The History and Significance of School Uniforms

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School uniforms have been apart of the school systems around the world for hundreds of years. Uniforms have been debated whether they should be implemented into school systems and if they help students study better, have better social skills, and reduce bullying in the school itself. With school uniforms originating in Europe over 900 years ago they have spread around the entire world and have become a symbol of mainly private and religious schools in the world. As well as uniforms being used in schools for military purposes and oppression purposes to control the citizens and their freedom or to prepare and entire national youth for war.

The first record of school uniforms being implemented into schools that we saw in the world, was in 1222 in England. These students uniforms had them wear a robe like outfit called a cappa clausa. We really don't see school uniforms really take off until the 16th century where we see the more modern look of school uniforms today. A school in the 16th century named Christ’s Hospital Boarding School, had a uniform that consisted of yellow stocking and a blue cloak. The school eventually gained the nickname of the “blue cloak” school. To this day, that same school continues to wear the same traditional uniform they have had for centuries. The student body has enormous support to also keep the same uniform, with 95% of the student body voting to have the traditional uniform stay in place. As time went on, school uniforms soon became a symbol of wealth and higher class in society. So if you wore a uniform to school, it was basically a symbol of your wealth and social hierarchy. The uniforms soon became very formal and prestien once they became associated with wealth and power. We see this at a school in England called Eton, these students were required to wear tails on their coats and even top hats all the way up until 1972.

Different schools in countries all around the world have had their own significant style and form of school uniforms over the years. In Africa, school uniforms were first implemented as a way to tell which students belonged to which missionary when in the streets. After the two world wars, school uniforms became very popular with totalitarian governments in Africa. These uniforms were used to control the youth and recruit them for the military service later in their lives. In Japan, school uniforms were modeled after military uniforms. For the men, their uniforms modeled the traditional army uniform. For the ladies, their uniforms modeled the traditional navy uniform. Uniforms in Japan are an extremely common sight now, and are even worn by students outside of school very often. This wasn't always the case as the tradition of school uniforms in Japan didn’t come to be until the 1900’s.

In China, the first introduction to school uniforms came in the 19th century. These first style of uniforms included the unique style of chinese culture, but were mostly western influenced. For years people complained that the chinese style of school uniforms were very dull and lacked diversity. In more modern days like today, Chinese school uniforms more closely reflect Korean style uniforms. In Australia, school uniforms really started to become a thing in the 1920’s. These first uniforms very closely reflected those of the school uniforms in England. The major difference that not a lot of school children in England can relate to. Is that school kids in Australia would sometimes walk and go to school barefoot. After the Second World War however, the style of the Australian school uniforms became much more casual.

Many people around the world have argued whether or not school uniforms would be beneficial or harmful to students. It seems that the support and opposition of school uniform is split right down the middle, both arguments for yes and for no split equally. The main argument for support, is that it helps to bring unity to all of the students and helps them focus on work. If every student is dressed the same and doesn’t have to worry about preparing an outfit or what they will look like the next day, then the student has more time to focus on their school work and studying. Plus, it also gives the students peace of mind, knowing that everyone will be dressed the same and that they won't be made fun of for wearing something different. The main argument in opposition for school uniforms is that they suppress diversity and hurts low income families. If kids aren't able to express themselves and be there own person, then they won't become their own person and become a leader. Uniforms create followers rather than creating leaders. As well as spuress a child's own personal inspirations. Also, if families that struggle file caillou have to pay for uniforms, they will struggle even more in making much needed money to support their families. You are placing another burden of pay onto a family that already has so much to worry about with barely being able to pay for the bills. Overall, there are both supporting views and opposing views for school uniforms.

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The History and Significance of School Uniforms. (2019, Feb 15). Retrieved June 24, 2024 , from

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