ERIC Number: ED464420
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2002
School Uniforms: A Critical Review of the Literature. From Inquiry to Practice.
Brunsma, David L.
The debate surrounding the effectiveness of school-uniform policies, as well as discussions concerning when and how to implement them, is rooted in anecdote. This review summarizes anecdotal literature on which the current debate is based and critically reviews the empirical literature, including theoretical underpinnings, findings, and suggestions. The anecdote-based literature relies on attitudes, personal experience, and hearsay, ignoring available research. Empirical literature includes small-scale studies of effects, such as case studies of schools that implemented mandatory school-uniform policies, and large-scale studies that compare nationally representative samples of students enrolled in schools implementing uniform policies with students enrolled in schools not implementing such policies on a variety of outcomes. Many methods used are flawed because different factors are not accounted for, such as design of uniform policies in different schools studies, and racial and socioeconomic status. Still, results of qualitative studies lay the groundwork for creating theories on uniform policy effectiveness and defining related issues requiring further research. These results will direct policymakers away from conjecture, emotion, anecdotes, and assumptions. One suggestion is that a uniform policy be part of a larger comprehensive plan that focuses on students' academic success. (Contains 31 endnotes, 14 references, and 18 resource Web sites.) (RT)
Descriptors: Dress Codes, Elementary Secondary Education, Literature Reviews, Research Methodology, Research Problems, School Uniforms, Student Behavior
Phi Delta Kappa International, P.O. Box 789, Bloomington, IN 47402-0789. Tel: 800-766-1156 (Toll Free); Fax: 812-339-0018.
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Phi Delta Kappa, Bloomington, IN.
Note: For other titles in this series, see EA 031 650 and EA 031 651.