LA School Uniforms as Mandatory Attire for All Students Research Paper
The question of wearing a school uniform always bothers many students, teachers, and other members of schools’ staff. Students cannot accept an idea that all of them have to wear the same uniform and have no chance to be distinguished from each other. Teachers cannot comprehend why students have such a negative attitude to this idea, and government is just looking for another way to unite children, offer the similar conditions to all students, and not to provide them with an opportunity to be distinguished in comparison to the others. Sophisticated scholars and writers admit that “a standard school uniform is one way to eliminate the possibility of variation; nobody is in fashion or out of fashion” (Milner 185).
However, school is the place, where people study how to behave in different situations, how to communicate with people of different groups, and how to express of tastes and interests; and clothes is one of the most powerful means to demonstrate own imagination, character, and abilities. This is why many students argue about the idea to wear a standard school uniform and cannot come to one and the same conclusion whether it has positive or negative impact on students’ education.
On the one hand, school uniforms have to be mandatory in all LA schools in order to make students concentrate on their educative processes, and on the other hand, students may feel a kind of limitation of their rights and freedom; so, the analysis of students ideas, their reaction to the obligation to wear a school uniform that may be distinguished only be genders (female and male uniforms), and the identification of pros and cons of school uniforms should certainly help to clarify whether it is necessary to make wearing a school uniform mandatory or not.
General state of affairs concerning the matter of school uniforms
As many students in Los Angeles as many points; and it does not actually matter what attire means for each student. The point is that it is high time to comprehend whether a standard uniform has to be obligatory at schools, and whether it is possible to explain students the idea of the necessity of these steps. Catholic, public, and other types of schools have their own rules, conditions, problems, and peculiarities.
The problems of fragmentation that turns out to be a peculiar feature of Los Angeles schools (Halle 226) divide students and teachers into groups, who support the idea of mandatory school uniform in order to have proper and safer education and who cannot comprehend why uniforms are considered to be the question number one during the debates. Some representatives of Los Angeles schools just make orders of what is allowed to wear and what cannot be allowed at all.
Numerous investigations in the field of education and fashion cannot present one clear answer to the question if a standard school uniform has to be mandatory for everyone or it is just a matter of taste and beliefs of a governor: standard school uniforms are still regarded as both a new wave of our prosperous future (Tooms 57) or a concept that makes students sacrifice their interests and preferences.
Children have already got used to wear whatever they want and wherever they want: such points like sexuality and beauty become the main attribute of the vast majority of students. By means of media and movies in particular, it is possible to believe that girls pay more attention to the clothes they wear but not to the lessons and material they have to learn. Of course, schools, girls, and tastes differ; but many similar examples may be found in our every day life. If a girl comes to the public place in the same gear next day, the others may ask lots of questions and think that her affairs have gone wrong.
Arguments against a standard LA school uniform
If a person asks a student (a girl in particular) whether she is for or against a school uniform, the chance to hear a negative answer raises considerably. One of the first reasons of why school uniforms have a few chances to be mandatory is cutting down student individuality (School Uniform Debate and Poll).
From their childhood, parents and teachers underline that freedom and the right of choice are the two crucial points in the life of each person. Children believe these ideas are really significant in their lives, and sometimes, they try to use these concepts to approve their behavior and to underline how grown ups may be unfair to them.
Almost the same happens to school uniforms and students obligation to wear the same clothes day by day. The vast majority of students think that their freedom is under a threat, that their right of choice does not work, and that all their attempts to become elder and more mature are failed.
Another captivating and strong reason of why school uniforms should not be mandatory for all students in Los Angeles is connected to students’ tastes and their desire to stand out against the other students. Even more, such prohibition to dress in accordance with personal tastes and preferences may kill students’ creative thinking and abilities to develop new products, new ideas, new approaches to different situations.
Our society has to move and to develop; and searching for talents among students is one of the first steps to take. In spite of the fact that sophisticated writers admit that absence of a standard form may be a kind of “the tyranny of fashion” (Craik 70), this tyranny may create another magnificent couturier and present a host of interesting models. This is why it is necessary to take into consideration this fact and think once again whether students have to be deprived of the opportunity to experiment with their styles just in order to follow one more rule.
