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 you feel) safer when wearing a uniform? 4) Do you feel (or would you feel) that wearing a uniform would take away from the educational experience?
An analysis tool that will be employed in the study to compare the differences between the data will be the T-Test. "The t-test assesses whether the means of two groups are statistically different from each other. This analysis is appropriate whenever you want to compare the means of two groups" (Research Methods, 2006).
The data collection process will include taking the questionnaires to the respective schools, handing them out to the appropriate students, having the students complete the questionnaires at that time, then collecting the forms as they finish.
The questionnaires can also be completed online when using the SPSS software discussed in more detail further on in this proposal.
In order to receive a printed questionnaire or online access to a questionnaire, each student must submit a parental consent form. The parental consent form will be provided to the students beforehand. The consent form will spell out the guidelines for the study as well as providing the risk parameters.
The guidelines and risk parameters will be provided so that each potential subject of the study can make an informed decision as to whether to participate or not. No attempts at coercion will be attempted upon any potential subject of the study. The consent form will also contain a provision that allows for immediate withdraw from the study by any participant no longer desiring to participate. There will be no use of deception in this study as it is not necessary to further the proposed research. There will be a short debriefing at the conclusion of the study that will provide a forum for any feedback or questions from the participants.
The study may be able to employ the use of software programs that assist in research data analysis. One of the most popular of this type of software is called SPSS (initially the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences).
This software has a number of advantages to offer a researcher including the ability to compare data with a number of different variables. When using this software, the data is entered into a row and column view so that each row represents an individual, and each column represents a variable. The data can be manipulated to present a number of different scenarios while all specific individual data is kept a secret from the researcher. This type of software program virtually eliminates any bias the researcher might have, allowing for a more complete and comprehensive analysis of the data.
The purpose of the study is to determine whether wearing school uniforms in the classroom alleviates problems with safety and violence, while at the same time enhancing the educational environment in order to improve the learning of the students in a more comprehensive manner.
The study hopes to gather data that either confirms or denies the determination, and hopes to present such conclusions in a straightforward and understandable manner for perusal and analysis.
Ackerman, B.; (2005) White tops, grey bottoms: What are public schools really hoping to accomplish with dress codes?, Macleans, Vol. 118, No. 10, pg. 57
Boutelle, M.; (2008) Uniforms: Are they a good fit?, the Education Digest, Vol. 73, No. 6, pp. 34-37