Those against school uniforms mainly argue that they violate a student's freedom of expression and may interfere with religious clothing preferences (Kelly). However, evidence suggests that the benefits far outweigh these disadvantages. Educators, students and parents alike should view school uniforms as a good thing for a variety of reasons.
Isaacson (1998) compared two middle schools in Charleston County, S.C., one with a uniform policy, the other without. The researcher found that mandatory uniforms made schools safer by reducing gang influences by preventing gang members from wearing particular types of clothing to signify their association in a gang. Discipline referrals from the uniformed school were down 51% from the previous year without uniforms. Yet other schools have discovered that uniforms decreased violence and theft because of clothing and shoes and helped staff quickly recognize those who do not belong on school grounds. In Long Beach, officials found that the year after their mandatory program with parental opt-out was implemented, overall school crime decreased by 36% (Kelly). In Seattle, Washington, a mandatory uniform policy resulted in a decrease in truancy and tardiness (Kelly).
On the student side of the equation, uniforms help raise student self-esteem and reduce peer pressure by placing kids on an even playing field so that they…… [Read More]
School uniforms for students are becoming more and more popular across the country. Research suggest that schools with a mandatory school-wide uniform policy have better attendance, better behavior, fewer discipline referrals, and more school spirit. Children seem to become more focused on academics. They are also easily identified on campus, in the community, and on field trips, making general safety another benefit of wearing uniforms.
It is hypothesized that behavior in schools which require their students to wear uniforms will be better than those schools which do not with respect to discipline and behavior.
This study will use existing empirical research. The independent variable is wearing school uniforms. There are two levels of independent variables, with school uniforms and without school uniforms. The dependent variable is student behavior. Existing empirical research will provide proof that wearing school uniforms has a positive effect on student behavior.
Mandated Uniforms in School: A Benefit for Students and Educators Alike
The scenarios are endless. A young boy was left dead in the street after his Air Jordans and Raiders jacket are stolen from his body (Jones, 2000). In another city, children playing on a school playground run for cover as a stranger shoots bullets towards them. At another schoolyard, a fight breaks out between two opposing gangs who can be identified by the colors they are wearing. More and more cases of youth-related crimes are reported each year (McWhirter, McWhirter, and McWhirter, l998). In response to increasing youth crime regarding clothing, many communities choose to incorporate uniforms as part of a general safety program.
While educators and parents have long assumed the many benefits inherent in school uniforms, there is actually little empirical data supporting this ideology (DSN, 2004). However, new research shows that uniforms not only keep children looking neat and presentable, but they also carry a positive impact in numerous other areas.
Uniforms are usually part of comprehensive educational reform programs instituted across the United States, which are prompted by stricter regulations, including the 2001 No Child Left Behind Act (DSN, 2004). These new requirements demand that school districts increase average achievement levels on an annual basis. The new research shows that uniforms are a key component of these programs.
In a 2004 study, three public school districts in divergent regions were examined. These were Denver, Baltimore and Aldine, Texas, a suburb of Houston (DSN, 2004). Researchers…… [Read More]
School uniforms in public school has been a subject of national debate. Private and Parochial schools have a long history of school uniforms. Its implementation in public schools has been met with sharp criticism, it came to gain momentum in the late 1980's and it has been increasing steadily throughout the years. In some past few years the subject has gotten various boosts. The biggest boost was when in January President Clinton endorsed the use of school uniforms while addressing the Union. From his statement he said that if it means that the teenagers were going to stop killing each other because of a de-signer jacket then there is need for the public schools to wear uniforms. He also emphasized this across the country when he was emphasizing about the need to get violence out of schools and the need to instill discipline and learning back in schools. Another support was also from the National Association of Secondary School Principals during their national conference in February, 1996.
Use of uniform portrays an atmosphere of uniformity, loyalty, equality and pride among the students, (Caruso Peter, 1996). Uniforms as well show an image of professionalism. It makes learning to be more of businesslike; it removes some of the distractions that students face when they are in a dilemma of having a latest fad that is sweeping the country at that moment, or latest designer fashions. School uniforms make students to be more involved, making them to be part of a community or team when they are in the school, (St.John Parish, 1975). It does not necessarily mean that this will erase their individuality, but it is an act of including everyone to be of the same level in terms of image and dress code.
