzes, but it might take a little more time if you do some recommended background reading.

The course is in three parts; each part includes 2 video lectures. Each video-lecture comprises author's audio and video tracks, videos of children working on moral dilemmas tasks, animated pictures and graphs. In the end of each part students will have an opportunity to check their knowledge and understanding of the material, by answering the questions of a multiple-choice quiz. The lectures are supplemented by reading materials, more videos of children who are facing moral choices, and two worksheets in which you will be asked to complete practice exercises on some psychological, ethical, philosophical and methodological aspects of children's moral behaviour. The course ends with the final quiz. By completing this quiz students have an opportunity to check their understanding of this course and apply their knowledge about moral development to simulated real life situations. If you want to understand how children's moral development works and what rules parents and educators need to follow in order to stimulate development of different types of moral behaviour in their children, than this course is for you.

What are the requirements?

  • No special software is required, but some knowledge of psychology at an introductory level is expected.

What am I going to get from this course?

  • Understand what moral behavior is and how it works
  • Know how preschool children develop different kinds of moral behavior
  • Apply knowledge about moral development into practice of moral education of children

Who is the target audience?

  • This course is meant for parents of young and preschool children with some knowledge of psychology at an elementary level. If your children are grown, it is probably too late for you to go for this course, unless you are a devoted grandparent or a professional educator of young and preschool children.

What you get with this course?

Not for you? No problem.
30 day money back guarantee.

Forever yours.
Lifetime access.

Learn on the go.
Desktop, iOS and Android.

Get rewarded.
Certificate of completion.


Section 1: Introduction to the course

In this lecture I will introduce you to the course. I will tell who should and who shouldn't take this course, what you will learn in this course, what you will be able to do after completing the course. I will also say a few words about myself.

Section 2: Part I. Venture into freedom

In this lecture I will introduce main concepts and illustrate those concepts with a video showing children working on a free moral choice task. After the lecture read pp.86-95 from the attached book (img001), and pp.3-14 of the attached paper (optional, skip the paper if you find it difficult).


In this lecture I will show how children behave on moral dilemma tasks when they are free from surveillance and introduce a distinction between two different types of moral behaviour. After the lecture read pp. 100-112 of the attached book (img001) and pp.17-24 of the attached paper (optional, skip the paper if you find it difficult).

Section 3: Practice exercise 1. Phenomenology
1 page

Using Worksheet 1 Phenomenology, use the attached link and watch through the Phenomenology video. Next, follow instructions given in the worksheet and complete the phenomenology practice exercise. Finally, proceed to Phenomenology answer sheet, compare your answers with those given in the answer sheet and analyse the differences.

Section 4: Part II. Choosing the way

In this lecture we will see and discuss more videos on children working on moral choice tasks and displaying either pragmatic or non-pragmatic moral behavior. After the lecture, read pp.96-100 of the attached book (img001).


In this lecture I will explain what role children's ability to deceive other people plays in the children's moral development. I will then compare and contrast between pragmatic and non-pragmatic paths in moral development and discuss how children face a choice between these paths. Read pp.112-115 of the attached book (img001) and pp.33-35 of the attached paper (optional).

Section 5: Practice exercise 2. Methodology
1 page

Using Worksheet 2. Methodology, watch through the Methodology video. For the video, follow the link . Next, follow instructions given in the worksheet and complete the methodology practice exercise. Finally, proceed to Methodology answer sheet, compare your answers with those given in the answer sheet and analyse the differences.

Section 6: Part III. Getting on the path

In this lecture I will discuss various scenarios of how we can enhance the development of non-pragmatic behaviour in children. I will then present an intervention experiment which aimed at examining these scenarios. After the lecture, read pp.112-133 of the attached book (img001) and pp.14-17 of the attached paper (optional).


In this concluding lecture I will overview stages through which the children go in their moral development. I will finish the course by giving recommendations to parents and educators as to what rules they should follow if they want to assist the development of pragmatic or non-pragmatic moral behavior in their children.Read pp.133-138 of the attached book (img001) and pp.35-38 of the attached paper (optional).

Section 7: Final quiz
12 questions

Apply your knowledge about development of pragmatic and non-pragmatic moral behavior to simulated real life situations of communication with children

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Instructor Biography

Eugene Subbotsky, PhD in Developmental Psychology

Eugene Subbotsky obtained a PhD in Developmental Psychology at Moscow State University. He taught at Moscow State University, Russia (1975-1990), Lancaster University, UK (1991-2013) and was an Alexander-von-Humboldt Fellow at Konstanz University, West Germany (1990-1991). He is known internationally for research on children's moral development, the development of children's metaphysical reasoning, and the development of magical thinking and behaviour over life span. He conducted research in Russia, Germany, United Kingdom, USA and Mexico. He published over 100 papers in scientific journals and is the author of 12 books, including those published by Harvard University Press, Oxford University Press, and Psychology Press. Eugene is an Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society, a BPS charted psychologist, a Member of the BPS Division of Teachers and Researchers in Psychology.

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