Moral Development

Unit IV Case Study


Read the two case studies below: “Anika’s Dilemma” and “The Ring”. Once you have read each Case Study, complete the questions below it. Use Microsoft Word and APA format to create one paper that answers all six questions. You may answer each question individually (200 word minimum), or combine the questions from Case Study 1 into a 500 word essay and Case Study 2 into a 500 word essay. At least one source must be used for each Case Study and referenced according to APA guidelines.



Case Study 1: “Anika’s Dilemma”

Anika opened her locker and hid her face from her friend Hope. Luckily, Hope was talking to Jerome and was not paying attention. Anika unfolded the note and read it again. “I really like you. Will you go steady with me?” The note was signed by Darius. Darius Thompson was in most of Anika’s classes. He was super nice, everyone liked him, and he was the cutest boy in the sixth grade. He was also the boy Hope had a huge crush on. Hope was Anika’s best friend. She talked about Darius nonstop—in the cafeteria, on the school bus, when they talked on the phone at night. In fact, Anika was getting a little tired of how much Hope gushed about Darius. Anika looked over at Hope and Jerome. Sagan told Anika the other day that Jerome liked Hope. Anika was surprised and told Sagan that was not possible; Jerome, Anika, and Hope had been friends since they were in kindergarten. Anika realized that Sagan might be right when she saw Jerome blush as Hope touched his arm. (Hope was very touchy-feely.) Anika wished Hope liked Jerome—like, liked him—as a boyfriend. Anika really liked Darius herself, but had never said anything to Hope because she knew how much her friend wanted Darius to be her boyfriend. Now that Darius had sent Anika the note, she did not know what to do.


Answer the following questions.

  1. According to Gilligan’s Three Stages of Moral Development, what would Anika decide if she were at Stage 1? What about stage 2?


2. As a sixth grader around the age of 12, is it possible that Anika has moved into the Stage 3 phase-“Morality of non-violence”? Based on this stage, how do you think Anika would resolve this dilemma?


3. Use Kohlberg’s Sequence of Moral Reasoning. Based on Anika’s age and your answer to question two, what level of moral reasoning do you think Anika falls into?


Case Study 2: “The Ring”


Will, a fifth grader at Carroll Elementary, was cutting through the playground on his way home from school when something caught his eye. He walked over to the monkey bars and bent down to pick up the shiny object. It was a ring and not the cheap kind either. Not like the ones out of the gum ball machine with the split in the band so you could squeeze them to fit on your finger. It looked nice, with a purple gem in the middle and two sparkly diamonds on either side. Will did not know if the stones were real or not, but it was a lot nicer ring than any he had seen his older sister wear. Will looked around trying to see if he could find someone who might have dropped it, but the playground was empty. He saw a mom picking up two girls across the parking lot—it looked like Kaitlin’s mom, a girl from his class. Other than that, the school yard was empty. He had stayed longer after school than usual in order to get some help with his math homework, so there were not many kids hanging around.

He looked back at the ring. It would be a nice present to give his sister. Ever since Will’s dad had died the year before, money had been tight. He did not get an allowance anymore; his mom said she just could not manage it right now. He used to go with his dad to buy his mom and his sister, Cara, birthday and Christmas presents. His mom had said that it was not the presents that mattered; they would just have a birthday cake and a nice dinner for Cara’s birthday next week. Will wanted to do something nice for his sister, and since it did not look like anyone was missing the ring, he decided he would give it to his sister. He put it in his pocket so he would not lose it as he walked home. The next morning when Will walked in the classroom, he looked around for his buddy, Rodriguez. He could not wait to tell Rod about the ring he found. He spotted him at Kaitlin’s desk along with a few other classmates who had arrived before the school bell. Kaitlin looked like she was crying, and Will walked over.

“What’s wrong?” He asked Rod. “Kaitlin lost her birthstone ring,” Rod told him. “I think her aunt gave it to her.” Kaitlin looked up at the group. “It was purple, my favorite color. My mom is soooo mad at me.” She burst into tears again. Will’s heart sank. He knew the ring he found was Kaitlin’s.


Answer the following questions.


  1. What level of morality do you think Will has reached on Kohlberg’s Sequence of Moral


2. Reasoning? Explain why you think he falls in this level.


3. Based on the level you chose, what type of thought processes would Will be thinking? Do you think he would give the ring back to Kaitlin? Why?



4. The legend of Robin Hood talks about a renegade who steals from the rich to give to the poor. Robin Hood’s actions, according to the myth, are justified by the deeds of selfish King John who has left the people in England in a state of poverty. (If you are not familiar with the folktale, you might want to research the story on the internet.) What level of morality does this legend address? Explain your reasoning.

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