School Uniform: Types of Schools



Figure 1.--Christian churches in Europe once had a monopoly on education. Religious groups in many countries still play an important role in education. Many religions sponsor schools. This school was sponsored by a Greek Orthodox Church.

Schools come in a wide variety of different types with many varying tendencies regarding school uniforms. There are schools structured for varying age groups and schools with all age group ogether. There are single-gender schools and coed schools. There are state and private schools. There are secular and religious schools. There are suburban, rural, and inter city schools. There are schools for specific ethnic or national groups. There are academically selctive and comprehensive schools. There are boarding and day schools. Many other different types of schools exist. There are also specialized schools addressing the needs of handicapped children, such as the Perkins School for the Blind. in the United States. These schools in different countries have had a variety of uniforms and dress codes. Some of these schools had destinctive uniforms. Many schools, especially state schools, have not had uniforms--although this trend has begun to change in some countries. One type of private school especially common in America was the military school. Several of the different country sections have pages on the different types of schools in various countries.

Age Levels

Schools come in a wide variety of different types with many varying tendencies regarding school uniforms. There are schools structured for varying age groups and schools with all age group ogether.

Gender

One historic controversy in education was the educatiojnal benefits of separating boys and girls or educating them together. This controversy continued to this day, although most schools are now coeducational. There continue to be both single-gender schools and coed schools. Coeducation was in most countries first adopted in primary schools and only later in secondary schools. Here there are wide variations between counties and over time. America was one of the first countries to enbrace coeducation. Single gender schools will still very common in most countries the time of World War II (1939-45), however, many countries increasingly turned to coeducation. I am not sure why so many countries began shifting to coeducation at this time. There are state and private schools that were single gender schools. In many countries it was the private schools that were the most resistant to coeducation. While many private schools have now shifted to coeducation, many of the remaining single gender schools are private schools. One exception here is the Islamic world which still has many state oprerated sngle gender schools.

Religious Association

There are secular and religious schools as well seculr schools in which religious instruction ws permitted. In other cases, religious instructd absolutely prohibited. Trends varied greatly from contry to country. In Communist countris and active atheist campaign was pursued and severe restrictions were placed on any form of religious instruction. There are suburban, rural, and inter-city schools. Most were day schools, but we also note boarding schools. We see both primary and secondary schools as well as full-term colleges. The religious asociations vary. In the United States, religious or parochial schools were fully separated from the public schools, in essence private schools. In other countries such as Germany they were integrated into the public school system. In other countries they were sparate from the public system, but received vary degres of state funding. Another variation is that in some cases there are established churches or other religions. Thus there are varying legal and finab]ncial relationships accorded schools related to these schools. In recent years some countries have narrowed such differences and widened the religions to which state funding is accorded. This is primarily related to the secular trends in Western Christian countries. Different trends are underway in the Muslim world where secular arangemebts are weakening.

Ethnicity

There are schools for specific ethnic or national groups. This is especially the case in multi-ethnic countries. Here we do not mean countries like America where immogrants from different countries assimilated to a dominant national culture. Rather we are talkinbg about countries which have different traditions, often ethnic traditions hardened by different languages, countries like Belgium and Canada. Religion is also often but not always a factor. Some countries like Switzerland have been more successful at delaing with these differences.

Curriculum

There are academically selctive and comprehensive schools. There are boarding and day schools. Many other different types of schools exist.

Specialized Schools

There were specialized schools addressing the needs of handicapped children. This included schools for the blind, deaf, and deaf-blind children. Ine of the most imprtant schools was the Perkins School for the Blind. in the United States.

