Graduate Research Papers


Open Access Graduate Research Paper


This study was undertaken for the purpose of analyzing children's picture books to determine if specific moral conflict episodes could be identified, according to Lawrence Kohlberg's cognitive theory of moral development. The identification of conflict dilemmas was made by examining selected books for young readers to identify and isolate problems encountered by one or more characters. If conflict story incidents could be identified and described, it seemed probable that teachers could use them as a primary source for stimulating discussions about moral problem solving behaviors. Thus, a second purpose was to determine if a process of questioning could be used by teachers to extend the development of moral reasoning ability of children. Specifically, this depended upon whether it was possible to formulate specific questions which Lawrence Kohlberg identifies as appropriate for the probable moral stage of the intended age group, and at the next higher stage of moral judgment. These questions were structured to elicit open responses (phrases, or sentences) vs. closed responses (yes-no type answers) .

Year of Submission


Degree Name

Master of Arts

First Advisor

Mary Lou McGrew


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Date Original


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