The LCS community is in the midst of a discussion about school uniforms. Parents, Teachers, and Students are engaging with the debate as to whether we should adopt a uniform for our students. It is a debate with some passionate representation for both sides of the discussion.
What are the pros and cons? What do you really think?
Here’s my take on the possible pros and cons.
Pros. A school uniform could:
Support a more focused academic environment
Provide an environment that “fits in” to a greater degree with the local Ghanaian context because wearing a uniform to school is normal in Ghana.
Eliminate some dress code violation decisions.
Limit the issues that students have in choosing and buying a range of clothing choices. This could eliminate some possible social issues around choice of dress.
Support the building of a school identity, associated with a new logo and a new uniform
Support parents in their discussions about the choice of clothing
Cons. A school uniform could:
Conflict with the IB philosophy of developing independent, critical, and responsible thinkers who make appropriate decisions.
Limit individuality and the opportunity to be an individual based upon your clothes.
Result in an atmosphere that is too “uniform”.
Eliminate an attractive element of LCS (in the eyes of some, not having a uniform is an attractive aspect of LCS).
There are no guarantees that these pro or con arguments would be completely true. The only guarantee is that in a large community, diverse opinions exist. Therefore, the range of arguments will be true for some people.
Here are a few images of potential uniforms from other international schools. This gives you some idea of the suggestions that have been made.
(Reminder – this was posted in January, 2013) Thus far only Grade 11 and 10 students have had the chance to submit a vote on the topic of uniforms. In the coming weeks, other grade levels in the secondary school will have a chance to express their opinion. While in both grade levels a majority of students are not interested in a uniform, it is important to note that there are many students who do support a uniform. It’s essential to acknowledge and respect the views of both sides with this discussion.
I invite you to leave a comment on this blog with respect to the uniform discussion.
Ever since the 1990’s when “google it” became a standard expression, a verb, and a universally understood action, I’ve wondered how lives would change as “google it” would be a reality anytime and anywhere. For a moment, consider how much more information is being exchanged in your lives with our ever expanding connectivity?
As 2012 closed down a few weeks ago, I found myself thinking about this even more. Over the holiday, while spending time with my wife and two sons (both in their 20’s) we were regularly engaged in discussions that often led to a need for additional information. One of us would inevitably “google it” to complete the discussion, or more often win the debate! This was true in our house, in our car, on the beach, or on a hike. Growing coverage and access in Ghana is impressive! Besides seeking debate-winning nuggets of information, we regularly gathered movie reviews, weather reports, and news headlines. We listened to news podcasts, watched video clips on Youtube, skyped with family members on other continents, fact checked through Wikipedia, and checked on work responsibilities. We looked for directions using Google maps, tracked international flights, ensured we understood the rules to card games, and downloaded reading materials and ebooks. We had a very personal and intimate experience as a family but, make no mistake, we were plugged in, (when we weren’t napping with our books on the beach) and we were online using our connectivity. I do like my iphone and ipad!
Beyond a minimal nugget of information to sway an argument, I found myself thinking more and more about how this extensive connectivity provided opportunities for my individualized learning. While traveling down the coast, we were picking and choosing the topics and the timing for extending our learning. We were glad to have solid 3G access as we searched and shared historical info Continue reading →
Our kids are digital natives. We know that. We have to make adjustments as parents and educators. What are the opportunities? What are the challenges? If we don’t embrace, learn, lead, teach, manage, and understand then we are in danger of committing malpractice as parents and educators.
Fundamentally, though, it’s not parenting styles or intuition that is changing. It is the playing field. The playing field is a globally connected, anytime/anywhere accessible world, immersed in digital devices that overload us with information, interactions, decisions, and an ever expanding horizon. Ethical, responsible, and thoughtful decision making and inquiry are needed for people to navigate and harness their connectivity. But ethical, responsible, and thoughtful decision making has always been the goal! Helping kids make good decisions and mentoring kids towards becoming responsible beings is what parenting is all about. The landscape in the 21st century has changed!
There are many resources for parents. A quick search of resources in google and youtube for parent resources leads you to many links. There is good information available to help guide parent decision making and parent/child discussions about online ethics. Parents must stay informed, accept the realities of our digital world, and reflect upon the impact it has on our parenting decisions. Conversations, structures, and rules for our kids all need to be considered. Our actions as adults matter as we help shape and guide our kids forward.
Below are some links for parents that can produce some interesting dialogue. The youtube videos are relatively short but provide some fundamental thinking and ideas.
Raising Digital Kids, Engaging Your Kids – a resource from David Truss. This is a nice summary of some things to think about as you are discussing limits and engaging in dialogue with your son/daughter.
Here is an interesting article from the Washington. For parents who are thinking hard and long about steps to take with their kids, this is a good article to provide some support. Mom’s Code of Conduct for her son
One of the best parts of working in (or attending a) school is the opportunity for renewal. New school years, new calendar years (2013), new reporting quarters, new units of study, new events and new opportunities.
As a student you can explore and re-invent yourself at different times. That is part of being a teenager. As an adult, you can constantly renew your professional learning, make resolutions to be fitter, resolve to read more books and take time for yourself or your family, be more organized, and so on.
New Years resolutions are just one opportunity to consider goals and plans for the coming months.
This post is dedicated to students who have been cyber bullied. My goal is to offer some support, resources, and learning for students. I have embedded several videos and a web site links for students to view. My goal is to support the building of community where every individual feels safe and valued.
With respect to cyber bullying……….
About one-third of online teens (ages 12-17) have been cyberbullied. Girls are more likely to be targeted.
(Lenhart A. Cyberbullying and Online Teens. Pew Internet & American Life Project, 2007.)
These numbers are staggering. Online bullying is far too common place. Inappropriate decision making (or a lack of decision making) is far too common.
Here is a profound video…have a look. It’s called You Can’t Take it Back. It’s from the web site www.netsmartz.org/RealLifeStories. If the video doesn’t open from the blog, use the link right here: