The issue of school uniform is a subject of heated debates in educational institutions all over the world. Supporters of the uniform policy claim that wearing it teaches children discipline and makes them affected by social inequality. Opponents, on the other hand, try to fight equalization and extra expenses. Still, the uniform is continuously introduced and removed from schools in different countries.
This topic is much more complex and multifaceted than it may seem at first glance. If you have to write a school uniforms opinion essay, start by tracking the history of uniform in order to understand what it was needed for at various stages of the formation of any educational system.
The first schools appeared in ancient Sumer, about 4,5 thousand years ago. Strange as it may seem, there were also certain requirements for the appearance of the students those days. For example, it was mentioned that young people were punished for unkempt clothes.
Tudor chic for little orphans
Historians agree that special costumes for students originated in the 16th century at English charity schools for orphans and children from poor families. The Londoners brought clothes to these schools, and the most commonly donated garment was a long coat of blue color. Eventually, the name ‘bluecoat schools’ was attributed to any charitable educational institution.
One of such establishments was Christ’s Hospital, founded in 1552. By the way, this school exists until now! The uniform worn by the students has not changed much since the reign of Tudors. A few years ago, the administration of Christ’s Hospital conducted a survey among its students to find out whether they want to abandon the special clothing. 95% of young people spoke in favor of preserving this tradition. This case can serve as a good example when writing a persuasive essay on why school uniforms are good.
According to the legend carefully stored in the walls of Christ’s Hospital, in 1552, King Edward VI, the son of Henry VIII, heard the passionate preaching of the London bishop about the needs of poor people. Young Edward was so touched by these words that he decided to engage in charity. By the decision of Edward VI, who was only 14 years old, several old buildings in London were allocated for orphans and children from needy families. Owing to donations and funds gathered in the city, the children were fed, dressed, and educated.
Initially, 380 children were admitted to the school named Christ’s Hospital. A year later, there were already 500 students. A century and a half later, in 1666, the school was burned down. Incredibly, none of the kids died. Some of them were sent to live in the county of Hertfordshire, where the school was later given its own building. 300 years after several relocations and reorganizations, Christ’s Hospital was finally settled in Horsham, West Sussex. Currently, 900 people study at this boarding school. It is noteworthy that throughout the history of Christ’s Hospital, it accepted both boys and girls.
The school is extremely proud of its uniform, which is probably the oldest one in the world. A set of Christ’s Hospital student clothes includes a long dark blue coat with a belt, breeches or a skirt, yellow knee socks, and a white collar. The costume is issued to young people free of charge.
Approximately 200 years ago, a small innovation was introduced: buttons on the coat were decorated with a portrait of the founder, King Edward VI. High school students who have shown outstanding results in several subjects are allowed to decorate their clothes with large silver buttons and velvet cuffs. This is an excellent incentive for successful study, which can be mentioned among reasons why students should wear uniforms in the paper on the history of uniforms.
Moreover, in Liverpool, there is an old educational institution that got its name in honor of the special garment – Blue Coat School. It was founded in 1708 for orphans and children from poor families. After 11 years, a new magnificent building was created for this school, which eventually became a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The institution was relocated at the beginning of the XX century. In 1984, the city council of Liverpool tried to stop funding Blue Coat School, but the residents organized a large-scale campaign and managed to defend it.
Initially, Blue Coat School did not have its own uniform; it was introduced in the late 18th century. Until 1948, the clothing included a blue coat in a Tudor style, a white collar, and yellow knee socks. Now the Blue Coat School uniform includes a blue blazer with a school badge, a white shirt, a tie, a school coat with a gray V-neck pullover, gray pants for boys and a skirt for girls, gray socks or pantyhose, and black shoes.
In Britain, there are other old schools in which the uniform has not been changed for centuries. For example, the students of Harrow still wear straw hats. However, most British children nowadays wear more modern clothes, the design of which depends on the specific school.
All the abovementioned facts emphasize the advantages of school uniform. Nevertheless, as we know, every coin has two sides.
The abovementioned ‘blue coats’ were worn by German schoolchildren until the end of the 18th century. Later, a strict uniform was preserved only in monastic and boarding schools. In the second half of the 19th century, German hats called Schülermützen became extremely popular among German students. When the Nazis came to power, they banned these hats as an attribute of class society.
In 1936, the government issued a law, according to which all German boys aged 10-18 years were required to be members of Hitlerjugend and wear its uniform. Girls had their own organizations and respective clothing rules. You may mention in your argumentative essay against school uniforms that special costumes for children were abandoned only in the post-war years.