Finally, the idea to dress all students into one and the same uniform may lead to the decreasing of student desire to visit schools and to be an active part of school life. It may happen that a student has bad mood and cannot come out of his/her depression. However, a new dress, a new shirt, or a new hat presented by parents or friends may certain improve the situation and help a child find a desire to go to school and demonstrate this new present.
Why not use the ability to dress as students want themselves as a perfect stimulus for them to visit their schools once again. Students cannot even guess that differentiation in their clothes is one of the factors, which make them come to schools. And if school government deprive them of such a genius chance, the results may be disappointing.
Arguments for schools uniforms
In spite of the fact that the discussion of the problems concerning a standard uniform produces “more questions than answers” (Brunsma xviii), there are many factors, which may prove how beneficial wearing uniform may be. One of the first reasons, which may attract the attention of parents and even students, is that spending of money on clothes, cosmetics, and other things is considerably reduced. Parents have to buy a school uniform, provide a child with a chance to spend money on food, entertaining, and games, and not to care about fashion and the ideas of what has to be wore today.
Investigations and analysis of school uniforms by Catholic schools in the middle of 1900s demonstrated how successful and helpful uniforms could be (Mathison and Ross 124). People should not be bothered of how to dress children. It is also necessary to admit that students are at the age, when they continue to develop and grow physically, this is why clothes have to be changed year by year.
And a uniform does not cost much, and it is possible to buy it from time to time. So, those, who care about own financial situation and want to save their incomes, have to support the idea of a standard school uniform.
The events of the 11th September may also serve as a strong reason to support the idea of school uniform. Many people can hardly realize why the connection of those terrible terroristic attack and mandatory school uniforms is possible. Well, actually, everything is rather clear. When a person is a part of one organization and his/her clothes is similar to the rest of the group, it is easier to define who does not belong to the group.
This is why if a terrorist or an enemy is going to enter the school, the guard has all chances to notice this person (or people) and prevent him/her of doing something harmful for the school and its children and teachers. Some may think that this similarity of clothes may prevent parents against recognizing their children (School Uniform Debate and Poll). However, why not believe that children are able to find out their parents successfully and independently.
Even more, parents can hardly remember what clothes are wore on their children in the moment of a catastrophe, and this very objection may be minor. So, in order to protect children and be ready to sudden attacks from the enemy’s side, it is possible to use uniform as a kind of mark that makes one concrete school unique, united, and friendly.
As it was mentioned above, many children spend much time to pick out necessary clothes and cosmetics in order to go to school and demonstrate a new thing. This is why it is possible to believe that the variety of clothes leads to inability of students concentrate on their education only, when they are at schools.
If a student has fewer themes to discuss with friends, he/she has more chances to concentrate on education, on new information, on manners of behavior, and one the rules, which have to be followed. “Wearing school uniforms requires order and ….self-discipline grows from within [and it will be] shape group and strengthen national discipline” (Arthur 209).
It is very important to unite children and show how their abilities to gather and think collectively may improve their lives and raise the respect of their traditions by other educational institutions. Such desire to unite, to cooperate, and to be different as a group of society in comparison to other developing institutions is a powerful and justified reason in order to make wearing a standard school uniform mandatory and explain children why this choice should be accepted by all of them.
General analysis of ideas concerning the matter of a standard school uniform in Los Angeles
Los Angeles is one of the fast developing and rich cities in the whole world. It citizens have access to numerous services, which are available 24/7. Those people, who face financial difficulties, may usually find support by means of social service. Those children, who want to use their skills and knowledge to achieve success and recognition, may get a chance and participate in programs, which help to develop their potential.
All this information proves that citizens of Los Angeles are characterized by stable financial position, and parents are able to buy everything important for their children. This is why the idea that less money may be spend in case a school uniform become mandatory should play a crucial role. According to Shafii defines the policy to wear school uniform as “a strategy that prevents students from wearing clothing that indicates gang affiliation, such as trench coats” (259).
As it was mentioned above, a uniform may serve as a distinctive mark that forbids visiting the school by people, who do not belong to its students or teachers. Safe control is a powerful point that attracts people to schools, and parents may certainly trust their children to those schools, which promote safe and effective education.
