Influence Of Uniforms in School On Students
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Introduction and Theoretical Framework
Majority of the private as well as the parochial schools has been in need of uniforms for quite a period of time. In the majority of the public schools in existence all over the country, there has been an implementation of either a voluntary or a mandatory policy of school uniforms. With the proliferation of acts of violence that have a close association with the gangs as well as shooting inside these schools, there has been a preference by the districts for the enactment f the policies related to the school uniform in anticipation that this is a creative approach for the purpose of the improvement of he school climate as well as the enhancement of the environment of learning the majority of the schools. All in all, it is not to everybody that this issue is convincing in as far as the effectiveness of the school uniform policy is concerned. And therefore there exist proponents together with the opponents.
According to the argument of the proponents the implementation of the policy of school uniforms is most likely to reduce the problems related to discipline while promoting the safety of the students in the schools their view with regard to the issue of the school uniforms is a convenient means for the reduction of the emphasis in as far as the stylish clothing is concerned as well as an increase in the issue of the focus on the academics in their schools as per the believe of the opponents, the implementation of the policy of the school uniforms is an avenue for the violation of the rights of the students for self expression and it plays no important part in the reform of the students (Behling, 2004).
Statement of the problem
Does uniformed dress code change learning outcomes in the classroom? In the past several years, there have been reported cases of violence, incidences of gang activity as well as thefts involving the clothing as well as accessories. Majority of school boards therefore in an attempt to exercise mindfulness with regard to the responsibility of the provision of the safest environment in the school for the sake of the students, came up with policies with specific codes of dressing as well as being in school uniforms. This issue has attracted mixed reactions among the proponent as well as the opponents of the policy.
Purpose of the Study
The purpose of this paper is the exploration of the impact of the implementation of the policy of school uniforms and its effects on the safety as well as the behavior of the students. The exploration of the views of the proponents as well as the opponents for the purpose of the determination of the side having the greatest weight is an issue of paramount importance
According to the data that has so far been obtained through the majority of the studies in as far as clothing is concerned, there is an indication of the fact that a part of critical importance in the peoples perception of themselves is actually out of the type of clothing within the culture of those particular people. This also relates to how those people also perceive others. A study that was conducted for the purpose of examining clothing among the students as well as the teachers of a certain high school. This was achieved through the examination of some photographs of dressing models of a diverse range of uniforms as well as casual attires (Behling, 2004).
The participants were charged with the responsibility of rating of the models perception in relation to their academic ability, the behavior in the classroom as well as their academic potentials. According to the findings that were recorded, the clothing styles involving school uniforms was responsible for a positive influence in as far as the academic abilities perception as well as the behavior of the teachers as well as their students were concerned. There was a tendency for the assumption of better behavior among the uniformed students, an academic achievement of higher standard as well as higher academic potential (Behling, 2004). In yet another study with regard to the relationship of wearing school uniforms to the academic abilities and the students behavior, Wade & Stafford (2003) found that formally uniformed students were in a better position for the choice of some traits that were more reserved including “neat”, “strategic”, “accurate” as well as “restrained” among others for the purpose of their personal description.
In comparison, the participants whose assignment required that they be in more casual clothing were observed to use terminologies that were more relaxed including “easygoing”, “nonchalant”, “clumsy”, “emotional” as well as “tolerant” among others for the purpose of their personal description. The results achieved out of this study therefore is a basis of the conclusion of the fact that individual peoples assume diverse perceptions of themselves as well as a perception of the others based on the mode as well as the style of their clothing (Wade & Stafford, 2003)..
