Moral & Prosocial Behavior: Definitions & Examples of Classroom Applications

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  • 0:05 Moral and Prosocial Behavior
  • 0:56 Key Terms: Prosocial…
  • 1:49 Developmental Trends
  • 3:54 Promoting Prosocial…
  • 4:38 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Melissa Hurst
Caring, volunteering, empathizing with others: these are all traits of moral and prosocial behavior. As children age, they develop such moral and prosocial behaviors and traits. This lesson will define these key terms and discuss ways to promote moral and prosocial behavior in the classroom.

Moral and Prosocial Behavior

(Scene: Two small boys, Jim and Andrew, are in a classroom. Jim holds a toy car, but he notices that Andrew is looking at it with interest. Jim offers the truck to Andrew, who takes it and walks away.)

Teacher: 'Jim, what nice sharing. Thank you for setting a good example! Andrew, please try to demonstrate nicer behavior. Say thank you when Jim offers you his toy.'

Teacher (to herself): 'I wish Andrew would demonstrate better behavior. I wonder how I can help him learn appropriate prosocial behaviors in class.'

What you have witnessed is an example of prosocial behavior. This lesson will define prosocial behavior and morality, explore the developmental trends of these behaviors and explain methods of promoting prosocial and moral behavior in the classroom.

Key Terms: Prosocial and Morality

Prosocial behavior is defined as behavior directed toward promoting the well-being of another. Behaviors such as caring, helping, sharing and volunteering are encompassed under the category of prosocial behavior. Prosocial behavior may originate and be motivated by concern about the welfare of others and the rights of others.

Morality is defined as one's general standards and beliefs about right and wrong. Traits such as honesty, fairness and responsibility for one's own actions fall under the category of morality. Additionally, the students' beliefs about moral and immoral behavior affect their behavior at school, which makes the understanding of this topic critical for current and future educators.

Prosocial behavior is the promotion of the well-being of others through feelings and actions.
Prosocial Behavior

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