Jean Piaget defines Moral Development as “the result of interpersonal interactions through which individuals work out resolutions which all deem fair” (Murray, n.d.). Moral development has been popularly studied in various fields like psychology and education. In relation to this, moral education has also been explored in some researches in order to see how the morality of an individual could be influenced or shaped by other factors like the impact of other people. Being the case, a person could aid in the moral development of a person. This paper will discuss the ways that could be applied in order to influence the moral development of soldiers, leaders, and even my ones’ own family through moral education.
Personally, I defined moral development as the outcome of choices and actions that give importance to all people involved in a particular situation to acquire what they deserve and in the process would eventually aid the concerned people to develop themselves and become better persons. In order to explicitly define moral development as such, I need to discern some ideas and situations. One of which is the idea of virtue and what does it take for someone to be regarded as a virtuous person. Virtue is often connoted as the “quality of doing what is right and avoiding what is wrong” and it is also regarded as a “work of great merit” (Princeton University, n.d.). As such, I can say that a virtuous person is someone who has an admirable quality that stand by his or her values and principles in life. In the application of these values and principles, the person still puts into consideration the welfare of other people in a sense that every decision and action that he or she made is fair and for the good of all.
Encouraging moral development is also applicable for those who are spiritually and not spiritually inclined. For those who are spiritually inclined, moral development is possible if their belief would be use as the basis for enhancing their morality. It would be beneficial if moral education would be done in such a way that the relation between moral development and the very principles of their spirituality would be connected. On the other hand, those who are not spiritually inclined could also be encouraged about moral development by relating this idea to their beliefs in life. Even though a person is not spirituality inclined he or she still lives by a certain principle. As such, establishing a connection between this principle or belief and moral development could encourage the moral enhancement of the person.
Soldiers are also among the people who particularly need moral development because of the nature of their job that involves violence and dealing with unjust people. Being the case, they are face with various situations that involves moral dilemma or the idea of choosing what is right from what is wrong. This is the reason why moral development should also be included in their training. The military should not simply focus on enhancing the physically and intellectual aspects of their soldier but they also have to give due importance to their moral development because a morally upright person makes a good soldier.
A soldier who would enter the military profession with very minimal moral formation should be given due attention. According to Joseph Thomas (n.d.), there are four stages of moral development that could be applied to properly train a soldier in order to enhance his or her moral development. These stages are compliance, moral understanding, moral maturity, and moral ambition. It is through the accomplishment of these stages that moral development could be observable in military soldiers. Moreover, even student organization, which even I could participate in, could influence the moral development of soldiers. School organizations or clubs could go to an exposure trip to military camps and bases so that an interaction of soldiers and civilians could be facilitated. These activities could enhance the moral development of soldiers through the things that they could learn from the interaction especially the various perspectives of the students that they would communicate with.
The aforementioned activity together with other seminars and workshops like character building and applying the idea of ethics in various kinds of profession should be able to enhance moral development. In relation to this, not only would the students benefit from this kind of activity but also the whole community they would interact with because an interactive exchange of ideas could foster a more substantial and comprehensive meaning of moral development.
Leaders are also among the people who should greatly exhibit moral development. The moral formation of leaders is different from other people like soldiers because they are expected to be more morally upright due to their responsibility of guiding and serving their constituents or their members. Being the case, they have to exhibit a more outstanding moral formation because they served as the models that their subordinates would follow. Moreover, their credibility as leaders is also based upon their ability to do what they preach and to live a life that is guided by their moral principles.
Lastly, moral education is also applicable in the moral development of ones’ family. This idea has been exemplified in my own family as I was able to influence most of my immediate relatives in enhancing their moral values. I was able to do so by means of interacting with them and giving them advises especially during times wherein we are experiencing family problems or crisis. I would give guidance to the younger members of our family and also share my thoughts with my older relatives in order for them to evaluate their moral standing and somehow change it for the better.
The discussions above show that the moral development of an individual could be influenced by other people. This is the reason why even students like us could make a difference in enhancing the moral development of other people and even our whole community. Doing so, would be beneficial in addressing the moral bankruptcy that is currently happening in our society.
Nucci, L. (n.d.). Moral Development and Moral Education: An Overview. Studies in Moral Development and Education. Retrieved August 3, 2008, from
Princeton University. (2006). Virtue. WordNet Search. Retrieved August 3, 2008, from
Thomas, J. J. (n.d.). The Four Stages of Moral Development in Military Leaders. Retrieved August 3, 2008, from russellleadership.org/docs/Four%20Stages %20of%20Moral%20Development.pdf.