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School Uniforms: Brilliant or Insane?

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photo credit: infomatique via photopin cc
photo credit: infomatique via photopin cc

School uniforms and their impact on behavior and learning are one of education’s many hot-button issues.

Proponents of school uniforms believe they eliminate the kind of individuality that can cause disruption, even fights. If Johnny can’t wear $200 LeBron James shoes, then bullies can’t steal them from him. If Emily can’t wear a skin tight, cleavage-revealing blouse, then she won’t be ridiculed by peers. Disruption decreases and learning increases.

Opponents of school uniforms contend that individuality promotes learning, because students feel better about being in a place where they can show who they are. If they are happy, they will learn. Also, school uniforms can be an added financial burden for parents.

The statistics on increase in learning and decrease in discipline issues, based on school uniforms, is negligible. It’s difficult to measure the effect of uniforms, without data from schools that have had both policies.

So what’s the answer? Are school uniforms brilliant, or are they insane? Cast your vote below.

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Mark Barnes is the Founder and CEO of Times 10 Publications, which produces the popular Hack Learning Series -- books that provide right-now solutions for teachers and learners. Mark is the author or publisher of dozens of books, including Bestseller Hacking Education: 10 Quick Fixes for Every School. Barnes presents internationally on assessment, connected education, and Hack Learning. Join more than 115,000 interested educators who follow @markbarnes19 on Twitter.
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