School uniforms are important because they reduce the cost of spending on students wear. As fashion constantly changes every time and seasons, this pressure is always left to the parent since they have to provide their children with what they need to make them feel the same as others, (Mary Beth Adomaitis 2012). Therefore they have to be bought for the latest peer-pleasing designs. But when uniforms are used, they never change unless the school administration want to change the uniform for certain reasons, however it takes a long duration of time before the administration decides on changing the uniform. Therefore the cost which will be…… [Read More]
There are many reasons why school uniforms are common in countries outside of the United States, and are becoming more important in the United States. In other countries, it is believed that wearing a school uniform creates a "uniform" learning environment, meaning that the students are focused on the same things and there is order in the classroom. When the students do not think about what they look like or what they wear, they are thinking more about what is going on in the classroom. Another reason for using school uniforms in other countries is that it is believed that they reduce the differences between the poor and rich students. The importance of this aspect is that poor students could get bullied or their teachers might be prejudiced against them. The uniform makes everyone equal because the uniform disguises the person's socio-economic class background. Similarly, the wearing of school uniforms may be cheaper for low-income families in most places because the family only has to purchase one uniform instead of many outfits. Finally, reasons for school uniforms also include general conformity. Students are more likely to attend school and less likely to misbehave, according to some researchers. Therefore, school uniforms should be required in American public schools in order to create a safer, equal, and more studious learning environment.
One of the reasons to make school uniforms mandatory in the public schools is discipline. Discipline is an important aspect of the learning environment. Park, for example, notes that discipline is the main reason why Korean school teachers prefer the use of uniforms in their classrooms. Discipline is related to the concept of the educational "climate," which means the atmosphere and energy of the classroom and the school. The educational climate is important to the students, and to the teachers. It has been shown in the research that school uniforms are better to the school climate. "Students in the uniform school rated climate as more positive in 9 out of 10 subscales," according to an experimental study by Murray. Discipline in the classroom is linked to student behavior. Classroom discipline is the way teachers control the students and prevent misbehaviors. It can be said that uniforms prevent problems because they minimize distractions and create a learning environment in which the teacher has a position of authority over the class. Research shows…… [Read More]
The researchers omitted the public sector data which had a positive correlation, and drew their conclusion from only the Catholic and private school sectors which had a negative correlation. Including the omitted data would have changed the overall conclusions. The authors warn against citing and using research that has methodological flaws.
School Uniform Relation to Attendance
A school uniform policy has been strongly suggested as a way to curb school violence and gang activity as way of dress is a common distinguishing characteristic of gang members. This sometimes has very tragic consequences. The uniformity in dress is thought to act as an equalizer and reduce the competition and its distracting effects especially for minority children (Lopez, 2003). The data on effect of school uniforms on student behavior is also not conclusive. The Long Beach Unified School District was one of the early initiatives in school uniforms in public schools. In the early 1990s because of increasing ethnic rivalry the District piloted a uniform policy in one school. By 1993-1994 there was enough support from the parents and community members to launch a uniform policy in ten additional elementary and middle schools. In their early evaluation they reported improvements in attendance, academic achievement, school safety and reduced ethnic and racial tensions. In the 1994-1995 school year all schools were required to determine appropriate uniforms, create a program for financial assistance and create compliance measures to allow for buttons and armbands for rights of freedom of expression and to include faith-based beliefs. As there was some resistance from some stakeholders on the grounds that it violated students' rights, there was a waiver policy included.
The Baltimore Cherry Hill Elementary School principal had also reported increased attendance, reduced suspensions and less frequent fighting among the results of the policy. In addition, other school districts have reported positive effects of a uniform school policy on gang violence, among them the Chicago, Alabama, and Houston (Konheim-Kalstein, 2006). However the Miami-Dade County reported a doubling in fights in uniformed schools. As pointed out by the author, in many of these school districts there were other…… [Read More]
Additional arguments against school uniforms are the violation of free expression and students' rights and the stifling of student individuality (Schachter 48-49; Wilkins 22). These arguments for and against school uniforms do not have enough sway to decide the point alone. If research implied a link to academic or behavioral changes one way or the other, it is likely that such minor matters would fall in line or become only an undercurrent caused by a few students or families (Schachter 49).
