Goethe's Faust Revisited: Lessons from DIT research

Journal of Moral Education 31 (3):315-324 (2002)
Abstract
The argument is made that psychometric forms of assessment are essential to the large-scale adoption of developmental approaches to moral education. In this respect, the Defining Issues Test has been an invaluable tool for research and practice in moral education. However, because such instruments are based upon previous developmental research, they are by definition derivative and unsuited for basic research on moral development. In addition standardised measures, while essential to educational research on the correlates of moral growth, run the risk of reifying extant views and assumptions about morality and moral development. Thus, such measures may stand in the way of generating new knowledge and/or impeding the assimilation of alternative conceptions of morality and social development within educational research and practice. To avoid these problems, while at the same time benefiting from the utility of measures such as the DIT, requires a constant reciprocal interaction between the generation of standardised measures and basic developmental research
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