Why do people behave the way they do? What motivates them? Lawrence Kohlberg (1958) studied children of various ages and discovered distinct stages of reasoning involved in decision making. He further categorized them into three levels, with two stages in each level. “Six Stages of Moral Development” has become a standard for behavior assessment.
Rafe Esquith, a fifth grade teacher at an inner city school in Los Angeles, popularized Kohlberg’s Six Levels in his book, Teach Like Your Hair’s on Fire. His goal is for each student in his classroom to develop to the sixth level, and they often do. View the list to read Kolhberg’s six principles, simplified by Esquith. These essentially are the different stages of reasoning that children should develop (not many progress to the sixth level) in order to have the best possible motivation for their choices, which determines behavior. See if you agree that a seventh level should be added.
Yes, it involves the Bible. But the Bible is not about a list of rules—it is about a relationship with the true and living God who created us, loves us, and provided redemption from sin so we can live with Him forever.
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