Unfortunately, not all students comprehend that proclamation of school uniform is used not in order to deprive them of the opportunity to demonstrate their individuality but to protect them, make them equal to each other, and give them a chance to pay more attention to the educative process but not to creativity’s development.
Visitor: Why do you wear school uniform?
Pupil: Because I’d get into trouble if I didn’t.
Visitor: So it doesn’t make you feel as though you belong.
Pupil: Bloody hell no – I hate wearing it. (Watson and Thomson 141)
This conversation proves that students’ attitude to uniforms may vary considerably. Even if they accept the rule they cannot be satisfied with this decision. So, the question about the standards for a school uniform remains to be open.
In general, the idea to use a standard school uniform is great indeed. Parents become less bothered about the financial side of their children education, teachers do not think that some unexpected visitors come to their schools, and students are not worried about the idea of what to wear on in order to correspond to fashion and general taste.
Some students think that their creativity and imagination are cut due to these uniforms; however, they may continue developing their abilities and demonstrating their tastes outside the school. People should realize that school is the place, where knowledge and experience take the first place. It is not the time to play with own imagination; it is time to focus of study and support other students to do the same.
At schools, it is necessary to forget about inequality, about tastes, and about the desire to distinguish. Being at schools does not take the whole day long, and the rest of the day it is possible to wear everything.
This is why, taking into consideration words by sophisticated writers and ordinary students, it is necessary to say that a standard school uniform has to be mandatory for students in order to present effective education processes, protect children against possible dangerous, and help parents think less about their children style and money that are required for meet their demands.
Arthur, Linda, B. Undressing Religion: Commitment and Conversion from a Cross-Cultural Perspective. New York, NY: Berg, 2000.
Brunsma, David, L. The School Uniform Movement and What Tells SU About American Education: A Symbolic Crusade. Lanham, Maryland: The Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group, 2004.
Craik, Jennifer. Uniforms Exposed: From Conformity to Transgression. New York, NY: Berg, 2005.
Halle, David. New York & Los Angele: Politics, Society, and Culture: A Comparative View. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 2003.
Mathison, Sandra and Ross, Wayne. Battleground: Schools. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 2008.
Milner, Murray. Freaks, Geeks, and Cool Kids: American Teenagers, Schools, and the Culture of Consumption. New York, NY: Routledge, 2004.
School Uniform Debate and Poll. “Would School Uniforms Improve Our Schools?” 17 Dec. 2009. Web.
Shafii, Sharon, Lee. School Violence: Assessment, Management, Prevention. Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Publishing, 2001.
Tooms, A. “Thos Kids’ Are Our Kinds.” The American School Board Journal 189 (2002): 56-58.
Watson, Brenda and Thomson, Penny. The Effective Teaching of Religious Education. Harlow: Pearson Education Limited., 2007.
School Uniform and Maintenance of Discipline Research Paper
There has been a tug of war going on between the students, parents, teachers, school administration,and the community as well as policy makers about the issue of school uniform.
Some prefer to implement the use of school uniform citing various benefits such as improvement of discipline in schools while others see the whole issue of school uniform as a cover up of failed social issues in a school community. This has left the field open for discussion among all the stakeholders. Some schools enforce use of school uniform while others are not of the opinion.
Others have simply opted to the use of particular dress codes instead. Do school uniforms improve discipline and motivation for better education?This is the question that many people would like to get answers for and this paper discusses the importance of school uniform with the aim of showing that if it is implemented it will significantly contribute to upholding of discipline. A wide variety of examples are given to illustrate the significance of using school uniform.
School uniform is the kind of clothes that are specially tailored with similar color and type for students in order to maintain uniformity in a school setting. The use of school uniform has generated a lot of heat both at the school, community and also at the political arena. Proponents and opponents have taken stands on either side arguing whether or not to have school uniform in schools.
Some schools prefer having the uniform, others prefer use of dress codes, yet others prefer doing without the uniform at all (Peterson 1): “In Miami, 196 of the 328 public schools require uniforms this year, more than twice as many as last year; in Cleveland, two-thirds of the public schools have adopted uniforms” (Lewin 1).Both sides may have valid reasons for their claims but a closer look at the issue clearly indicates that there are way too many benefits which will accrue from using the school uniform than not.
