“I really want to clear my life to make it so that I have to make as few decisions as possible about anything except how to best serve this community” – Mark Zuckerberg
When asked why he wears the same T-shirt everyday at Facebook’s first public Q&A in 2014, that is how CEO Mark Zuckerberg perceptively responded. While Zuckerberg’s personal philosophy reflects an understanding of how disengaging from an ingrained cultural practice of fretting over our wardrobes can help focus the mind, there are many practical reasons for adopting a static attire. Especially in the context of school uniforms, private schools have demonstrated the benefits of this approach.
The most obvious benefit is minimalizing distractions, especially as students get older. When you take fashion out of the equation, the culture of the school day becomes about academic achievement, and competition between students is redirected towards scholarly pursuits instead of unhealthy comparisons of outwardly appearances, i.e. dress. Enforcing wardrobe uniformity forces students to engage each other with their minds, and by doing so helps foster healthy academic rivalry in the classroom.
Another positive outcome of implementing a school uniform is that it invokes a feeling of pride in the student; and a sense of belonging is created when a common affiliation is established. Walking down a corridor filled with peers all dressed in the same school uniform removes a potent source of social anxiety and helps a child ingratiate themselves among their peers, especially if they are a new student at the school!
What do YOU think about school uniforms? Right now they are a benefit enjoyed only by private schools, but should Ontario public schools also adopt this policy?
Please stay tuned for a continuation of this post, coming up soon!