The Positive Effects of School Uniforms
Students should wear school uniforms. The argument against school uniforms is that they restrict the freedom of expression and only minimally improve a school. But an argument can be made that uniforms make getting dressed in the morning easier for all parties involved. Schools no longer have to worry over what students are wearing, parents needn’t shell out large amounts of cash, and the students just have to get up and put no effort into what they will wear saving time. Uniforms are worn by student athletes to promote unity and teamwork, just as the academic uniform inspires a sense of belonging, that they are dressed for success.
Parents, teachers, and students watch athletes as they come out to defend their home court or field. Suddenly the school uniform can be seen and the crowd starts to cheer and that sense of pride is unmistakable. In a study of over 1,000 middle school students in Texas made the discovery that students in uniform felt much more positive feelings of belonging in their school environment than reported by students in the standard dress group (Fosseen, 2006). Other studies also give insight into what teachers feel about uniforms in the classroom. One peer-reviewed study also discovered that after uniforms were introduced instructors felt that they were more respected, that students were able to trust them more and care about their studies, as if they are a part of a team by wearing a uniform (Huss, 2007).
The University of Houston discovered that the tardy rate for girls in both middle and high school decreased by 7% after uniforms were introduced. The University of Houston also found that problems that used to involve behavior were shifted towards much more lighter infractions. They had also discovered that uniforms generate immediate improvements for girls, and that after an adjustment period for boys, their uniforms will help them as well (Gentile and Imberman 5). Another instance that uniforms do help a school environment is when during the first semester at John Adams Middle School in Albuquerque, NM, referrals plummeted from 1,565 to 405 in the span of two school years, an incredible 74% decrease after a mandatory uniform program was implemented (Lumsden and Miller 3). Researchers also play a part in showcasing how uniforms have impacted students and school not just in the United States, but around the world.
Students listen when teachers create a professional environment. Students pay attention when distractions in the classroom are minimal. Good discipline creates the opportunity for students to work at their best, which in turn creates great work to be done. If discipline is required, then something that promotes that sense of professionalism would be uniforms. The uniforms of a school can contribute to better discipline in everyday school operations. The findings of an article in the International Journal of Educational Management support that in general. The two authors make a point in suggesting that implementing school uniforms at schools might enhance discipline and allow for better learning. The two authors, Chris Baumann and Hana Krskova, suggest to keep uniforms where they are already in place while implementing uniforms where they are needed.
Linda Abel Fosseen, “School Uniforms in Middle Schools: Enhancing Identity and Security,” Uniforms in Public Schools: A Decade of Research and Debate, Ed. David L. Brunsma, 2006
John A. Huss, “The Role of School Uniforms in Creating an Academically Motivating Climate: Do Uniforms Influence Teacher Expectations,” Journal of Ethnographic and Qualitative Research, 2007
Elisabetta Gentile and Scott A. Imberman, “Dressed for Success? The Effect of School Uniforms on Student Achievement and Behavior,” utdallas.edu, Jan. 15, 2010
Linda Lumsden and Gabriel Miller, “Dress Codes and Uniforms,” Research Roundup: National Association of Elementary School Principals, Summer 2002
Chris Baumann and Hana Krskova, “School Discipline, School Uniforms and Academic Performance,” International Journal of Educational Management, 2016