Discipline at School
Discipline is one of the most important aspects of learning that contribute a lot to the overall performance of students. Schools that maintain high degree of discipline are also likely to realize excellent performance.
Opponents claim that school uniform has nothing to do with discipline but they need to understand that students are at the ‘prime mind modeling stage’of their lives whereby it is very easy to influence them either way. Discipline comes with good behavior of the students and one of the best ways to promote good behavior is to implement school uniform.
It has been claimed that “students do not feel that school is a place of work but rather a place to hang out with friends and socialize; their unprofessional behavior is reflected in the manner in which they present themselves” (Duvall et al. 1). How do we restore back the discipline and school professionalism? By implementing school uniforms which will help students have the feeling of school professionalism and take education seriously.
It has been argued that maintaining dress code in schools may prove to be very difficult task for school management. With the changing in lifestyles and dress fashions determining what should be worn or not becomes very difficult.
Sometimes students will take advantage of trends and fashions to validate wearing of miniskirts, sagging trousers, transparent clothing, all in the name of freedom of expression. What school uniform critics don’t realize is that some of this kind of dressing may distract other students, especially those who need extra effort to focus on studies.
How do you expect teenage boys to concentrate in studies when some girls in their class are scantily dressed all in the name of fashion and self-expression? Aren’t they taking away your right toa favorable learning environment? Duvall et al claimed that school uniform “positively benefit the school climate, promotes a professional setting in which the focus of the school is on education and academic success” (Duvall et al. 1). Conducive school climate is everyone’s right and that is why use of school uniform should be emphasized.
Casual dressing in schools is usually difficult to regulate due to continuous changes in lifestyle and fashion. As the school administration tries their level best to maintain dressing sanity in schools conflicts always arise. Students will sometimes be sent home for days, get punishments and parents will also get involved.In the process students get frustrated, more defiant and less disciplined.
The principle of South shore was quoted claiming that “students were “dragging’, sagging’ and lagging’; I needed to keep them on an academic focus; my kids were really into what others were wearing”(USDE 1). All these can actually be done away with by implementing school uniform in our institutions.
Crime and gang control
Crime in schools, according to a report byU.S department of Education, has become a common phenomenon. Some of the clothes and jewelry brought to schools are very expensive hence promoting theft. In addition,fashionable clothes are likely to make concealing of weapons easier.
At times criminals may have the freedom to access the school as they will hardly be noticed. All these factors lead to one thing, crime. To instill sanity and discipline and prevent these criminal activities we need to seriously consider how effective the school uniform can be. The same report claims that:
In response to growing levels of violence in our schools, many parents, teachers, and school officials have come to see school uniforms as one positive and creative way to reduce discipline problems and increase school safety.(USDE 1)
The use of personal clothes at schools has been highly criticized due to the fact that it creates a chance for the formation of clique and gangs in schools. Certain gangs or cliques will have a tendency of dressing particular to publicize their identity. These gangs usually wear gang colors and insignia. These gangs are hardly likely to concentrate in studies and in addition they may be associated with bullying and intimidation which in turn affects the performance of other students.
A report by Oregon Legislative claims that school uniform goes a long way in “Helping prevent gang members from wearing gang colors and insignia at school”(OLPR 1). School uniform will help not only the gangs and cliques to have discipline and focus on education but also the rest of the school.
Discipline outside the schools
Opponents of use of school uniform argue that it does little to improve on discipline outside the school compound claiming that students always wear personal clothes while at home (Brunsma 96). What they fail to see is the fact not only does school uniform enhance discipline in and out of school but also greatly enhances the safety of the students.
A report behavior New South Wales department of education suggested that “wearing of school uniforms by students will assist school communities in defining an identity for the school within its community” (SWDE 6).
It can be argued that it may be very difficult for a student to involve in misconduct on the way to and from the school since it will be very possible to be noticed by the public. We have heard of cases of young school girls who have been rescued from men in lodgings and motels simply because they were easier to spot with school uniform. This is a twofold benefit, enhance good behavior and ensure safety of the kids as they move to and from school.