The impact brought about by the issue of clothing especially as it pertains the issue related to the school uniforms has been a topic of intense debate. The proponents of the policies of uniforms in schools continue to assert that there is an improvement of the safety of the students, the increase in the learning capabilities of the students, a decrease in the adverse behaviors of the students and an elevated self esteem of the students. On the other hand, the opponents remain with milliards of questions as it pertains the effectiveness of the implementation of the policies (Murray, 1997)
According to the research conducted by Loesch, (2005). The impact of the implementation related to the uniform policies on the academic achievement of the students as well as the problems related to their discipline reveals that the achievements have a short term influence. His research based on the rural as well as urban schools led to the conclusion that positive achievements are only realized during the first one year. Further research by Cohn, (2004) found no significant decrease in the rates of absenteeism of the students, no reduced levels of substance abuse, no improvement in the behavior of the students as well as no important improvement in the student’s academic achievements. But Loesch, (2005) in a similar study found a positive correlation that exists between the implementation of the policies and improvements of the test scores of the students. This therefore leads to some conflict as far as the studies are concerned making it rather difficult to arrive at a conclusion in as far as the effect of the adoption of the policies of school uniforms and the achievements in the academic performance are concerned(Loesch, 2005).
Further research by Murray (1997) had the principle aim of the determination of the impact of wearing of the school uniforms on the self perceptions of the students as well as the perceptions of the teachers on the climate of the schools as well as the presence of the gangs in the schools. His research indicated that there was no any significant variation in the perception of students with regard to the presence of the gangs in the schools whether the students were uniformed or not. However, the situation was different as far as the perception of the teachers was concerned. The teachers of the schools with uniformed students had a perception of the prevalence of lower cases of the presence of gangs as compared to the schools with non-uniformed students. The students in this category also indicated high scores in their self-perception but the perceptions of the teachers as well as the students in relation to the climate of the school had no marked difference with regard to the presence or absence of the uniforms among the students (Hannover, & Kuhnen, 2002).
Questions and Hypotheses
In the instance that the issue of school uniforms is confronted with some effects that are debatable in the respective schools, majority of the confounding variables are in existence whose implementation came at a time of the implementation of the policies of the school uniforms as well as the influence of the environment. The two issues have a potential for the interference of the results of the study. The length of time that the students were in exposure of the school uniforms and the time of the adoption of the policies related to the same had a potential effect on the response of the student with regard to this policy.
More confusion were contributed by the issue of the addition of teachers responsible for patrolling the hallways, the escalating levels of parental as well as community involvement as well as highlights in the violence facing the schools. These issues have occurred hand in hand with the implementation of the policies of uniforms in schools thus complicating the situation of the determination of the effectiveness of the policy on the performance of the students. It therefore implies that the implementation of the policies of uniforms is just a part of the comprehensive efforts of reforming schools for the purpose of the achievements of long term results (Cohn, 2004).
In tune of twenty five percent o9f the entire schools of the nation ranging from public elementary, the middle class schools as well as the junior high were supposed to comply with the implementation of the policies related to modes of dressing during the school year of 1997 to 1998 (Wade & Stafford, 2003).
There have been existing ten states all over the United States that have allowed the school districts to impose a mandate on the policy of the school uniforms
Data Collection and Analysis
According to the data that has so far been collected as well as analyzed, there are two extremes of argument in as far as the issue of the adoption of the policy is concerned. According to the data held by the proponents, there is a considerable decrease in the rate of suspension as well as thefts, the rates of assault, the rates of vandalism, the rate of the violation of the weapons as well as drug abuse with corresponding high rates of the attendance of the students. One of the major benefits associated with the implementation of the school uniforms are related to the increased levels of safety in the schools. It becomes obvious that non-uniformed persons have no rights of being within the compounds of the schools. The influences of the gangs in the schools are drastically reduced by the adoption of the uniforms. Violence is also brought to a minimal level due to the reduction in sources of the conflict among the students. The trespassers can also be identified with less bother. There is also less pressure put on the parents with regard to the purchase of the fashions to the students who are supposed to wear uniforms and therefore less money is spent in clothing of the children (Murray, 1997)
The implementation of the policies of uniforms is responsible for the removal of the cultural as well as economic differences since these lines are blurred making it difficult to make a judgment about others based on their style of clothing. This in essence brings about a serious tone responsible for study, becomes a facilitator of the pride of the school and an improvements in the attendance of the student. The self concepts of the students are greatly enhanced in the situation of wearing uniforms in a similar way to the classroom behavior as well as the academic performance. The students are placed in a better position in as far as the resistance of peer pressure is concerned. Cases of cloths theft are eliminated as it becomes useless to the kids to fight or even steal identical cloths from their peers. The pride of the school is also promoted in line with the improvement of the climate of the school and consequently the class becomes an ideal as well as a serious learning place (Loesch, 2005).