Reports and what limited research has been done do imply a partial link to positive results from uniforms. However, these positive results are not worth the amount of time and effort needed to institute and support a uniform program. This is especially true where many American schools are currently under supported and understaffed in libraries, computers, music, drama, and art (Rockney 16). It simply cannot be justified that schools and districts would go out of their way -- often creating more problems -- to institute a uniform policy with little or no research backing. At a time when there are not enough teachers in some schools and students are using books that should have been replaced years ago, this seems ludicrous. Though the ACLU is against uniforms as a first amendment rights violation, their point is well taken that money for schools has much better options than the implementation of uniforms (Rochney 16).
When considering whether a school uniform policy is necessary, educators and parents should look at two things. Is there proof of a uniform policy alone benefiting a school or district? If so, does the benefit merit the substantial concern, effort, and organization needed to make a uniform policy work? In this paper both benefits and criticisms of uniform policies have been presented. While there do appear to be minor benefits…… [Read More]
If school uniforms are implemented, universally the culture of the school becomes visibly white washed and some would argue that such a change does not prepare students for "real" life nor stress the value of individuality in such a way that students feel or respond to real social situations they may face as adults that include diverse appearances. Many also argue that though some students may benefit from structures that include strict adherence to school uniform policies, such as problem students who lack discipline in other areas of their life or are prone to violent actions such solutions are a small part of the total package needed in these cases and real mutual earned respect between students, teacher and peers is the real challenge for any student or school culture as such is the basis for curtailed behavior and responsible behaviors, as apposed to everything from mild verbal inappropriateness to violent actions against others. (Reyes, 2001, p. 539) on the issue of gang affiliation the proponents of school uniforms attest to the idea that such uniforms would challenge the display and therefore recruitment and possibly behaviors of gangs in schools, yet they do not stress that where such issues are relevant anti-gang attire policies already exist and should be addressing the problem, in part. While opponents stress that much of the research conducted in schools where uniform policies are the rule is conducted in an age group were conformity, rather than individuality is the desire.
Those favoring uniforms... see them as a way to get around the problems posed by students' wearing gang attire; they also see uniforms as a way to blur the economic distinctions among students. They even see uniforms as a way to promote a more serious and scholarly academic environment in the schools...To begin with, the programs that have gained parental support, media attention, and, as a result, political endorsements are mostly in elementary schools, where the age of the children means that the problems the uniforms will allegedly solve don't exist to any significant degree. At the same time, elementary school children are not as concerned with individuality and personal rights as high schoolers are, and so they do not view required uniforms as intrusive or objectionable. In those schools in which the style and color of clothing are legitimate issues that affect the safety of students, codes that prohibit the wearing of gang…… [Read More]
Albeit there is not direct link between improvement in students' behavior and academic performance and the use of uniforms, there had been many anecdotes to support this claim. Having students wear uniforms conjures perceptions of order, safety and security as uniforms are viewed as "concrete and visible means of restoring order to the classroom" (Anderson 3).
Uniforms may also lessen incidences of violence and crime against students, as many acts of violence are caused by the association of a certain color or cap with a particular gang (qtd in Anderson 7). Other than gang-related violence, requirement of uniforms may also lower rates of violence against students who are considered "outsiders" or "freaks" who dress "strangely," and are clad in all black and wear black shadow or black lipstick, or even those students that are unfortunate enough just to be wearing "the wrong jacket" (Anderson 7-8). Moreover, because everyone is wearing the same uniform, there could be lesser cases of robbery among students as there are some who envy the expensive possessions of their peers and lack finances to purchase them (Anderson 8).
"Uniforms have been the greatest equalizer for our students and have been wonderful both in terms of unity and discipline within the school and cost effectiveness for the parents" -- shares Connie Jo Gamble, principal, Loxley Elementary, Loxely, Alabama (qtd in Anderson 8).
In conclusion, the implementation of uniforms if implemented properly may have a positive impact on "school climate, student behavior, and academic success" (Anderson 20). As discussed, uniforms make for a more level playing field for students, making them more confident to build better relationships with their peers; thereby having a more united classroom. By lessening the threat of crime and violence against students with different attire, schools will be able to create a safer and more secure environment; thus, freeing students from fear and allowing them more time to concentrate on their academics.
