Moral development

Ethics, citizenship and moral development are intertwined.
In Digital Community, Digital Citizen, I create a hypothetical "perfect school board" whose members want to pursue teaching digital citizenship in their school district in a serious and informed manner. As part of their education, they look into moral development of children because they know that so many of the decisions they will make with regard to digital citizenship will be moral ones. Thus they need to know how kids develop in their abilities to apply moral judgment.

Invitation to readers: please add your resources to this page. Please add any resources here related to moral development and behavior, both online and off. While my resources focus on the school age years, feel free to add resources related to any age. Also, feel free to add links to any of the pages you see in the navigation column at the left. When in doubt about where to add something, please add it to the "Other" category and I will sort it out later.

To contribute to this wiki you will need an invitation from me. Although anyone can view this wiki, if you want to add to it you will need an invitation from me to join as a collaborator. Just email me ( and I will make it so. Thank you for your contributions.

Moral development and teacher education resources

Overview information.
Standard coursework in a teacher education program includes learning about how children develop in terms of their moral reasoning and decision making abilities. Consider that as we grow, we:
  • gradually decenter, gaining the ability to see things from someone else's point of view.
  • become less inclined to want to satisfy just our own needs, and more interested in working things out with peers interpersonally, often for pragmatic reasons.
  • gradually gain the ability to think more abstractly, see the big picture and our place within it.
In addition here are two key points:
  • Cognitive and moral development are linked, with the latter preceding the former.
  • Cognitive and moral development are best developed socially through interactions with peers in a constructivist environment. That is, an important part of moral development occurs when we work through situations with others and have to address competing concerns that are rational and valued.
Here are some of the key resources I used in creating this section of the book:
  • Brain, from Top to Bottom. An excellent website maintained by McGill University (referenced above) that explains how the brain works, as well as a number of other topics related to brain development, including emotional and moral development.
  • Discovering your moral self. From their website: "...where you can learn about your own morality, ethics, and/or values, while also contributing to scientific research. We are a group of professors and graduate students in social psychology at the University of Virginia, The University of California (Irvine), and the University of Southern California...Our goal is to understand the way our "moral minds" work. Why do people disagree so passionately about what is right? Why, in particular, is there such hostility and incomprehension between members of different political parties? By filling out a few of our surveys, you'll help us answer those questions. We, in return, will give you an immediate report on how you scored on each study, quiz, or survey. We'll show you how your responses compare to others and we'll tell you what that might say about you."
  • Gilligan's Theories, found from In a Different Voice, presented by Chuck Gruff, from St. Olaf's Psychology Department.

Reader resources
I have added other resources that I used, and invite you to add this to list: