School uniforms, anyone?

I remember during my high school teaching days heading up a “Quality Team” that investigated the potential of introducing school uniforms for students at the school where I taught.  Had I shown more leadership I think it could have been taken farther, but I recollect that a surprising number of teachers were against the idea.  Generally, the concern was that it would stifle the kids’ “creative expression” — although certain “creative expressions” were part of what we were hoping to stifle!

Another aspect of student life we were hoping to address was the extreme emphasis on clothing as a status symbol, and from what I just read in the Wall Street Journal, it doesn’t seem as though things have gotten much better.  Posted here for your perusement pleasure:

Since we homeschool, I have no dog in that fight (sorry, Michael Vick!).  But I do have an opinion (the equivalent, I suppose, to saying, “Yes, I’m a human.”)

On one hand, I think an “assembly line” mentality in the public schools — however unavoidable in general — is one of its most dangerous aspects, and I admit that the concept of school uniforms can feed into this.  At the same time, if the goal is to educate kids during a time in their lives when almost everything turns into a source of distraction that works against that goal, I think school uniforms can make a positive difference.

You are, of course, free to differ.

3 thoughts on “School uniforms, anyone?

  1. Alex

    As a twenty something… not too far removed from my days in public schools…

    I think that uniforms are a good idea – in that they help to diminish distractions. I’ve seen good things in parts of the Caribbean where the government schools do require uniforms.

    BUT… school uniforms cannot make up for a lack of or deficient parental involvement in a child’s education.

    If you want something done right, you have to do it yourself.

  2. Mark

    As a Middle School teacher, I am all for school uniforms. Of course, I am also in support of single gender classrooms at the middle school level. Raging hormones can create plenty of distractions to academic progress, but if adults make some helpful choices for them, the distractions can be significantly reduced in the classroom.

  3. Tim

    As a father I was glade to move into a district that has school uniforms. I wouldn’t go so far as Mark and spit up classes by gender. We all have to learn how to act around people. The sooner the better.

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