Educational Debate Persuasive Paper Shirley Rene AED/200 May 8, 2011 Jennifer Particini Educational Debate Persuasive Paper Are uniforms a good way to improve students discipline and motivation? No, I do not believe uniforms improve a students discipline behavior or nor do it motivate them to go to school. When have you ever heard a child say I can not wait to wear my new uniform to school? I never heard a child be happy to wear a uniform to school. As a child I did not have to wear a uniform from the time I attended school, or until I graduated from high school.
As a parent of three daughters I feel that discipline starts at home with the parents. If the parents teach and enforce discipline to a child at an early age, then the child will learn it. Just as teaching a child how to motivate themselves to want to go to school and do what they are suppose to do. So making a child to wear a uniform to school is not going to motivate them if they do not want to wear it. In today’s schools system uniforms is not the problem that the students are having, it actually contributes to the problem. If a school has set guidelines about the dress code for their school and they enforce them .
Then there would not be a problem because the students and parents would be informed what the student can and can not wear. As a parent of three daughters my children had the option to wear their regular clothes and to wear a uniform. So did wearing a uniform make them happy? No, it did not nor did it help with motivate them to want to go to school. Did it affect how they were taught about discipline? No, it did not! Now my oldest daughter is a junior in high school, and she had to wear a uniform since she has attended school. Is she happy that she has to wear a uniform to school?
No, she is not happy at all, she always expresses how much she dislikes wearing a uniform. Does it help her with discipline or motivate her to want to go to school? No, it did not, because she was taught at and young age to be respectful. To go to school and get and education so that she can be what ever she wants to be. Did the school teach her that? No, it was taught to her by her single parent at home. Now my two youngest daughters did not have to wear uniforms until three years ago. So I ask the question again. Are they happy to wear a uniform to school?
No, they want to wear their girly pretty clothes. Does wearing a uniform help them with discipline or motivate them? No, actually since my daughters had to wear uniforms I had to discipline them more than before. Because they always changing or taking their uniform off. They always ask why can’t they wear their regular clothes. I work at a school that goes from Pre – K 3 to eighth grade; I took a poll from two hundred students ranging from first grade to eighth grade. The question I asked the students was do you think wearing a uniform makes you a better person, and does it motivate you to come to school?
The outcome I received from the first and second graders was that they did not like to wear a uniform because they are ugly and they do not fit right. Half of the Third and fourth graders said yes, because they do not have a lot of clothes at home. But the other half said no, because they want to wear their own clothes, because they are cute and pretty. The fifth to eighth graders said no, because they can not express themselves because the uniforms are to plain and do not have enough colors. Also when they take school pictures everybody looks the same.
They also feel that wearing a uniform take away from their personality. Some of them said that they wish they could stay home because they do not want to wear a uniform. While listening to how the students feel, I did not here not one student say it help them with discipline or motivation? In my research I found that wearing uniforms has become a big issue. But what about teaching education to our children and getting them ready for test and for the next grade? (NEA Today, 4/2002, p. 20) “Are we okay with losing even one child who may quit school if uniforms are mandated?
No. We want to encourage our students to develop better attitudes on life, society, their future and themselves. Let’s engage them in a dialogue about what clothing is appropriate for school, rather than regulating what they must wear”. Teachers have a bigger task already getting our students prepared for the state test. To add monitoring uniforms to teacher’s duties, to make sure every student is in a uniform takes away from them learning something new. According to P. McNeely, she believes that “Catholic and other parochial schools have long used uniforms with success.
While kids say they hate uniforms, they can hardly wait to join some school group that wears one: ROTC, spirit club, band. They seek pins, necklaces, sashes, jackets—all uniforms—that state something about the person and identify them as “belonging to”. (NEA Today, 4/2002, p. 20). Do I agree with Ms. McNeely? To a certain point, I only agree with her saying that it makes you feel that you are part of a family. Because when you join the band, or play on a sporting team, you become apart of a team which is like being part of a family because you will spend a lot of time with each other.
That is totally different from wearing a uniform to school everyday, and wearing it to play a sport or to perform at a concert. Also she states that Catholic and other parochial schools have long used uniforms with success. That is understandable for that type of school. Because you are paying for your child /children education so that type of school gets to choose what attire they want for their students. But on the other hand that is what made private schools different from public school, because public school did not have to wear uniforms and it was free.
Public schools did not have any requirements to attend because the majority of the student’s parents could not afford it. So if there are no differences between public and private school. Why do you still have to pay for your child /children to go to a private school? (Chittom & Ginsburg, 2009, p1-1, 1p) “suggest that uniforms instill a sense of school pride and create an environment conducive to learning and at the same time help to reduce violence, substance abuse, and other behavioral problems”. I do not believe wearing a uniform to school reduce violence, substance abuse, or provide a better learning environment.
I am a strong believer that it is where you live and how you are taught at home. If you live in a neighborhood where there is a lot of violence, and nothing for the children to do when they go outside, and babies having babies. Then you are going to have children acting out with violence and start using drugs. It is the parent’s responsibility to teach their child /children right from wrong, which also contributes to children misbehaving. If the parent does not discipline the child /children at home, it will not matter when that child gets to school.
Again discipline and motivation starts in the home and have to be enforce on a daily bases. (Forster & Geier, 2009, p2-2,1p) “Requiring students to wear uniforms undermine parental attempts to train their children, and limits the number of learning opportunities for students”. (NEA Today, 4/2002, p. 20) “Individualism does not depend on your hairdo or your dress, but upon your spirit, your personality, and your self-discipline. We are in real trouble if we depend on our mode of dress to express our individuality. When we adopt uniforms, we send a clear message: School is for learning, not showing off”. Forster & Geier, 2009, p2-2,1p) “Requiring students to wear uniforms is essentially a restriction of a student’s right to free expression”. The constitution was created so people can have a say in what will affect their everyday life. But the school system took that away from the people when they made public schools wear uniforms. Parents who do not want there child / children to wear a uniform to school their first amendments was violated. If more parents take time out and learn their rights than the school would not be able to force their child / children to wear uniforms.
Here is the meaning of the words discipline and motivation, and what it means to me: Discipline – training to act in accordance with rules; to bring to a state of order and obedience by training and control. Motivation- is the driving force which allows us to take action on our desires or goals, the act or an instance of motivating, inducement; incentive. According to the meaning of both words, I do not understand how they tie in with wearing a uniform to school. My meaning of the word discipline that applies to school is to get to school on time, learn good study habits, and follow school rules.
Such as no running in the hall walls, keep your hands to yourself, be kind to your classmates, and be respectful to your teacher. What I take from the meaning of motivation is to set your goals for the future and to do your best to complete them. To always apply yourself to be the best that you can be, work hard to achieve your goals, always believe in yourself. How do those two words fit in with the roles of the school? The school role is to enforce discipline and to reinforce motivation to the child / children. The school is to provide the student’s with and education to fulfill their dreams.
To provide the students with the essential tools they need to accomplish their dreams, and to provide a safe and fun environment. References Chittom, L, & Ginsburg, J, (2009), School Uniforms: An Overview, Points of View, p1-1, 1p Forster, M, & Geier, D, (2009) Points: The High Cost of School Uniforms, Points of View, p2-2, 1p McNeely, P, & Oland, D, (4/2002), Are Uniforms a Good way to Improve Student Discipline and Motivation, NES Today, p. 20 Wilson, B, & McMahon, M, (2009), Counterpoint: School Dress Codes Improve the Learning Environment, Points of View, p3-3, 1p