Free «Carol Gilligan» Essay Sample

1. Carol Gilligan critiques the third stage of Kohlberg’s theory of moral development. This stage says that individuals act so as to feel free with others; in this stage, people empathize with others, and this guides the behavior of people towards others. For instance, a person will act in a particular way in order not to hurt other people. Therefore, a person or a child acts to satisfy other people. Carol Gilligan says that this theory is gender biased, as it is said that most women remain at stage three. Kohlberg also limited his research to abstract moral dilemmas.

2. Vygotsky believed that a very strong relationship exists among a child’s social experience, speech development and cognitive development. He believed that the society acts to influence a child’s cognitive development, since children learn a lot from the external world. Vygotsky's Sociocultural Approach to cognitive development differs from Piaget’s theory in that Jean Piaget focused a lot on the inner potentials of the child. Piaget suggested that the child’s inner potentialities are indispensable to the child’s cognitive development, and a child uses this potential to learn about things in the environment.

3. Cognitive developmental theory by Kohlberg as well as social schema theory by Sandra Bem insists on gender roles formation in children. The two theories explain that gender roles start forming very early in children, and the children realize that their gender remain constant throughout their lives. The two theories also suggest that gender roles are motivated by culture, and children want to achieve the gender standards dictated by the culture. The two theories also differ in that social schema theory states that children start to use gender to process information earlier than suggested by cognitive development theory.


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