Sense of equality
School uniform critics always argue that school uniform will do little to stamp out social class in schools (Brunsma 96). This might be true to some extent but a critical look at the issue proves otherwise. It is evident that all people are not socially and economically equal. Some students usually come to school with the latest fashion and designer clothing. This makes the school look more of a fashion show than a school.
This is not withstanding the ordeal that the less privileged students in the school often go through when they come to school every day and sees new fashion trends that they cannot afford. Uniformity brings about a conducive,professional environment which is a prerequisite for optimum academicperformance.
A report by Okun claimed that “the three highest scoring schools in the state are all Chicago Public Schools and none of these three schools require uniforms” (Okun 1). These are some of the claims used by school uniform critics to discourage use of school uniform. However, such an argument lacks in one thing. It can be argued that some of the highest performing schools have students from well to do families, families where dressing may not be a point of focus or a form of excitement.
The fact that students from these schools make them belong to a more or less the same social class. In addition these students have high self-esteem and are self-motivated. Crime in these schools is likely to be less since all studentscomes from rich families. In such institutions students are likely to be disciplined whether or not they have school uniform. It should be understood that this is not the case in general public schools where students come from different backgrounds which raises the need for uniformity.
Opponents of school uniform claim that they violate freedom of expression, individuality and speech and as such uniforms should not be implemented in schools (Brunsma 96). However,it is worth noting that school uniforms do not in any way violate such rights and freedom.
This is because the uniforms are a form of official clothing aimed at enhancing the school professionalism. School uniform implementation policies always take into consideration the differences in the community (Stockton and Gullatt 1). Religious clothing such as Muslim code of dressing is always taken into consideration.
Uniformity in such instances may even be more enhanced by designing special clothing that resembles the school uniform for such individuals. U.S department of Education actually gives a guideline to this effect“Students may display religious messages on items of clothing to the same extent that they are permitted to display other comparable messages” (ED 1).
From the same guideline it is clear that freedom of expression is not taken away, students still have a way of expression using items such as buttons supporting a favorite political candidate. Additionally it may be argued that students only wear the uniform for less than a 8 hours a day, the only time they are in school, not too much to ask if it is meant to benefit them.
Supporting the parents
It holds water to claim that not all the parents will be financially capable of buying a school uniform, though in most cases, personal clothes are usually more expensive than school uniform. The school uniform needs to be of the best quality and this will have to come at a cost. However, this should not be an excuse for not supporting school uniform use in schools.
The school community should ensure that they have mechanisms such as special funds and programs to support families that cannot afford school uniform for their children. In addition, the government also has avenues such as grants and donations aimed at supporting parents who cannot afford school uniform.
A report from U.S department of education claimed that in Kansas “Students receive their uniforms at no cost to them; the state and school district pay for the uniforms primarily with magnet school funding” (USDE 1). In Richmond, Virginia the following has been recorded:
As a result of financial donations from businesses and other community leaders, the percentage of students wearing uniforms rose from 30 percent in 1994-95, the first year of the program, to 85 percent during the current year. (USDE 1)
It can also be argued that parents are more likely to spend a lot of money on personal clothes wardrobe for school children than they would otherwise have spent on school uniform. SWDE claimed that uniforms are beneficial to the parents by “making school clothing more affordable for families by eliminating the risk of peerpressure to wear transiently fashionableand expensive clothes” (SWDE 6).
It is evident that school uniform plays such an important role in enhancing discipline and academic performance in schools. Whereas the implementation of school uniform has been criticized by many it has become evident that the benefits of school uniform are so imperative that we cannot simply ignore them.
School uniform brings uniformity and professionalism in the learning institutions making it more conducive for learning. School uniform enhances discipline in schools by minimizing theft and criminal activities in schools. Discipline both in and out of school is also increased.In some schools students come from different social backgrounds which raises the need for uniformity. School uniform helps prevent gang members from wearing gang colors and insignia at school.
It has been found that school uniform do not in any way violate the freedom of expression, individuality or speech. In addition parents will be supported in all ways to ensure that they are not overburdened by school uniform costs. Thus school uniforms should be implemented in schools to enhance discipline and increase performance. There is a need for all the school administrators to encourage use of school uniforms.
Brunsma, David. The school uniform movement and what it tells us about American education: a symbolic crusade. New York, NY: R & L Education, 2004. Print.