In recent decades, German society has returned to the discussion of this issue. For example, the question of whether girls should be allowed into schools in Muslim apparel has sparked heated debates. Among the supporters of uniform, there are also those who are outraged by schoolgirls dressed in revealing mini-skirts and shorts.
German chancellor Angela Merkel always expressed support for the uniform. In her opinion, such clothes relieve children of the pressure associated with the need to wear fashionable and expensive attires in order to be no worse than classmates and also give kids a sense of community.
In 2015, at the end of the school year in Germany, there was an abnormal heat. The weather influenced the choice of clothing of German teenagers. Despite this fact, one German school introduced a ban on shorts. Students who were dressed in a too revealing apparel (in the opinion of teachers) wore special wide T-shirts over their clothes until the end of the classes. The headmaster explained that they had to take measures due to a ‘provocative’ appearance of schoolgirls. Such actions caused heated discussions; even a hashtag #hotpantsverbot was introduced in the German segment of Twitter. It literally means ‘hot pants are prohibited.’ This example can serve as a fun fact for your school uniform debate essay.
Nevertheless, schools with strict dress code are rather an exception in Germany. Opponents of the uniform believe that unification in clothing is associated with militarism as well as disrespect for the child’s personality. This opinion is popular not only among kids and their parents but also among teachers.
Still, the idea that special clothing may help to solve the problem of cultural integration or obsession with fashion trends was called completely wrong. Statistics on school uniforms and bullying proves that simplification of rules in the post-war period had all reasonable grounds because such clothes are still associated with the Nazi regime.
For similar reasons, a dress code is not popular in Italy. Under the Mussolini government, children were required to wear the uniform of fascist youth organizations. After the war, the Italians abandoned strict rules regarding the appearance of the students. However, for several decades, girls had to wear a grembiule over their clothes. Grembiule is a loose robe that was designed to hide the feminine figure. This rule caused a lot of controversy during the sexual revolution of the 1960s and was eventually canceled. Currently, Italian students can wear whatever they want.
The legacy of the colonial era
In the colonial era, European school rules have spread throughout the world to form a bizarre mix with local traditions. Here are some school uniform statistics and facts related to them:
The Land of the Rising Sun is closer than it seems
Japan is still perceived as a closed and conservative country in which foreign influence is not visible, but this is not entirely true. According to research papers on school uniforms, western impact on the Japanese mass culture is very tangible. A striking example of this is the garment for schoolchildren created according to European standards a century and a half ago.
At the end of the XIX century, Japan sought to reform the education system and began to adopt some customs of Great Britain, France, and Germany. Among other things, the school dress code was borrowed. The Japanese uniform for boys is called gakuran. It consists of a dark jacket with a straight collar and dark trousers. The kit was modeled on the basis of the Prussian army garment. The costume for girls, sailor fuku, consists of a blouse and a pleated skirt. The colors and details of the style may vary in different schools. Initially, the sailor suit was introduced in Japan, just like in Europe, as a popular children’s clothing. In 1920 and 1921, two private female colleges first approved it as a mandatory uniform: Heian Jogakuin (St. Agnes University) in Kyoto and Jo Gakuin University in Fukuoka. This outfit is also well-known to fans of anime and modern Japanese culture in general.
By the way, is also worth noting that the Japanese genuinely like the sailor costume. They arrange special events to show new trends in school fashion. This fact might be useful for your why students should wear uniforms essay.
As we already mentioned, supporters of the strict dress code argue that it accustoms children to order and eliminates social inequality. Yet, the truth is exactly opposite in developing countries of Africa: the lack of money to buy a uniform often deprives children from low-income families of the opportunity to go to school. The severity of this problem should not be underestimated. By the way, it is hard to believe, but the high cost of school attire led to the death of hundreds of people and a coup d’état.
In 1979, Bokassa, the dictator of the Central African Republic who called himself an emperor and his state an empire, issued a decree according to which all schoolchildren of the country had to wear special clothes. The ruler’s motive was obvious: all uniforms were sewed at a factory owned by Bokassa. But for most of the population of the very poor Central African Republic, the price of such uniform was too high. People started a riot, and eventually, street protests turned into mass arrests and murders of students. When the atrocities of Bokassa reached such proportions that it was no longer possible to ignore them, France intervened in the situation, and dictator was overthrown in the course of a coup d’état. This story is worth mentioning in an essay against school uniforms.
In the US, the school uniform appeared relatively late in the 1980s. Initially, it was introduced in some disadvantaged urban areas to solve the problem of ‘teenagers shooting each other because of designer sneakers.’ The special outfit became more widespread after President Bill Clinton spoke in its favor in 1996. Over the next 10 years, the dress code came into force in a quarter of primary and approximately 12% of secondary educational institutions of the US.
