Why do US and Canadian Public/Government schools have no uniforms?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by mej210390, Oct 13, 2011.

  1. mej210390

    mej210390 Rookie

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    Oct 13, 2011

    when Australian/New Zealand Schools do?
     
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  3. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Aficionado

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    Many public schools here do have uniforms. Only four in the district where I work do not.
     
  4. mej210390

    mej210390 Rookie

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    reply to thread

    thanks for that information, but why is it that the majority of public schools don't have them though?
     
  5. 3Sons

    3Sons Enthusiast

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    The US puts a pretty high value on freedom of expression, and this often translates to the schools. Parents will often vote against or resist uniforms. For many Americans, uniforms smack of the military, or of communism, or of highly conformist Asian nations, and they have a negative reaction towards that. Since parents elect the school board, the school board has to listen to them.

    There are some other reasons that will come up when uniforms are considered, as well. Some will complain about the expense of buying clothes that can pretty much be used only for school, especially several sets of the same or very similar clothing. Since there's often something of a monopoly of uniform providers, they can often charge higher prices. I think this is actually a secondary concern, not primary -- upscale suburban communities will frequently resist uniforms even though price isn't really an obstacle.

    The US also has a habit of not looking outside itself when looking for new ideas. The fact that Australia and NZ have uniforms would have absolutely no influence on US policy. In fact, there are a number of areas in which an overwhelming majority of countries in the world have a policy and the US will persist in following a different and sometimes contradictory policy. It is only when the idea comes from within that the US will start seriously considering it. Fortunately, immigration allows for some of this to occur, albeit more slowly than it might otherwise.
     
  6. scmom

    scmom Enthusiast

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    3sons said it all.
     
  7. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Yep, well said.
     
  8. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    I'm wondering, given the pattern of threads on uniforms and grade spans in the US, when mej210390's paper is due.
     
  9. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    My guess is fairly soon; that was a LOT of questions this morning.
     
  10. bandnerdtx

    bandnerdtx Aficionado

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    :lol:
     
  11. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    I did some research on uniforms when I was getting my Master's. I found that all of the so-called research at the time wasn't based on anything solid at all. So despite all of the claims that uniforms increased student learning and decreased conflicts had no valid basis at all. Why institute something that doesn't have any benefit?
     
  12. MissMatty

    MissMatty Rookie

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    My school does have a uniform, and girls are not allowed to wear pants. There are skirts only (except for PE classes).
    I think its silly and the girls freeze in winter.
     
  13. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    2nd verse, same as the first. Lots and lots and lots more questions on today's homework.
     
  14. blazer

    blazer Connoisseur

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    Quite a ew of the elementary school in Chicago that I have visited do have uniforms.

    Are you of the opinion they are a good or bad thing?

    In the UK general opinion seems to be that they are a good thing but many teachers would like to see an end to them as they are a constant cause of friction between staff and students and in reality any differences in performance are more down to social class and the attitude of parents to school rather than whether the kids are in a uniform or not.
     
  15. blazer

    blazer Connoisseur

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    Do you have any links to the research please?

    Kids that wear uniform properly do so because their parents have apositive attitude to the school and its ethos. Kids that rebel against uniform do so because their parents are complicit in their rebellion by not backing the school policy on dress. This same attitude then spills over into attitude for the school work itself. Thus the uniform and school work are both a causal efect of parental (and thus student) attitude. They are not a cause and effect in themselves.
     
  16. WindyCityGal606

    WindyCityGal606 Enthusiast

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    It's my understanding that in order for them to be mandatory, they need to be provided by the school, free of charge. Schools in my district who do "require" uniforms have a majority of parents in support of uniforms so they willingly purchase uniform clothes for their children. At my school, parents and admin are against uniforms so we don't do it. For many of us, it's a hygiene issue. Some kids would get stuck having to wear the same uniform all week because parents wouldn't buy extras or do laundry until the weekend. That singles them out and we don't want any of our students developing low self-esteem because their parents can't afford a good supply of uniform clothes.
     
  17. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    This isn't true in my district. The schools that require uniforms require families to purchase them.
     
  18. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Aficionado

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    Same here. In my district only a handful of schools do not require uniforms, and parents must buy them. Unfortunately, many of the same parents that would complain about not being able to afford uniforms would buy designer jeans and shoes for their children. It's all about what is valued, not usually an actual money issue. There are uniform coops and such for families with money issues.
     
  19. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    I don't think that there are any public schools in my board that have uniforms. Our Catholic schools are a public system as well, and parents are required to purchase uniforms.
     
  20. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    no, no links. But I found the information on eduserve, if I remember correctly. I have access to my university's library catalog system and thus educational journals, so you probably do as well.

    I find your statement that students who rebel do so because they're parents have a bad attitude toward school odd. I cannot even imagine where the logic is in that.

    For the record, I had a bad attitude against my daughter's school's uniform policy. I fought hard against it and the idiotic claims the administration was making. My daughter still managed to be one of the best students there. And her grades didn't change one bit when they made the switch, lol.
     
  21. 3Sons

    3Sons Enthusiast

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    I would find this narrative fairly insulting if used in a speech. Consider that it could be applied to simply anything, valid or not, that a school wanted to enforce. Questioning anything then becomes, "Oh, that parent doesn't care about their child's schoolwork."
     
  22. blazer

    blazer Connoisseur

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    I don't know about your kids but where I teach kid's attitudes frequently reflect their parent's attitudes to education. In the UK school performance is a function of the zip code (we call it post code) that the school resides in (In the UK 95% of kids go to their local school). There is a very large correlation between parental attitude and educational performance of their kids.

    I agree that there may be parents out there who question whether the performance of their particular child is affected by what they wear but in UK schools (or the majority) uniform is mandatory and has to be provided by the parents. Which means every day starts with a battle over uniform before any teaxching can begin. My own view is that they are un-necessary and are an achronistic reflection of the British Public school system. But I am in a minority of both teachers and parents in the UK.
     
  23. Cerek

    Cerek Aficionado

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    I can see both sides of this issue. There IS a large correlation between parental attitudes and student performance, but the issue of school uniforms is usually extraneous to the overall attitude against school, education, homework, etc. If the parent(s) have a negative attitude towards school in general, then they will obviously also have a negative attitude towards school uniforms as well. The overall negativity is what will carry over in the student's attitude, not just the rebellion against uniforms.

    On the other hand, as NCScienceTeach pointed out, it is very possible to disagree with individual issues or school policies while still endorsing the overall value of education to the child. Just because a parent objects to school uniforms (or any other specific policy) does not necessarily mean that parent has a negative or rebellious attitude towards school or education in general.
     
  24. MissFroggy

    MissFroggy Aficionado

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    This may have been mentioned, but I taught in the inner city and almost all of the elementary schools had uniforms. Parents were given vouchers of some kind for the clothing if they needed it.

    It was primarily to avoid gang colors. (Yes, in elementary school.)
     
  25. FourSquare

    FourSquare Fanatic

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    I've never been in a school without uniforms! I went to catholic schools growing up and now I teach in the inner-city where we have uniforms. I like them. I think my kids look so nice and scholarly walking down the hall. :)
     
  26. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    That's the primary reason why my old school, and many of the elementary and middle schools in the district required them.
     
  27. Emily Bronte

    Emily Bronte Groupie

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    The only schools in my area that wear uniforms are in the inner city and yes it was to avoid the gang colors.
     

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