The characteristics of Hong Kong children's moral development

Mun Amanda WONG

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This paper reports results of a study that investigated 50 preschool children’s moral judgements about an event involving accidental and deliberate damage to materials. The study aimed to re-examine Piaget’s theory regarding the moral judgements of 4- to 5-year-old children, particularly with regard to judgements of intentions behind an action. The design permitted systematic analysis of the effects of different intentions on children’s moral judgements. Results showed that preschoolers’ moral judgements are not based always on the consequence of the action as Piaget suggested, but varied across different moral content. This study also revealed that children’s moral judgements would vary according to different perspective-taking (self vs. parents). As young as preschool years, children understand that their perspective on moral judgement can be different from that of the moral authority (e.g., parents). The present study highlights the need for specificity with regard to the situation when discussing children’s moral judgements. The results contribute to new understanding of young children’s moral development and provide new insights for young children’s moral education.
本文發表一項有關「香港學前兒童的道德發展」的研究結果。研究訪問了五十位學前兒童,旨在探討學前兒童的道德判斷,是否如皮亞傑的說法,只集中考慮行為的結果而忽略行為動機。本研究透過一種有系統的方法來引發兒童分享他們對道德判斷的看法。研究結果顯示,四至五歲的兒童已能根據行為動機來判斷是非,並能代入成人的角色來作道德判斷。在幼稚園階段的兒童,已理解到自己的道德判斷,可與具權威人士(如父母)不同。因此,要深入分析兒童的道德發展,我們須研究兒童的道德判斷在不同情境中之變化。本文也分享了對道德教育的一些啟示。 Copyright © 2004 香港中文大學香港教育研究所.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-23
JournalJournal of Basic Education
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2004


Wong, M. A. (2004). The characteristics of Hong Kong children's moral development. Journal of Basic Education, 13(1), 1-23.


  • Early Childhood Education
  • Theory and Practice of Teaching and Learning


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