Although books on school uniforms are hard to find, they can provide information important to parents, teachers, administrators and students about whether a uniform policy is right for their particular building or district.
School Uniform Debate
Books on school uniforms can aid people on both sides of the school uniform debate. While school safety advocates often tout only the benefits of school uniforms, the reality of school uniforms may not be so clear. The decision to create or dissolve a uniform policy needs thorough research from both sides.
Finding books about the pros and cons of school uniforms can foster understanding and respect from both viewpoints. Learning the history of school uniforms and whether they are effective at reducing violence and peer pressure can help everyone decide which side of the debate they stand on.
Available Books on School Uniforms
Most information regarding school uniform policy is in academic journal articles or opinion pieces. Books about the topic offering a comprehensive study of the practice are available through various outlets, although they are harder to find than shorter pieces.
David L. Brunsma Books
Two books by sociology professor David L. Brunsma provide a look at the history, research and evidence supporting school uniform policy. Uniforms in Public Schools: A Decade of Research and Debate provides an overview of uniform policy at the elementary and middle school level. The School Uniform Movement and What It Tells Us about American Education: A Symbolic Crusade covers the history of uniform debate, looks at anecdotal evidence and research to provide a look at the political and social realities driving the uniform debate in the United States.
Symbolic Clothing in Schools
Symbolic Clothing in Schools by Dianne Gereluk, a Senior Lecturer at Roehampton University's School of Education, offers a look at uniform policies from across the world. From France to the United States to Canada, Gereluk looks at uniforms from a political and social viewpoint. Chapter 1 ("What Not to Wear: Dress Codes and Uniform Policies") and Chapter 3 ("Limiting Free Speech in the United States") will be of special interest to anyone involved in the uniform debate in the U.S.
Dress Codes in Schools
Greenhaven Press assembles essays and thoughts from leading authorities and experts in the book Dress Codes in Schools. Arguments for and against uniform and dress codes are presented. Contents include "Uniforms Create a Better Learning Environment" by Matt Wennersten and "Research Does Not Prove Dress Codes Are Effective" by Debra Viadero. People on both sides of the debate should pick up this book to get perspective on the opposite side's line of reasoning.
Teen Legal Rights: Revised Edition
The book Teen Legal Rights: Revised Edition by Kathleen A. Hempelman offers a look at laws and rules teenagers need to know. Chapter 2, titled "At School," includes information regarding uniform policies and what, if anything, teenagers can do about a uniform policy.
Uniform and Clothing Literature
Anyone who wants to propose implementing or dismissing a dress code in schools should use all available literature about school uniforms, including books on school uniforms. Magazine articles, authoritative commentary, expert interviews and supportive statistics on school uniforms all aid in decision-making regarding uniform policy. However, only books about uniforms can provide complete looks at both sides of the issues, giving information that includes:
- History of school uniform use
- Pros of school uniforms
- Cons of school uniforms
- Differences in gender and school uniforms (if any)
- Supporting evidence for either or both side(s), plus evaluation of said evidence
- Documented stories regarding school uniform policies in use
- Legal issues regarding dress codes and uniforms
Regardless of personal stance on the uniform debate, it is always helpful to have as much information as possible about any topic that will have a direct impact on children's education. The best way to convince anyone of a particular way of thinking, especially when it comes to schools and education, is to know the topic inside and out. Do this by reading up on school uniforms in books by authorities on the subject.