It is foolish to believe that uniforms are the end-all solution to all problems faced at schools. Nevertheless, it is with the hope…… [Read More]
In the most serious examples, street gangs and high school fraternities use colors and specific styles of clothing to proclaim allegiances. On occasion, individuals are even assaulted and violently attacked on or in the vicinity of school grounds merely for wearing the wrong colored clothes (Harvard Crimson, 2008). Mandatory school uniforms would solve all three problems. The principal objection to the idea arises in connection with First Amendment concerns and the constitutional right to free expression. However, as in the case with other aspects of constitutional arguments in the educational environment, privacy and free expression principles on the part of students are, to a large degree, suspended on school property (Friedman, 2005). Free expression issues in school necessarily take a backseat to educational concerns, particularly to the extent they relate to the security of the campus environment and the safety of students. Conclusion: Mandatory school uniforms serve three valuable purposes in school: they decrease distractions from academic focus; they eliminate social aspects of the educational environment that undermine student self-esteem, and they decrease the risk of campus violence. The main objection is flawed in principle, because it relies on inaccurate understanding of constitutional rights as they pertain to school grounds. Ultimately, mandatory school uniforms offer tremendous benefits with virtually no drawbacks.… [Read More]
Schools are legally allowed to mandate uniforms for sports as well as protective gear. The ACLU notes that school administrators can make students "wear special stuff like the gym uniforms or goggles if they are needed to protect" them. Although schools cannot restrict hairstyles, certain they can ban certain types of clothing ranging from low-rise jeans that show panties to trench coats that might conceal weapons. The courts can and do balance public safety needs with First Amendment rights. School uniforms are not necessary to improve school safety, even if dress codes might be.
Legal precedent proves that school uniforms pose a genuine threat to student freedoms and constitutional rights: those protected by the First Amendment to the Constitution. School uniforms are unconstitutional because they prevent students from expressing their allegiance with social organizations or with their religious and cultural heritage. Clothing can become means of self-expression and identity formation for young people. Thus, courts have ruled on the side of civil liberties enough to remind public school districts and their administrators to cease wasting valuable taxpayer money on fighting unnecessary legal battles. Dress codes are sufficient means of securing safety, and do so without compromising the core values upon which the nation was founded.… [Read More]
To complete a comprehensive analysis of the thesis that the proposed study will seek to answer, certain methodologies will be employed. A quantitative study of the data will be initiated in order to ascertain any statistical improvement in educational objectives.
Methods employed by the study will be to use focus groups and questionnaires to gather necessary data. The study will observe two groups in order to provide the data necessary to come to a conclusion. The population of the two groups will be a set number of students from two separate schools. One school will have in place a uniform policy that requires the students to wear appropriate and standardized clothing during school hours. The other school will not have such a policy and will allow the students free rein in their choice of school attire. Each population will hail from a high school with similar demographics, and will be asked to answer the same research questions as the other group. It is especially important that each group be as similar in character as the other, so a set number of individuals from each gender will be chosen.
Additionally an age factor will be considered so that the average age of each group is as close as possible. In order to allow for a more complete study it is proposed that each group contain at least one hundred students.
Answers to the research questions will be based on a scale of 1-5, with one being the lowest, and five being the highest. Each student will be asked to rate their experience or lack thereof in regards to either their wearing of uniforms or in their perception(s) of how it would be to wear a uniform. The totals for each group (for each specific question) will be compared statistically to ascertain any significant differences.
The research questions to be included on the questionnaire that the study will use to gather data will be; (on a scale of 1-5) 1) do you believe that uniforms help (or would help) you in your efforts to concentrate in class? 2) Do you believe that uniforms promote (or would promote) an environment conducive to learning? 3) Do you feel (or would…… [Read More]
There are also voices who oppose the uniform policy. Their strongest argument is that standardized clothing leads to conformity which hinders individuality and creativity. They argue that by wearing uniforms, students would all be forced into one mold when in fact schools should support diversity, and encourage each child to express his/her creativity including through clothing.
As far as the economic argument, reality tends to disagree with the supporters of uniforms since children would still need clothing for outside school. Also, the problem of peer pressure remains as children have friends and are subjected to the same pressure to conform to certain standards as far as fashion trends and outfits.
Most importantly, violence cannot be reduced by introducing mandatory uniforms. The contrary effect might be achieved in the sense that gangs would still exist, and would probably benefit from standardized clothing since they would be harder to identify by parents and teachers. Furthermore, counselors and educators would not be able to address problems that might be troubling students and whose best visual clue could be an extreme change in clothing. As a matter of fact, self-chosen clothing can illustrate feelings and can be a signal as to potential problems especially in the case of teenagers. This advantage educators have would be annihilated in the case of uniforms (King 1998 in Eppinger 2001).
