Earlier researches have indicated that there is a strong positive correlation between wearing of uniforms and academic performance. Furthermore the use of uniforms has had a control on social behavior. Decency is of the essence for any scholar or even worker. The issue of putting on a uniform in the different spheres of life cannot be underrated, it should instead be taken with due importance.
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Different countries in the world have their own standardized mode of dressing depending on their cultures, religion or social class. For any successful learning institution, the selection criterion for a uniform is an aspect that should be taken with great consideration. The combination of colors for example, may affect the students’ comfort as well as the public view and perception of the institution (Daugherty 392)
The issue of cost should also be put in to check. This is because in many third world countries like Lesotho, it was found that school drop out rate is very high due to the fact that many families cannot afford the high price of uniforms. Other countries have no regard for school uniforms due to their past history. A good example is Italy where children were forced to wear uniforms in and out of school during the Second World War.
Behavior and School Uniforms
Dropping out and breaking laws tend to be the common responses for students who have negative experiences in school. Schools are supposed to offer a constructive, positive, secure and safe environment for learning. Students should feel protected enough to discover, explore and build up their scholarly and social competencies.
There is no conclusive tangible evidence that shows that wearing of uniforms has a direct link to improved performance academically. Nevertheless, there exists evidence of fewer discipline problems and violence among students in countries that have implemented a uniform policy. The school attendance rate is also higher.
As mentioned in the introduction school uniforms have had an impact on behavior either positively or negatively. The National Educational Longitudinal Study of 1988 carried out an experiment on a group of learners. They later carried out a regression analysis and it was found that the correlation was either tending to zero or away from zero (Education Commission of the States: Helping state leaders shape education policy, par 2).
Depending on their results uniforms were either encouraged or discouraged. Separate researchers like Oxford University Press however found the opposite as far as behavior was concerned.
Diverse Uniform Roles
Uniforms have played a major role both physically, behaviorally and socially. Currently a learner in a uniform tends to shun away from misconduct since it is known to the society that he or she is a pupil or learner from a particular institution. Secondly uniforms bring an outward professional or academic impact.
Uniforms increase the attention of students in class as they do not concentrate on what their fellow students are wearing. Uniforms also help in leveling the socioeconomic playing field and provide the students a sense of community (Daugherty 391).
Disadvantages of School Uniforms
Various researches done show that wearing uniforms reduces the students’ responsibility in making mature decisions about what to wear (Education World: School uniforms, par 1). Uniforms also get in the way of clothes that should be worn as a religious obligation such as hijabs for Muslim girls. Financially parents have to part with more money on clothing for the students to have different sets of clothes for school and home which might be quite expensive.
Emerging Trends in Uniforms
There is a notable current trend in the design of uniforms. Female students for example have always lobbied that their uniforms should be designed in a more modern fashionable way to accommodate the rapid change in the social environment. Currently uniforms can be designed online. In this case a potential buyer visits the lab and chooses a uniform, designs it and orders for the same. In addition to this there are online professionals who are hired to design for the willing buyers.
Corporate uniforms have also been introduced in learning institutions for the staff and students. They promote a corporate image as well as the look of the organization which appears unique in nature. Other current trends involve a change in the way young learners used to dress. Most of the primary schools used to put on shorts for young boys mandatory. It has however emerged that even pre-school boys are allowed to put on trousers thus changing the nature of the uniform and culture.
From the above research it has emerged that there is more to uniforms than mere wearing of the same. With the changes in our social-cultural environment and the dynamism of technology it is important that the society and the learning institutions work together to promote a modest dress code for uniforms.
However decency needs not be ignored as a matter of fact. Regarding costs it is of paramount importance that the providers of these uniforms set a price that is affordable and reasonable to prevent a mixture of casual wear which may not be controlled or even standardized.
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Daugherty, Richard. Leadership in Action: Piloting a School Uniform Program.123.2 (2002):391-393 Print.
Education Commission of the States 2004.Helping state leaders shape education policy: Uniforms/Dress Codes. Web. <https://www.ecs.org/>
Education World 1999. School uniforms: panacea or Band aid? Web. <https://www.educationworld.com/>