School Uniforms Essay

2772 words - 11 pages

AbstractBoth school and home socioeconomic status have independent effects upon educational aspirations. It is appropriate to take steps to ensure that schools provide equal opportunity. School uniform policies do appear to represent a solution for some social issues faced by students today. The idea of school uniform policies for public school students is not new. Uniforms help to ameliorate the sense of needing to fit in with one's peers when so many developmental tasks need balancing by the youth of today. Statistical outcomes and differing interpretations of the research are discussed. School uniforms have been shown to directly and indirectly shape the attitudes, identities, and behaviors of students, which, in turn, influence school-related outcomes for the students; however, when uniform policies coincide with the other school reform efforts, it does make it difficult to disentangle the cause and effect.School Uniforms in Public SchoolsSchool uniforms appear to represent an ideal solution for creating homogeneity and possibly harmony in student populations. Such a unified body of youth would presumably be free to emerge without the otherwise obvious divisive markers of wealth, status, or gang affiliation. Uniforms help to ameliorate the sense of needing to fit in with one's peers when so many developmental tasks need balancing by the youth of today. School uniforms should be considered an added institutional policy that has been shown to directly and indirectly shape the attitudes, identities and behaviors of students (DaCosta, 2006).Challenges for Schools and StudentsSocioeconomic StatusBoth school and home socioeconomic status have independent effects upon educational aspirations. It is apparent that contextual climate in school is a critical variable for some students. Socioeconomic status has long been associated with school outcomes. In America, high-socioeconomic status children are four times more likely than low-socioeconomic status children to enter college, six times more likely to complete college, and nine times more likely to attain some form of graduate or professional-level training (Riordan, 2004).School InequalityThe research of James Coleman offered insight into several areas of concern in public education. While Coleman found that family background was the central explanation for student achievement, he also believed school inequality made things worse. According to Coleman, a student's achievement appears to be strongly related to the educational backgrounds and aspirations of the other students in the school (Kahlenberg, 2001).Peer InteractionThe educational resources provided by a child's fellow students are more important for his achievement than are the resources provided by the school board. The Coleman Report concluded that the social composition of the student body is more highly related to achievement, independent of the student's own social background, than is any school factor (Kahlenberg, 2001).The positive...

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