Dennis L. Evans, now director of credential programs in the Department of Education, University of California, Irvine, has over 20 years of experience as a high school principal. He argues against the uniform policy because "Young people are not 'uniform,' and we cannot categorize them as academically inclined or not merely by looking at their attire. The cheating scandals at U.S. military academies clearly demonstrate that uniforms have little to do with creating an environment conducive to genuine scholarship and academic achievement." (Evans: 139).
Students need protection in school with or without uniforms. To say that imposing the same outfit on everyone greatly improves the present school situation is both false and hypocritical. Violence, low attendance and even lower academic interest, etc. cannot be solved merely by forcing students to wear the same type of clothing. Discipline does not reside in uniforms, but in respecting one's educators and acknowledging that they have the student's best interest at heart. Of course, schools need to have discipline in…… [Read More]
Uniforms in School: A Benefit for Students and Educators Alike
In recent years educators, administrators, government officials and even parents and community members have been divided over the issues of school uniforms. While many still violently oppose the notion of mandated uniforms in educational institutions, there is a growing population of people that support uniforms for a variety of reasons.
There have been several studies of late that have examined the potential pros and cons of mandated uniforms at the elementary, middle and high school level. While some of the studies surrounding the issue have revealed little correlation between uniform wear and performance, others have suggested that there are many benefits students and educators have to reap from wearing uniforms. Perhaps the single most advantageous benefit of mandated uniforms is an increased level of safety within the nation's school district. These ideas are examined in greater detail below.
The debate surrounding the benefits and advantages of uniforms has continued for several years. The predominate argument has been that school uniforms "reduce the effects of social disparity" (Bodine, 67). That is, distinctions including those of wealth and poverty are eliminated when everyone within a school environment is required to look the same. There are controversial studies which suggest that students from low economic echelons of society will be discriminated against whether they where uniforms or not (Wilkins, 1). One benefit of uniforms however is that students have the opportunity to feel like they fit in because everyone is required to wear the same thing. The dress code may vary slightly with regard to the exact brand of clothing a student selects, but by and large the color and style will remain the same across all levels, minimizing the effects of discrimination that might be associated with ones wardrobe.
Early studies conducted on school uniforms have shown that uniform dress among students "insures economy, democracy and equality of opportunity" (Mishoe, 2). This study aligns with more modern studies that also suggest that uniforms help enhance equal opportunity and reduce undesirable traits among students (Bodine, 67). When each and every student is required to wear the same clothing day after day, students are less likely to pick on or single out students or individuals based on the type of clothing they are wearing.
Those arguing for…… [Read More]
School Uniforms Beneficial?
The topic of whether or not school uniforms are beneficial is timely, since nowadays more and more public schools are opting for such uniforms, in lieu of allowing students to select school wardrobes. Administrators, teachers, parents, and even other students often believe that students in schools that do not require uniforms spend excessive time and energy focusing on their own, and each others', wardrobes, and not focusing enough on becoming educated. The topic is interesting because it calls into question students' freedom of choice, and the freedom of expression wardrobe selection arguably gives them, versus students' responsibility to take school seriously and to learn as much as possible while there. The topic is significant to the field of instruction because it bears on the possibility that students' not wearing school uniforms interferes with teaching and learning; and with classroom attitudes and atmospheres. It also bears on such matters as peer pressure, materialism, and social class, all of which may arguably influence students' learning readiness, attitudes about themselves, vis-a-vis their peers, and attitudes about school and learning in general. The topic does not bear on either instructional design or instructional technology, however, in any ways I can think of, except possibly in the sense of implicit pressure on teachers to make learning materials "newer," flashier, more technologically innovative, or in other ways more exciting, in order to hope to compete with students' fascination with appearances, fashion, and material possessions.