When writing your paper on reasons against school uniforms, you can mention that during many years of sociological research, no positive influence of such clothes on schoolchildren, their behavior, or self-perception was detected. Today, most American schools still do not have standardized uniform, but there are rules that do not allow coming to school, for example, with open belly or shoulders.
Anyway, the uniform is worn in most countries of the world. The tradition is preserved despite the fact that the standards of clothing for students are not regulated by the government of many states and remain at the discretion of schools. The dispute about the need for a dress code also does not seem to end. So there are no problems with finding material for a school uniform debate article. All you need to do is find the most interesting and relevant facts.
If it’s your first paper on such topic, don’t worry. Questions about how to write school uniform research papers, essays, or any other quality academic paper are always of particular interest to learners. In the course of studies, young people have to manage various types of written assignments. One of them is an essay, which is a short paper that covers a very narrow topic.
An essay is a small narrative with a free structure. The author of a writing piece is required to express personal impressions and judgments relating to a particular phenomenon, subject, or topic. A student should focus both on the content of a paper and such aspects as simplicity, imagery, and attractiveness of the presentation.
We bring to your attention some useful recommendations on how to write and format an essay on school uniforms.
1. Study the topic
In order to start writing an academic paper, you have to be well-versed in the topic. You may check some interesting facts about school uniforms in order to find some ideas you would like to start researching. Books, Internet resources, or electronic databases can serve as perfect sources of information. The conducted research will be an excellent foundation for an accurate and interesting narrative.
2. Sort the information collected
If the topic is familiar to you, and the information is extensive and accurate, you can proceed with the analysis of the available evidence. Further, you have to formulate a thesis statement for school uniforms essay and develop arguments and ideas that are to be considered in the essay.
It is recommended to consider examples of similar papers created by other researchers. Both strengths and weaknesses of the expressed point of view will be obvious after reading them. Finally, a comparison will allow you to find the best ideas for compiling your own essay about school uniform.
3. Make yourself clear
Before you start writing, it is necessary to highlight the main thesis in your paper. It should express the basic idea of the essay and help the reader to understand the motives that prompted the author to choose a particular topic and write about it.
4. Write an outline
It is recommended to compile a school uniforms essay outline before writing a draft. It will be possible to fully express the main idea of each part of your outline if you formulate it in short sentences. As an option, you can stick to the bulleted list in order to present the ideas you are planning to include in your paper.
5. Write a good school uniform essay introduction
An academic paper should start with an introduction that can grasp the attention of the audience. Only this way, a reader will most likely want to continue the ‘acquaintance’ with your argumentative essay on school uniforms.
6. Adjust paragraphs properly
It is recommended to start each new part of the paper with the main sentence in which it is necessary to indicate your point of view regarding the topic. And of course, you will have to wrap up a paragraph with a concluding sentence. That means you have to summarize what has been said before and point to the main thesis of the paragraph once again to ensure the coherence of your work.
7. Create a good school uniform essay conclusion
Introduction and conclusion are considered to be the most important parts of an essay. Even if you have to prepare a short 5 paragraph persuasive essay on school uniforms, this part of a paper is definitely worth your attention. The conclusion should contain a clear and informative answer revealing the essence of ideas that you seek to convey to the readers.
8. Edit your paper
This process involves the proofreading and editing of the text to make sure the thoughts and ideas are logically presented in the text and all the mistakes are corrected.
9. Do the final check
During the final proofreading of the persuasive essay about school uniforms, it is necessary to pay attention to different inaccuracies in order to eliminate any errors. It is advisable to read a paper several times to turn it into an ideal literary work.
10. Be confident in what you are saying
If you write an against school uniforms essay, it is necessary to make a factual statement about the negative effects of the dress code and present the arguments confidently. Do not be afraid to share your opinion with the world!
11. Write like nobody else
In order for the school uniforms argumentative essay to be inspiring and interesting, it is recommended to think about the compelling facts related to the topic and the use of special expressions. Such phrases will definitely make your paper stand out among other.
Of course, you need to make a lot of effort to write a persuasive essay on school uniforms properly. But if someone thinks that the time spent on writing a paper will be wasted in vain, they are mistaken. The ability to write such papers allows us to structure information, trace the causes and effects of any phenomena, argue, give examples, and much more. It is much more easy to get papers written for you from professional custom service but it's so nice when you are praised for the work you did yourself. So don’t lose your heart if something goes wrong with your writing, just keep on working, and you will succeed!
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