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Mixing Real School Uniforms and Metaphorical Lunches
|Posted By: Dick Schutz on January 2, 2009|
|I don't know of anyone who has claimed that school uniforms are any substitute for the operational work of all participants to reliably attain the aspirations of schooling.|
Certainly, uniforms are largely symbolic. But so is the American flag. Symbols are important and "research" will never demonstrate their importance.
The symbolism of uniforms is important in several ways. It indicates "I'm a student" in the same way that police officers, chefs, physicians, nurses, mechanics, and other uniforms indicate role. It's a long and useful list.
It also removes the focus and differences in the externalities of "clothing" to permit a focus on the business of learning and instruction.
It saves parents money in clothing costs.
It decreases the health hazard of "dirty clothes."
Of course, uniforms infringe on "student freedom." Schooling inherently and beneficially infringes on student freedom.
There may be some downsides of school uniforms, but I didn't get them from the article and none occur to me.
Of course, school personnel can act to make school lousy with kids in or out of uniform. But that's not an argument against the practice.
In the absence of downside, and the number of upside benefits, it seems to me that school uniforms are a good thing rather than a bad thing.