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Moral Reasoning of Pre-Service Teachers: The Effects of Instruction in Moral Development Theory and Instructor Moderated Dilemma Discussion in the Asynchronous Online Classroom.
Counseling and Educational Psychology
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This study used a quasi-experimental design to examine the effectiveness of interventions designed to increase moral reasoning among pre-service teachers in the asynchronous online learning environment. The study specifically examined whether exposure to moral development theory and dilemma discussion in the asynchronous online learning environment resulted in significant gains in principled moral reasoning (DIT P-scores) of both elementary and secondary pre-service teachers. Additionally this study examined if instructor to student moderated dilemma discussion resulted in higher gains in principled moral reasoning (DIT P-scores) over student to student discussion alone. Participants were undergraduate elementary and secondary education students (N = 76) enrolled in 4 sections of an online education course at a Western Land Grant university. Results of a 2 x 2 mixed ANOVA (time by group) with repeated measures show significant increases in mean DIT P-scores (p < .05) between overall subject pre and post test scores, while no significant differences were found for subjects participating in instructor moderated dilemma discussion or those who participated in student-student dilemma discussion alone. Results provide evidence that education undergraduates show significant gains in moral reasoning (DIT P-scores) when exposed to moral development theory and dilemma discussion (regardless of teacher participation or student-student discussion alone) in the asynchronous online learning environment.