Duvall et al. Dress Code/Uniform Policies in Education. Character Education Information, 2004. Web.
Lewin, Tamar. “Dress for Success: Public School Uniforms.” New York Times 25 September 1997. Print
Okun, Will. “A Uniform Solution?”New York Times 30 November 2007. Web. Print.
OLPR. Basics on School Uniforms.Oregon Legislative Policy, Research, & Committee services,1998. Web.
Peterson, Reece. Fact Sheet #6: Student Uniforms. Prevent School Violence, 2008. Web.
Stockton, Catherine and Gullatt, David.School uniforms: Policies and procedures. NMSA Organization, 2004. Web.
SWDE. School Uniforms in New South Wales Government Schools. New South Wales Department of Education, 2004. Web.
USDE. Manual on School Uniforms. U.S. Department of Education, 1996. Web.
School Uniform: Correlation between Wearing Uniforms and Academic Performance Research Paper
Earlier researches have indicated that there is a strong positive correlation between wearing of uniforms and academic performance. Furthermore the use of uniforms has had a control on social behavior. Decency is of the essence for any scholar or even worker. The issue of putting on a uniform in the different spheres of life cannot be underrated, it should instead be taken with due importance.
Different countries in the world have their own standardized mode of dressing depending on their cultures, religion or social class. For any successful learning institution, the selection criterion for a uniform is an aspect that should be taken with great consideration. The combination of colors for example, may affect the students’ comfort as well as the public view and perception of the institution (Daugherty 392)
The issue of cost should also be put in to check. This is because in many third world countries like Lesotho, it was found that school drop out rate is very high due to the fact that many families cannot afford the high price of uniforms. Other countries have no regard for school uniforms due to their past history. A good example is Italy where children were forced to wear uniforms in and out of school during the Second World War.
Behavior and School Uniforms
Dropping out and breaking laws tend to be the common responses for students who have negative experiences in school. Schools are supposed to offer a constructive, positive, secure and safe environment for learning. Students should feel protected enough to discover, explore and build up their scholarly and social competencies.
There is no conclusive tangible evidence that shows that wearing of uniforms has a direct link to improved performance academically. Nevertheless, there exists evidence of fewer discipline problems and violence among students in countries that have implemented a uniform policy. The school attendance rate is also higher.
As mentioned in the introduction school uniforms have had an impact on behavior either positively or negatively. The National Educational Longitudinal Study of 1988 carried out an experiment on a group of learners. They later carried out a regression analysis and it was found that the correlation was either tending to zero or away from zero (Education Commission of the States: Helping state leaders shape education policy, par 2).
Depending on their results uniforms were either encouraged or discouraged. Separate researchers like Oxford University Press however found the opposite as far as behavior was concerned.
Diverse Uniform Roles
Uniforms have played a major role both physically, behaviorally and socially. Currently a learner in a uniform tends to shun away from misconduct since it is known to the society that he or she is a pupil or learner from a particular institution. Secondly uniforms bring an outward professional or academic impact.
Uniforms increase the attention of students in class as they do not concentrate on what their fellow students are wearing. Uniforms also help in leveling the socioeconomic playing field and provide the students a sense of community (Daugherty 391).
Disadvantages of School Uniforms
Various researches done show that wearing uniforms reduces the students’ responsibility in making mature decisions about what to wear (Education World: School uniforms, par 1). Uniforms also get in the way of clothes that should be worn as a religious obligation such as hijabs for Muslim girls. Financially parents have to part with more money on clothing for the students to have different sets of clothes for school and home which might be quite expensive.
Emerging Trends in Uniforms
There is a notable current trend in the design of uniforms. Female students for example have always lobbied that their uniforms should be designed in a more modern fashionable way to accommodate the rapid change in the social environment. Currently uniforms can be designed online. In this case a potential buyer visits the lab and chooses a uniform, designs it and orders for the same. In addition to this there are online professionals who are hired to design for the willing buyers.
Corporate uniforms have also been introduced in learning institutions for the staff and students. They promote a corporate image as well as the look of the organization which appears unique in nature. Other current trends involve a change in the way young learners used to dress. Most of the primary schools used to put on shorts for young boys mandatory. It has however emerged that even pre-school boys are allowed to put on trousers thus changing the nature of the uniform and culture.