Since evidence that uniforms matter (or do not) is (as far as I know) purely anecdotal, a qualitative approach to researching this topic might work best. For example, if a particular school district, group of districts, or even an individual school wished to gather information on whether…… [Read More]
Perhaps the biggest debate of public education over the past decade besides school vouchers has been the debate over whether or not it is legal to require students to wear a uniform to school. Increased crime, gang violence, poor academic performance in public schools has sparked the movement towards mandatory school uniforms. While school uniforms may seem the perfect solution to the problem, to some its as good as putting a band-aid on a three-inch deep wound. There are many arguments for and against school uniforms in public schools; the main concern has to do with the legality of making uniforms compulsory for public school students. The focus of this paper will be to discuss the issues presented by those both for and against school uniforms. Additionally, the legality of such a policy if implemented will also be presented. Finally, facts and figures on those schools that have implemented school uniform policies will be revealed.
In certain areas of California certain colors convey that the person wearing it is a member of a gang. Sadly, even those who wear these colors who are not members of the gang often become victims of the gangs mindless violence simply for wearing "their" colors. Three thousand miles away in New York City, students have been victims of crime because they wear what is considered to expensive clothing, students are not only targeted by their fellow students but outsiders as well. In the early 1990's the infamous and costly "8-Ball" jacket was highly sought after by thieves and many schools found themselves responding to situations because a student was attacked for his or her jacket. Many are also concerned about the learning environment; some argue that today's youth place more emphasis on clothes and fashion than their schoolwork. Some view the only solution to this violence is to require students to wear the same attire. Despite whether or not one thinks that school uniforms are a good idea or not, lawmakers are still debating over the legality of mandating school uniforms. Angry parents and students alike feel that such a policy is in clear violation of the right to practice freedom of speech.
The aim of mandating school uniforms is to create uniformity among students. Wearing school uniforms will help blur economic and class disparities among students since the all students will adorn the same…… [Read More]
The Benefits of School Uniforms
Statement of Cause
In a time when the academic status quo is coming into question throughout America, educators, civic leaders, parents, students, and legislatures are left cycling through a myriad of standardized options to ameliorate the system. From gender-segregated classrooms to the implementation of national standard tests grading both students and teachers, suggestions abound on ways the American public might make its school system a better functioning environment for the socialization and academic study of its children. Among many other suggested and sometimes implemented deviations is the option of school uniforms as a mandatory part of American schools. Already a part of many school environments, usually private, parochial, or urban, uniforms come with a heady line of debate to the forefront of systematic discussion. Those in support of uniforms in both primary and secondary school environments stand in staunch opposition to those who suggest it might not only detract from the creative development of a child but may ultimately be a waste of time, money, and effort.
Many critics of the school uniform movement proclaim that uniforms cannot "fix" anything about the failings of the American school system, and that it is, in fact, the morals, attitudes, and determination of those in the academic environments that create good schools, not uniforms. Yet, the detractors seem to fall short of reasons to not use school uniforms; those schools that have implemented them as a regimented part of school life support the uniforms as a mechanism to focus children on their work and away from each other, equalize the exceedingly hierarchical playing field of consumer popularity supported by the capitalist marketplace, and undermine the social tensions prevalent in the teenage years that account for so much wasted time, effort, and emotion during the classroom day.
Contemporary American culture supports the performance and display of class and status as an important component of society; American schoolchildren replicate these trends, particularly those associated…… [Read More]
Uniforms in Public Schools
School uniforms in public schools is becoming more and more of a popular topic, particularly as students head back to class in the coming month or so. The popularity of this topic is in part because more public schools appear to be adopting this policy. "Nearly one in five public schools required uniforms in 2010, up from just one in eight a decade earlier, according to the most recent findings from the U.S. Department of Education. The 60% growth in uniform requirements at school comes despite the fact that research on their effectiveness for safety and school climate is inconclusive" (Loehrke & Murphy, 2013). School uniforms were first envisioned in the 1980s by Marion Barry who felt that a more standardized code of dress in public schools would help these students succeed as adequately as private school students along with minimizing clothing costs and pressures on children (Loehrke & Murphy, 2013).David Brunsa, a sociologist who wrote the book The School Uniform Movement and What It Tells Us About American Education documents all the hopes and objectives that school uniforms were meant to achieve in America, such as better grades, scores, better behavior and higher levels of self-esteem and school spirit (2004). Even so, this book documents how much of the studies done on school uniforms found consequences which were either difficult to determine or insignificant. In spite of the fact that much of the research done in this regard demonstrates lukewarm findings about the benefits of school uniforms, this paper will assert the positive aspects of school uniforms in an educational setting, treating them as essential.