State/Public Schools

Public education is state (meaning government in general) provision of tuition-free schools for the entire population. The British use the term "public" differently. Countries vary as to what level of government is respobsible for public education. In America it is a state (provincial) responsibility. In most other countries it is the respomnsibility of the national (federal/central) government. Public schools are normally divided into primary and secondary schools. Some countries hve middle schools to easr the transition from promary to secondary schools. Many poor countries are only able to finance primary schools and have very limited secondary system. As public schools developed, laws were past requiring children tio atend school to a certain age. Public education is a realitively modern concept. The history of publication varies widely from country to country. Europe entered the modern age generally seen as the 16th century without state/public schools. Most children at the time were not educated and lillteracy was widespread. Some monarchs showed an interest in promoting education, but few people saw education as a governent responsibility. It was still largely the province of the Church which did not see as widespread education as advisavle. The Church discouraged the public from reading the Bible, realizing tht it would lead to all kinds of different interpreations. This is one reason why the Church attempted to restrict tranbsltioins into matioinal languages. Attitudes toward wide-spread education were to change with Martin Luther and the Protestant Reformation. Luther and the Protestants did not think that the individual meeded to seek God through priests, rather they felt the individual needed to read and study the Bible. To do so of course the individual needed to be literate. And thus we see schooling being promoted in Protestant northern Italy while efucation Catholic southern Europe languished. Here two factors were at play. The Church and ruling aristocracy were convernbed about the consequences of educating the masses. And the Inquisition sought to restrict more advanced scholarship. An early leader in public education was Scotland, but it was centered on the Kirk, not the Scottish state. Public education to the south in England lacked far behind because of the resistance of aristocratic landowners who dominated Parliament. Not only did northern Europeans promote education for religious reasons, but some European monarchs saw financial advantages in an educated public. One of the earliest truly public state financed education system was set up on Prussia. The Governent mdeschool attendance complulsory (1717). Prussia was a relatively poor German state and educating the population was seen as a way of making the country more ecomonmically productive in its competition wih neigbnoring states. Over time, more countries established public schools until they were continent wide. Even so, large numbers of children in Catholic southern Europe did not attend schools until after World War II. Public education was an important attribute from the beginning of colonial America, although there were major differences between colonies and the north and south. The General Court of the Massachusetts Bay Colony decreed the need for elementary and Latin schools (1647). They were not precisely the modern conceptvof public schools in that the goal was to teach Puritan values and Bible reading. The Continental Congress ordered a survey of the Northwest Territory (1785). This led tothe formation of townships, with a portion of each one or land grants reserved for a local school. The multitude of Protestant scects made religious establihment impossible and the Federal Constitution precluded the establishment of religion (1789). Education became the responsibility of the states which in the north were developing tuition-free public schools. Pennsylvania approved a new Contitution requiring free public education for children in families that could not afford to pay tuition fees (1790). The New York Public School Society organized low-cost schools that had a school master to teach the older children who would then teach the younger children (1805). Boston opened the first public high school in America (1820). Massachusetts passed a law which made all grades of public school tuition free (1827). Massachusetts established the first state’s Board of Education (1837). It was heased by Horace Mann, an education pioneer. Massachusetts was the first state to make school attendance compulsory (1851). The Southern states gave much less attention to public education until after the Civil War. The early land grants led to a system of public land grant universities (1862 to 1890). As a result of all these developments, by the time European immigrants began pouring into the country after the Civil War. America had a strong public education system to help theiir children rapidly become Americans. Vocational education is funded by Congress with the Smith-Hughes Act (1917). Many public school systems were separating children into multiple tracks based on performamce and the the results of intelligence tests (1930s). These schools in different countries have had a variety of uniforms and dress codes. Some of these schools had destinctive uniforms. Many schools, especially state schools, have not had uniforms--although this trend has begun to change in some countries.

Private Schools


Charity Schools


Residential Attangements

Most schools are day schools. The children live at home with their parents and then walk or are transpoeted to school during the day. The vasr number of schools are such day schools. The other option is boarding. This is less common because most parents want their children home with them and because boarding is expensive. Most but not all boarding schools are private schools. We notev some state boarding schools. America had baording schools for Native Americans. The Sopviet Union had speialized boarding schools for dancers, gynmasts and military cadets. The NAZIs had boarding schiool to train Party leaders. There are boarding schools that only take boarders or in some cases a small number of day boys. and there are day schools which take a few boarders. This is not very common as it is expensive for a school to care for only a small number of boarders. It is, however, especially common in Ne Zealand where several secondary schools have hostels for youth who live some dustance from the school. There are different kinds of boarding. With full boarding the childrn are at the school for the full school term except fot vacations/holidays and excheats. Aniother option is weekly boarding where the children go home over the weekend. Some boarding schools can accomodate day boys for short periods if so needed by the family. Boarding varies from country to country, but was especially prominant in Britain and former British colobnies. We also note variations over time as families change in their attitude toward boarding. In recent years, parents have been more reluctant to board younger children.

Military Schools

One type of private school especially common in America was the military school. Military schools have been operated in many European countries and America. We have relatively little information on them, especially before the 20th century. We do know that some were operating in the 17th century, but a few may have been founded earlier. The fact that many officers bought their commissions meant that military scools in the modern sence were not needed. The age of the boys and conditions varied substantially from to school.

Home Schooling

Home schooling is nothing new. In fact it is public schooling that is the npovel development. Public schools did not become common place until the late-19th century and many European children were not attending public schools even in the early-20th century. There were no public schools in the ancient world. Education was reserved for a small portion of the population. Children in wealthy families were taught at home by tutors. Alexander the Great being taught at home' by Aristotle (4th century BC). That certainly was not the forst example of home schooling, but it is the first example in which the identities of the tutor and student are known. Many wealthy Romans were taught by Greek slaves. Home schooling by tutors for the well to was still very common in the early-19th century. And many mothers from more modest families taught their children. Women more commonly remained at home in the 19th century ,aking this possible. Compulsory education did not become widespead in America until the late-19th century. The time frame varied from country to country in Europe. Home schooling in the 19th century was common, but eratic. There were no materials and systems avaiable for parents. The first such system was developed at the Calvert School at the turn of the 20th century developed a Kingergarden program for mothers. At the time, only a few schools had Kingergarden programs. Americans, however, generally satisfied with the public school system for most of the first half of the 20th century. This began to change in the 1960s . Educators began criticizing the public education system, chsrving that it was failing. Here ecucators had widely different views as the core educational problems. Anong the public, however, a major impetus was Supreme Court decisions on school prayer and religion in the schools. This was a major turning in public attitudes toward pulic schools. The three most important Supreme Court decesions coming in rapid short sucession were: 1) Engel v. Vitale (1962) outlawing any kind of prayer composed by public school districts, even non-denominatinal prayers; 2)Abington School District v. Schempp (1963) banning Bible reading over school intercoms; and 3) Murray v. Curlett (1963) prohibiting schools from forcing a child to participate in Bible reading and prayer.

Country Trends

Several of the different country sections have pages on the different types of schools in various countries.






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Created: October 17, 2002
Last updated: 5:55 PM 1/26/2018