From the above research it has emerged that there is more to uniforms than mere wearing of the same. With the changes in our social-cultural environment and the dynamism of technology it is important that the society and the learning institutions work together to promote a modest dress code for uniforms.
However decency needs not be ignored as a matter of fact. Regarding costs it is of paramount importance that the providers of these uniforms set a price that is affordable and reasonable to prevent a mixture of casual wear which may not be controlled or even standardized.
Daugherty, Richard. Leadership in Action: Piloting a School Uniform Program.123.2 (2002):391-393 Print.
Education Commission of the States 2004.Helping state leaders shape education policy: Uniforms/Dress Codes. Web. <https://www.ecs.org/>
Education World 1999. School uniforms: panacea or Band aid? Web. <https://www.educationworld.com/>
School Uniforms: Conflicting Opinions Essay (Critical Writing)
To begin with, it is necessary to state that the present-day world has been overloaded with different types of information. What is more, every one of every sort tends to have their own opinion on everything they come across. The proverb says: “Many men, many minds.” Therefore, it is important to develop critical thinking and be able to treat the contrary position in an unbiased way (Elbow, 2006). This paper aims to consider one of the most topical issues, express an opinion on it and discuss the opposite opinion while avoiding being biased.
The Author’s Opinion
The question under consideration is whether students should wear school uniforms. From my viewpoint, it is not necessary for a student to wear school uniforms. My reasons for such an opinion are as follows. First, each person is unique, and clothing can be considered as one of the means to express individuality. It might be wise to teach a child from the early age what clothes it is suitable to put on when they go to school. It is crucial to avoid miniskirts, shorts and bright colors in the classroom. However, it is no use to force children to wear all the same clothes. Second, wearing uniforms does not happen to affect the child’s academic result. It does not help to prepare for an exam nor succeed in it. Therefore, the uniform is something supra-academic which is not actually required when it comes to knowledge and skills acquisition and the ability to apply them. Finally, uniforms prove to be expensive. It might be better to spend the money on a nice piece of clothing which can be worn not only to school (McDaniel, 2013).
The Opponent’s Opinion
Now it is necessary to consider the opposite opinion and discuss it. First, “school uniforms may deter crime and increase student safety” (Should children have to wear school uniforms?). This position helps me to realize that, apart from individuality, there is a critical matter of personal security. If I believed this view, I might have justified the viewpoint that children should wear school uniforms regardless of their uniqueness. This is due to the fact that I assume that the safety is the uppermost. This idea might be true if certain research has been conducted and a corresponding conclusion has been drawn. Second, “school uniforms keep students focused on their education, not their clothes” (Should children have to wear school uniforms?).
This opinion assists in comprehending that clothes might distract attention. If everyone wears the same clothes, all the attention is more likely to be paid to the study. If I believed this view, I would not have stated above that clothes do not affect the academic result. This idea might be true if the child is more interested in clothes than in the study. Finally, “school uniforms create a level of playing field among students, reducing peer pressure and bullying” (Should children have to wear school uniforms?) This viewpoint enables me to understand that family budgets are different. Some parent can allow buying their kids fashionable clothes, while other cannot afford it. It might entrain envy in children from the early age. If I believed this view, I would prefer children to wear the uniform to school. This idea might be true since schools tend to have not only mixed-abilities classes but also classes where children come from various backgrounds. It often happens that some parents are prosperous, whereas others live in poverty. The latter cannot afford much, so their children will not wear fashionable clothes to school and might be bullied by children whose parents are wealthy.
To sum it up, it is to note that the paper has considered one of the most topical issues. It has presented the author’s opinion, and afterward, discussed the contrary opinion. To draw a conclusion, it is necessary to underline the importance of critical thinking.
Elbow, P. (2006). The believing game and how to make conflicting opinions more fruitful. ProCon.org. Web.
McDaniel, T. R. (2013). “Making the school uniform decision: Is it right for your school?” Kappa Delta Pi Record, 49(4), 162-167.
“Should children have to wear school uniforms?” ProCon.org. Web.
