Moral judgment of high school students in the context of an evaluation process
Ethics in education should consider objective and subjective dimensions of the evaluation process, in addition to the human and cultural factors that influence the behavior of students. This study examined the moral judgment of 242 students, ages 14 to 18, in a secondary school, about the subject of copying or not the schoolwork of a classmate without his consent. The act of copying a schoolwork of a classmate was considered in three different contexts. Data collection was done through the articulation of two methodological strategies: presentation of cases involving justice and human dignity issues, followed by discussion in focus groups. Dilemmas promoted from hypothetical situations provided a high involvement of the students. In a general way, they were able to describe their feelings and take a decision about the act itself. Results showed that moral identity of the questioned students is compatible with school rules. The ability to relativize imposed school rules in an evaluation process depended on the student´s age. However, moral judgment of students has changed with the presentation of unfavorable contexts, especially on situations involving economic and social risks.
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