Arguments for School Uniforms

Advocates of school uniforms possess a large array of arguments about why they are beneficial. Such arguments can be categorized into three types:

Education-socialization benefits. Supporters of school uniforms commonly cite improved discipline, increased

Arguments For School Uniforms
Hong Kong boys in school blazers. Elements of the typical British school boy's uniform, such as a flannel blazer with breast pockets adorned with the school emblem, can often be seen in the school uniforms of other countries. © James Marshall/Corbis. Reproduced by permission.

self-esteem, and more school pride. Learning, rather than being distracted by "fashion wars," becomes the focus of schooling (though some schools have adopted more casual styles for uniforms, which might include blue jeans). Peer pressure is reduced. Embarrassment from not being fashionable, teasing, and bullying is mitigated. Moreover, any pedagogical practice that encourages students to find their sense of self-worth in something other than outward appearance is highly welcomed by parents.

Administrative benefits. Some teachers and administrators claim they have witnessed a decline in disciplinary problems while they have seen an increase in solidarity and camaraderie in schools since everyone appears to be on the same "team." Additionally, uniforms make it easier for school staff to identify who belongs on campus, thereby enhancing safety.

Social engineering. School uniforms act as "social equalizers," hiding the differences between the "haves" and "have-nots." Moreover, because parents do not have to contend with purchasing new clothes to keep up with constantly changing fads, educational expenses are kept down.

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