School Uniforms: Conflicting Viewpoints Essay (Critical Writing)
Differences in opinion are common in everyday life. The more controversial the issue is, the more intense the debate around them becomes. Why does this happen? One possible reason could involve the inherent biases of the people. This paper will analyze the conflicting viewpoints on the issue and will provide an insight into my personal biases that affect my judgment.
The Author’s Premises
The presented issue is focused on the school uniforms and whether they should be enforced by the school. Over the course of the previous assignment, I have stated that I do not support the enforcement of school uniforms for the following reasons. I believe that school uniforms restrict the ability of the students to express themselves. Expression is one of the most valued aspects of the human experience. In fact, it is so important that it is included in the First Amendment of the US Constitution. Therefore the skills of expression should be developed from a young age. The school is a social environment, and it can serve as the first experience of expression in a public setting. The second premise behind my opinion is school uniforms do not improve the academic aspects of the students.
Studies have shown that school uniforms have no effects on attendance or the results of exams. Moreover, a negative effect was found on the academic abilities of the students. With no clear academic benefit to the students, I cannot see the school uniforms as a good thing for the school to enforce. The last premise I chose was the extra expense uniforms would bring to the families of the students. Schools require a lot of spending by the parents. With public schools accommodating children with all socioeconomic backgrounds, this expense might become harsher depending on the economic situation of the family (McDaniel, 2013). I believe that in these situations, the students should be able to study without their families paying extra money for things that do not improve the study experience (“Should children have to wear,” 2017).
The Opponent’s Premises
School uniforms are a very controversial issue, which means that it has a lot of arguments that are presented by both sides. Out of the available opposing premises, I have chosen the following. The first is the possible use of the school uniforms as a crime deterrent. I believe that after looking at the studies that have been performed on this issue a person would be able to see school uniforms as a major positive. Every parent wants their children to be protected, so if uniforms can add protection, a parent is likely to support this viewpoint. The second opposing premise is that school uniforms help children focus on their education.
A person can arrive at this premise when arguing from a common sense point of view. Children are easily distracted, and clothes could be a major distraction in class if they are bright or feature elaborate designs. This statement can be backed up by some data, but I do not believe that it plays a large role in decision making in this case due to the larger amounts of data opposing this point of view. The final opposing premise is that school uniforms create a level playing field between the students. This is a very compelling argument because it is based on the mixed socioeconomic backgrounds of the children in public schools. It serves as a reflection of my third premise against the use of uniforms by addressing the envy and bullying the difference in clothes could bring. Children from wealthy families can afford more expensive clothes which would enable them to single out children from poorer families as bullying targets (“Should children have to wear,” 2017).
When a person judges one issue or another, a variety of biases can affect that judgment. While looking at the arguments for and against school uniforms I have encountered a few biases of my own. The two that I have found most common were the confirmation bias and the negativity bias. People are likely to surround themselves with information and points of view that agree with their point of view. Subsequently, this leads to people seeing information that agrees with their point of view as superior to other information. Due to my negative childhood experiences of wearing school uniforms in primary school, I have a negative outlook on the issue.
This could have led to me seeing data on the opposing side as more accurate than the supporting side. Bad news often receives more attention than good news, which makes people perceive the bad news as more accurate news. I have represented the negative opinion on the issue, so I have found the negatively phrased premises to be more truthful than the positive ones. However, the third opposing premise slightly changed my mind on the issue because it was connected to the same point that I was making. My school did not enforce uniforms in middle school and high school, so I was able to see how students with different economic backgrounds were often in conflict with each other due to their clothes (Elbow, 2006).
Biases have a strong effect on the opinions of people. Therefore it is important to consider the opposite point of view before making a judgment on the issue. By becoming aware of our biases, we should be able to create better arguments and ideas.
Elbow, P. (2016). The believing game and how to make conflicting opinions more fruitful. In C. Weber (Ed.), Nurturing the peacemakers in our students: A guide to writing and speaking out about issues of war and of peace (pp. 16-25). London, UK: Heinemann.
McDaniel, T. R. (2013). “Making the school uniform decision: Is it right for your school?” Kappa Delta Pi Record, 49(4), 162-167.
Should children have to wear school uniforms? (2017). Web.