How do uniforms affect schools?uniforms and how it affects schools?

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job518 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I have a mixed opinion concerning uniforms. I taught at a school with "uniforms" which consisted of a collared shirt of solid colors and slacks or khakis. I personally think it looks great. The school appears neater when you look out in the halls as the students change classes. It also diminishes the "stand out effect" where certain students automatically draw attention to themselves. However, I do not think it eliminates the socioeconomic status as well as people would like to think. Yes, the lines are blurred, but the students (in high school at least) already know who has money and who does not. That being said, I do think that the students were better behaved on the days in uniform than those not. Maybe it was just like when you have an assembly and students get a little wild because it is different. They were not in uniform , so it was like an interruption. Trust me when I say that unless the dress code is extremely specific, and extremely and strictly enforced (and even then sometimes), then the students will find a way to differentiate themselves from others. Certain groups will always find a way to be different. I just can't really say that is necessarily a bad thing. It is what makes the world go round.  

Doug Stuva eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I've taught in public schools that didn't require uniforms, private schools that did, and one private school that did not.  There were only two real differences as far as I could tell, and neither one is directly relevant to the classroom or to learning.

  1. The appearance of students in public, away from school grounds, is more impressive when students are in uniform.  Society is full of bigoted, close-minded people, so students on the fringe of what's acceptable to society receive double-takes in public.  That's irrelevant to me, but administrations probably prefer uniforms.
  2. That "fringe" is eliminated when uniforms are required.  I'm yet to see a student dressed in "Gothic" fashion at a uniformed school, for instance, for better or worse.  Again, I couldn't care less.  I'm just pointing it out as a difference.

Without uniforms, the wealthiest kids tend to dress the dumpiest.  They're probably the only ones who can afford the jeans that come with holes in them, I don't know.  But at the schools I've been at showing off was not an issue. 

I've seen no difference in the classroom, however, whether or not uniforms were required. 

alohaspirit eNotes educator| Certified Educator

We have uniforms in our school, and I can see the positives and negatives of this policy.  The positives are the students in our community come from a disadvantaged background, and the are small pockets of students that come from a wealthier background, so the uniform creates equality.  Another positive is that the teachers also have staff shirts that are very similar to the student shirts, so it creates a sense of community on our campus.  The negatives are students feel like they cannot express themselves, and our school creates a lot more rules about dress code such as wearing the same color longsleeve shirt under the uniform shirt.  Also students can only wear certain colors for their pants and hoodies.  The teacher feels like they spend a lot of their time just double checking that everyone is in dress code, and it stinks to bust a kid that has a different color long sleeve shirt on, and you have to send them to the office.  I think the uniform is fine, but we need to ease up on all the other dress code rules.

job518 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I believe that uniforms have a positive effect on schools by cutting down on some of the common problems associated with free dress (i.e. dress code violations, logo wars, etc.) Furthermore, if ever student is dressed the same way, no one will stand out as being better or worse dressed than any other. The focus can return to education!

I agree that this is what should happen, but in many cases it doesn't. The school I was at, for example, had so many other problems with which it was dealing that uniform violations were one of the things that was pushed aside. The students new this and would push the boundaries on the issue. So if handled properly, uniforms should have a positive effect, especially in lower income schools. 

pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

It is hard to know this for sure because there are a lot of variables involved -- if a school changes to having uniforms and does better, is it because of the uniforms?  If a school with uniforms is better than one without, is it because of the uniforms?

You also have to decide what effects you are looking for.  Do they need to improve attendence, raise grades, or what?

This study, at least, says that there was no direct effect of school uniforms on such things as behavior or substance abuse.

bullgatortail eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I have never taught in a school that either required uniforms or allowed them as an option. I'm sure most students dislike the idea because it robs them of their ability to express themselves through their dress. However, I imagine uniforms would rid teachers and schools of some of the problems that come with dress code violations: short skirts, low-cut blouses, baggy pants down to the ankles, etc.

jdslinky eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I believe that uniforms have a positive effect on schools by cutting down on some of the common problems associated with free dress (i.e. dress code violations, logo wars, etc.) Furthermore, if ever student is dressed the same way, no one will stand out as being better or worse dressed than any other. The focus can return to education!

lrwilliams eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I think school uniforms are a good idea. As others have stated it would eliminate most dress code issues as far as inappropriate logos or length of skirts or shorts. I also think it would put students on a level playing field since economic status could not be shown through the way people dress.

ako6777 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The advantage to wearing uniforms is that it cuts back on gang influence.  Many students dress in a certain way to express their gang involvement.  This is not to say that they don't find other ways of expressing themselves but it does help.

jess1999 | Student

I actually believe that uniforms can be a great advantage for schools . For example , there are many people at my school whom are not at all following the dress codes , but if there was a uniform they would have no choice but to wear the uniform . Also , I believe that students would not have to spend as much times trying to pick out outfits to wear in the morning . This is why I believe uniforms can actually be a great part of the school . 

crystaltu001 | Student

Uniforms can affect school in a good way because people don't have to show off what they have and everyone dresses the same. Uniforms create a equal movement for students because some people can't afford the clothes and things others have so wearing uniforms doesn't create this separation between people.

arzin | Student
How do uniforms affect schools?

uniforms and how it affects schools?

School uniforms are a hot issue today and has been for a very long time. People who are for it say that uniforms create a sense of equality for all students, so that students who are too poor to afford good clothes do not feel discriminated against those who have good clothes. Also, some teachers believe that school uniforms look really neat, and makes students focus more in their studies. People who are against school uniforms say that it is somewhat inhumane, in the sense that it forces all students to look like 'one'. I believe there are good and bad sides in both casual clothes and uniforms,a and even if you're not happy with having uniforms or no uniforms, you have to admit that there are good sides to both. Anyways, one rising problem with school uniforms is their cost. People proposing it say that school uniforms are cheap and therefore helps students from less affluent homes, but others say that they are actually more expensive than casual clothes. I remember that my uniform cost over 1,000 dollors in the highschool I went to. The cost debate all depends on the school and the uniform your school has. But I do personally believe that uniforms are a good way to focus on study. When students are not too dressed up, they tend toanyways, that was a really fruitful discussion.

giorgiana1976 | Student

Students say and believe that wearing the same clothes would only diminish their personality, because they are at the age when their personality is building.

Sociologists explain students' phobia against uniform by the fact that they perceive the school as an institution paternalistic and authoritarian. They don't feel connected to school, actually they thoughts about school are like about a foreign institution. In a certain way, students are wearing now uniforms, too, or at least elements of uniform - by adopting the punk , rock or other styles. 

Teachers believes that uniforms have a positive effect on discipline.

krishna-agrawala | Student

I believe the greatest advantage of school uniforms is that that it reduces the scope of display of economic status by students in the school. Too much concern with showing off economic status is bad for smooth working of any group. For young students studying in schools the impact of disparities in economic status can be particularly bad. It can cause emotional disturbances in students which they are quite well equipped to handle at their tender age.

Pompous display of better economic status also harms the well to do students by inculcating in them wrong values and habits.