Several major scholarly publications discuss the issue of introducing mandatory uniforms in schools, adopting particular positions towards the problem. While some studies defend the appropriateness of this regulation, suggesting that schools can implement dress code rules, other authors claim that initiating such practices depoliticizes differences between individuals. A summary article by Wendell Anderson, published by the ERIC Clearinghouse on Educational Management in the Policy Report journal in 2002, is a perfect example of the first stance.
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This investigation summarizes scientific and practical advances, concluding that if relevant justifications are present, the schools can introduce mandatory uniforms for the students (Anderson, 2002). According to the author, when this decision is supported by the institution, community, and parents, a specific dress code can beneficially impact the educational climate, improving the students’ achievements.
Nevertheless, an opposite perspective is offered by another scholarly article in the field of philosophy. Written by Samantha Deane and published in the Philosophical Studies in Education journal in 2015, this study addresses diversity and difference issues raised by the introduction of mandatory school uniforms. The author argues that such policies are harmful to the young populations, promoting unrealistic expectations of equality and prohibiting the children from receiving appropriate knowledge on this topic (Deane, 2015). Furthermore, the justifications behind school uniforms are considered questionable in itself, stating that the educational environment should address diversity instead of suppressing it.
I believe that a valid Rogerian argument could be used to find a feasible solution for this dispute, acknowledging the concerns of both sides. As uniforms can be advantageous for the school climate but destructive towards personal differences, dress codes should be voluntary, justified by the administration, and approved by all parents, especially from disadvantaged populations and minorities. Individuals from underprivileged families and cultural minorities are remarkably affected by the introduction of such measures, and considering the needs of these communities is crucial when addressing this issue. In this regard, while some students will be allowed to choose their appearance, others will be able to wear formal clothing, upholding diversity and meeting the demands of the involved populations.
Finally, the suggested claim incorporates the ideas demonstrated in both articles, finding a working solution to appease both sides. According to Deane (2015), mandatory use of uniforms in schools is often supplemented by unrealistic justifications, creating an illusory representation of society. However, Anderson (2002) also reports that reasons behind the use of dress codes should be clearly understandable, adhering to the desires of the community. The presented argument includes both of these considerations, negating the need for mandatory uniforms and the occurrence of an unrealistic environment, proposing that each involved party participates in the decision and presents clear reasoning.
The Rogerian model allowed me to evaluate the reasoning behind each of the perspectives, clarifying their primary concerns. I was able to understand how each of the sides views the problem and which details of the topic are considered most crucial. Acknowledging each of the opinions may present valuable insights into the complication, examining it from a different perspective and suggesting a compromise that suits both parties. In this regard, I will use the Rogerian approach in my argumentative essay, establishing the basis behind the other side’s justifications. Thus, I will uncover the concerns behind the opponents’ views, clarifying how these considerations can be resolved.
Anderson, W. (2002). School dress codes and uniform policies. Policy Report, 4, 1–22.
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Deane, S. (2015). Dressing diversity: politics of difference and the case of school uniforms. Philosophical Studies in Education, 46, 111–120.