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DLSU RP 1999-06: The Effect of Classroom Intervention on the Moral Reasoning Scores of College Students: Implication on Moral Education

The study aims to find out if classroom intervention in the form of discussion, readings, and lectures can help students advance in their moral reasoning given the short time that they are exposed to discussion-based moral dilemmas. Specifically, it seeks to answer the following questions: 1) What are the moral judgment scores of college students before and after classroom intervention?; 2) What, if any, is the difference between the moral judgment scores of college students before and after classroom intervention?; 3) What, if any, is the difference between the moral judgment scores of male and female students? The research is descriptive in nature. It employs Rest’s Defining Issues Test (DIT), which is devised by James Rest to measure how people use different considerations in making sense of a moral situation. It is a multiple choice test containing six moral dilemma stories which aims at measuring the stages of moral development in accord with Kohlberg’s framework. The subjects for this study are 153 undergraduate students at the De La Salle University, Manila who are enrolled in Religious Studies III or Christian Morality. They are asked to read each story and make recommendations for what a person should do. Three choices are provided for the subjects to choose from. The subjects are made to rate the importance of each issue using a five-point scale: great, much, some, little, no. They are then asked to choose the four most important issue in making a decision from the given 12 statements and rank them as most important, second most important, third most important, and fourth most important. The means and standard deviations are computed in order to derive the moral judgment scores of the Defining Issues Test. These computations are used to determine the moral judgment development scores of the subjects in both pretest and posttest. Findings reveal that 1) the preferred moral judgment scores of college students before and after classroom interventions fall under stage 4 reasoning with mean scores of 19.11 for pretest and 18.46 for posttest; 2) there is no significant difference on the moral reasoning of college students before and after classroom intervention; and 3) there is no significant difference between the moral reasoning of female and male college students. The female college students score higher in the P% index. The following conclusions can be drawn from the result of this study: 1) there is no significant effect of classroom intervention in the form of lectures and discussions of moral dilemmas and issues on the moral reasoning of college students using the Defining Issues Test; 2) discussions and lectures on moral issues and dilemmas during a short period of time (one term) support existing researches that they do not help students advance in their moral reasoning; and 3) the finding of this study indicates that female college students use the cognitive model of moral reasoning as much as the male college students do.

Authors Keywords
education;
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