Kohlberg’s Cognitive-Developmental Paradigm: A Systematic Application of the African Oral Tale for Moral Edification

Gilead Nkwain Ngam, Henry Kah Jick


The aim of this study is to investigate the extent to which the application of some traditional African tales are damaging to tender minds and, therefore, injurious to the process of moral edification in the society as some critics have argued. This paper rests on the conclusion that an unsystematic and uncoordinated application of tales to children is likely to a large extent, blight moral development and expose children to indecency and obscure moral standards. To attain the aim of this research, the functional and sociological literary approaches are utilized as analytical tools. In an attempt to proffer a solution to indecency and obscure moral standards in children, these researchers posit as a hypothetical contention that a meticulous application of Lawrence Kohlberg’s cognitive developmental paradigm employed as a method of selecting the right tale for the right stage of moral development, can avoid the inappropriate transmission of damaging tales or present an overdose of irrelevant tales  and therefore, provide a systematic and effective exploitation of oral tale  in the process of moral development. Finally, the study reemphasizes the view of other scholars that African oral tales constitute a rich source of moral enhancement to tender minds.

Keywords: Kohlberg’s, Cognitive, Developmental, African, Oral tale, Moral, Edification.


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