There is also some data that was collected and analyzed whose results is a contradiction of the above data as is held by the opponents of the implementation of the policy. Majority of these opponents have an argument of the infringement of the students in the instance that they have been made to wear the uniforms. This is with regard to the rights responsible for the freedom of the expression which is an interference with the natural tendency of the student to the experimentations of their identities. The wearing of the uniforms is taken as tools for social control and enactment of administrative power over the students. They are also seen to offer an approach of the piecemeal nature to the issues related to the racial as well as economical injustices and is a source of the discrimination of the students whose background is the minority groups (Murray, 1997)
It is according to the believe of the majority of these opponents that the lines of social class can not merely be erased through the implementation of the policies related to uniforms in the schools. This is based on the fact that the policy has no application of the rest of the items at the disposal of the students that may be used for the purpose of conveying status such as the use of jewelry, the backpacks as well as the bikes in schools. There is also a chance of the uniforms becoming less feasible especially in the high schools because of the independent nature of the older students. The issue of the attachment of the rights of a child to the public school to the compliance with the policies of uniform is also an issue of intense debate raised by the opponents of the policy.
There has been a favorable response among the parents with regard to the issue of the uniform policies. The major contribution of this situation is the projected potential capability of the uniform policy to minimize the problems that are associated with dressing. The cost of the uniforms in the majority of the states especially California has been given a major subsidy for the purpose of alienating this problem. The reactions of the students in relation to the issue of the uniforms is in the range of delight as pertains their lack of decision as to what is to be worn all along to a displeasure in their resembling a “nerd” for the purpose of striking a balance in as far as this issue is concerned therefore, the inclusion of the students at the time that the parents are selecting the uniform of their choice is of paramount importance. Majority of the population is exposed to the fact of anecdotes presuming uniforms in schools and their effectiveness in as far as the outcomes of the education are concerned (Hannover, & Kuhnen, 2002).
Limitations and Delimitations
The major limitation of the subject under research is the existence of strong evidence related to the lack of effective impact of the adoption of the school uniform policies on the positive development as well as achievements of the students. This has contradicted the proposed merits of the issue to a point of confusion as to follow the proponents or the opponents of the subject
Accordingly, it has been argued that there is no notable effect with regard to the academic achievements brought about by the adoption of the policies of school uniform as documented in the limitations as well as the delimitation of the issue. Most of things are actually oriented towards some effects that are negative with regard to the attendance, the behavior, the safety of the students, the self perception as well as the learning approaches. The implementation of the policies in schools have no impact on the aspects related to learning that are known to be of effective impact like of preparedness in academic work, the peer attitudes of the pro-school, safety as well as parental involvement. The available results have an actual indication of the existence of possible detriments with regard to the movement that advocate for the wearing of the uniforms by the students (Murray, 1997)
Significance of the Study
It is of paramount importance that the two sides of the argument are fathom perceived for the determination of the any of the policies. In line with this, success in the implementation of whichever policy that will be adopted will be a factor of the development of the perceptions that are positive in the context of the parent as well as the students. There is a need to avail the uniforms to the cross culture of the society and at a price that is affordable. There is also a need for the implementation of a code of dressing as well as uniform policies that matches the rest of the changes as far as educational strategies are concerned. This will ensure that there exists diversity in the components of the uniform with the right involvement of the parent as well as the student
Behling, D. (2004). Person Perception of School Uniforms. USA: Oxford Printing Press.
Cohn, C. (2004). Mandatory School Uniforms. USA: Macmillan Publishers.
Hannover, B., & Kuhnen, U. (2002). Clothing makes self. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 32(12), 2343-2425.
Loesch, Paul C. (2005). A Working School Uniform Program. NY: Prentience Hall
Murray, Richard K. (1997)”The Impact of Uniforms on the School Climate.” Nassp Bulletin 81,593:106-12.
Wade, K. & Stafford, E. (2003). “Public school uniforms” gang presence, student self-perceptions and school climate. Education and Urban Society, 35(4), 377-443.