School uniforms have long been a topic of debate between those who believe the public school system should offer personal freedoms and those who believe it helps provide an appropriate environment for learning. There are many reasons uniforms can be helpful in enhancing the student's learning experience. It helps if you look at these dress codes as you would a uniform for work, as school is a child's work.
Sense of Belonging
Providing a sense of belonging is an important part of uniformity. When you help to remove the class system by leveling the playing field, it provides students with the opportunity to be included. Clothing is an easy way to point out those who do not have money or support. By eliminating this discrepancy, you have made life easier for all students.
Safety-wise, uniforms make students easily identifiable. It becomes simple to locate those who do not belong on a campus when they are not in the correct clothing. They also prevent the concerns of gangs and other forms of cliques sporting their "colors" and causing friction between groups or individuals.
Helpful for Teachers
Uniforms allow teachers to teach. Taking away the need to "police" clothing choices gives teachers a chance to focus on curriculum and not on what the students are wearing. It helps to remove the subjective nature of general clothing guidelines, such as determining what is offensive.
Uniforms help to change the attitude of those wearing them. Unlike regular clothing choices, you are not likely to pick on someone wearing the exact same thing as yourself. Many a schoolyard fight has begun with someone making fun of someone else regarding the clothing they are wearing.
Dressing nicely also helps students to "live up to their clothing." There is an innate sense of decorum when we dress for success. People tend to act differently depending on the clothing they are wearing. By creating a uniform specifically designed for attending school, the attitude falls in line. When those clothes are on, it becomes as regular as putting on pajamas, so a brain knows it is time to focus and learn.
Reducing the "sex" factor also provides motivation to focus on studies. Even when students dress within guidelines, children can find a way to push the limits with how low cut or tight their clothing might be. With a uniform, that is almost entirely removed. You will no longer have the girl with the low-cut blouse distracting the boys in the classroom.
- Photo Credit back to school colorful text, isolated image by Stasys Eidiejus from Fotolia.com
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