While the research might not support the importance or influence of school uniforms, the anecdotal evidence and lived experiences of most educators generally does beg to differ. If educators notice a definitive and prolonged change in the behavior and climate of their schools when kids wear uniforms that are largely positive, then the research which asserts otherwise should be treated as inconsequential. This is also true if educators observe that behavior, self-esteem and grades start to drop the less that students wear uniforms. "Longtime school safety consultant Ken Trump said educators like uniforms…… [Read More]
Pro) School Uniforms
During the last decade, the issue of school uniforms in public schools has become a topic of debate in communities across the country. While some feel it is an invasion of rights, most parents and school officials believe it is a practical solution to dress code policies as well as a deterrent to school gangs and peer pressure and helps to establish a learning environment.
1991 study found that the main interests in uniform dress code included financial savings for the family, the need to teach children that a person should not be defined by his clothing, and parent concerns that children may commit a crime in order to get the money for designer clothing (Thomas pg). According to 1996 statistics provided by the U.S. Department of Justice, roughly fifty percent of high school students reported weapons in their schools, forty percent reported gangs, seventy-five percent were aware of incidents of physical attack, robbery, or bullying, and more than half had witnessed such actions (LaFalce pg). In 1996, "a 15-year-old Detroit student was shot for his $86 basketball sneakers, and in Fort Lauderdale, another 15-year-old student was robbed of his jewelry" (LaFalce, pg). Incidents such as these have become far too common place in school districts, lending to policy changes in dress codes and endorsements of school uniforms.
During the past decade, sales of school uniforms have jumped some twenty-percent as more and more districts implement school uniform policies. Although, critics say that mandatory uniforms violate the spirit of the First Amendment and encourages conformity rather than individuality, the popularity of school uniforms is growing and the responses are overwhelming positive (Donning pg). In President Clinton's 1996 State of the Union Speech, he addressed the subject of school uniforms, saying "I challenge all schools to teach character education: good values and good citizenship. And if it means teenagers will stop killing each other over gang jackets, then public schools should be able…… [Read More]
" (Bodine et al., 67) the balanced method of investigation strengthens the likely veracity of this finding.
Murray, R. (1997). The Impact of School Uniforms on School Climate. Bulletin, 81(593), 106-112.
With respect to attendance, the study approaches school uniforms as a function of the school's overall environment. The so-called 'climate' of the school will impact student experience, learning desire and the degree to which comfort and productivity are fostered. Murray leads with a point that echoes that expressed in the study by Bodine, indicating that many educators and schools have made policy decisions based on scarce and unreliable research. To this end, the article finds that "despite this lack of research, school districts have implemented school uniforms hoping to improve student attendance, maintain student discipline, ensure student achievement, promote student self-esteem and enhance school climate." (Murray, 106) All indications are that though schools anecdotally report these outcomes, there is both limited empirical research to confirm this and it is simultaneously given a counterpoint by the loss of individuality and…… [Read More]
To insure purity of study results controls were placed on elements including student track placement and other divisional programs.
The dependant variables included absenteeism, behavior problems, substance abuse and achievement,
This particular study did not support the idea that school uniforms will reduce behavior problems and attendance problems.
A significant negative effects of uniforms on achievement, an outcome of much concerns to educators and policy makers.
While the study did not indicate improvements in behavior and attendance it is important to note that the study was performed in a Catholic education setting, which could have had other contributing factors to the rate of behavior issues or lack of them. In the public school setting the majority of administrators report that there is in fact a significant and statistically measurable change for the better with regards to behavior issues and attendance. In addition the research has shown that there have also been improvements in test results and academic achievement.
Catholic schools are regimented in many ways so that the students are indoctrinated to comply, remain organized and achieve. It is not entirely fair to measure the results of studies regarding uniforms in public schools against the results of studies about uniforms in private schools because of the other fundamental differences that can be found between public and private schools that can skew the overall research results.
The public school system in America has been under intense pressure to make changes in the last decade. Parents want more accountability, less violence and better educations for their children. School districts nationwide have begun to adopt mandatory school uniform policies in which the students must wear uniforms to their classes. Research and anecdotal evidence indicate that students do benefit from complying with a mandatory school uniform policy. The test scores, the overall academic performance, the behavior problems and social status issues are resolved with mandatory school uniforms.
Mandatory School Uniforms.
From: School Administrator | Date: February 1, 1996 | Author: COHN, CARL A. | More…… [Read More]