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The Debate Over School Uniforms Essay

937 words - 4 pages

The Debate Over School Uniforms

Context

In some countries, e.g. Britain and many Caribbean states, it is
common for school pupils to have to wear distinctive uniforms
identifying them with a particular institution, especially to the end
of compulsory education at 16. In others, e.g. France, the USA, it is
rare for uniforms to be worn, although some private schools may retain
them. In both situations the desirability of school uniforms remains
controversial among students, parents and educationalists. As a result
of this some schools have abandoned uniform at the same time as others
have adopted it.

pros

Uniform helps to create a strong sense school ethos and a sense of
belonging to a particular community. As such itit promotes discipline
and helps to drive up academic standards, which is why a uniform is
often adopted by sschools which are being reopened with a fresh start
after being classified as failing.

cons

Uniform suppresses individualism and treats students en masse rather
than encouraging teachers to recognise their different characters and
abilities, and students to accept responsibility for aspects of their
own lives. Uniform was better suited to an age of rote learning and
military-style discipline than to the more exploratory and creative
values of modern education - values which are increasingly important
to the wider economy. Many schools, indeed many countries, manage to
maintain high school standards of discipline, community and academic
performance without adopting uniform

pros

Uniform acts as a social leveller, under which all students are equal
in the eyes of the school and of each other. In institutions without
uniform students are often competitive and worry endlessly about their
appearance and the clothes they should wear. Pupils without expensive
designer clothes and trainers may be singled out as social outcasts,
or stigmatised as being from poor backgrounds. For these reasons many
parents prefer uniforms as they save them money on buying clothes for
school wear

cons Students always find ways to tease or bully others, regardless of
what clothes are worn. Those who wish to be particularly fashionable
will want to own the same number of outfits regardless of whether they
are allowed to wear them to school or not, changing into them the
minute that classes are over. Parents often find some uniform items,
e.g. jackets, very expensive compared to the rest of their child's
wardrobe, and...

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