Jill Sooy School Lib.

Media Center – LIS 60607June June 7, 2011

Online Learning Module
The purpose of this module is to help students in grades 6-8 solicit divergent perspectives from diverse sources while meeting the following standards put forth by the American Association of School Librarians (AASL) Standards For the 21st Century Learner:

Standard 1.1.7

Make sense of information gathered from diverse sources by identifying misconceptions, main and supporting ideas, conflicting information, and point of view or bias. Collaborate with others to broaden and deepen understanding. Seek divergent perspectives during information gathering and assessment. Use interaction with and feedback from teachers and peers to guide own inquiry process. Use writing and speaking skills to communicate new understandings effectively. Solicit and respect diverse perspectives while searching for information, collaborating with others, and participating as a member of the community. Respect the differing interests and experiences of others, and seek a variety of viewpoints.

Standard 1.1.9

Standard 1.3.2

Standard 1.4.2

Standard 3.1.3

Standard 3.3.1

Arguments for and Against Mandatory School Uniforms
In this online learning module, students will use a variety of sources to gather information and formulate a persuasive argument either for or against school uniforms. They will need to use a variety of sources to gather divergent perspectives, identify misconceptions, and discover biases. They will conduct a teacher interview, two student interviews, and research online databases and the Internet to obtain differing perspectives and arguments either for or against mandatory school uniforms. At the conclusion of the unit, students will collaborate in groups to make a presentation to the teacher arguing for the perspective they support. If the majority of the students support one side of the issue, the teacher can join the minority group, and the presentation can be performed for another staff member or even the school principal.

Student activity 1: Interview a student who attends or has attended a school with mandatory school uniforms to get their perspective. This can be a friend, relative, neighbor, or friend of a friend. The interview does not need to be face to face. It can be done through email, in a chat room, Instant Messenger, over the phone, etc. Student activity 2: Interview a student who has not attended a school with mandatory school uniforms to get their perspective. Student activity 3: Interview at least one teacher to get their perspective. Although definitely not a necessity, an ideal candidate would be someone who has taught at different schools, both with and without a uniform policy. Another possibility would be a teacher who went to one type of school, but now teaches at another. This does not need to be a teacher at your own school. You might contact a teacher through the Internet who teaches at a school that has a different policy than your own school and ask if they would be willing to answer your questions. Student activity 4: Search the school’s online databases for two articles that discuss the issue of school uniforms. Are these articles based solely on opinion or is there research to back up any claims?

Student activity 5: Search the Internet for information on this issue. Where does the information come from? A blog? A newspaper? An academic source? Are there any difference between what you found on the Internet and the research databases? Student activity 6: Complete the assessment below using the charts. Student activity 7: Write a three paged, double spaced mock letter to the board of education sharing the arguments you found both for and against school uniforms, then decide which side you take and why. Student activity 8: Your teacher will assign you to a group based on the side of the argument you support. You will collaborate with other members of your group to discuss the pros and cons you discovered and to present your arguments. You can use a wiki (see teacher for wiki address) to list and discuss what you found from your research outside of class hours. The assessment charts you completed in step six will help you come up with your pros and cons as a group. Keep in mind that what one person sees as a pro, another might see as a con. (ie, cost could be a con if you see having to pay for regular clothes in addition to the uniform. But cost could be a pro if you are needing less regular clothes due to wearing a uniform 5 days a week.)

Assessment
Now that you have had the opportunity to gain some diverse perspectives from online databases, the Internet, and student and teacher interviews, either face-toface or with the use of web tools, use the charts below to communicate what you have learned about the perceived pros and cons of some of the more common arguments concerning mandatory school uniforms. List any pros and cons you heard or read about concerning:

PROS

COST

CONS

PROS

STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT

CONS

PROS

STUDENT SELFEXPRESSION

CONS

PROS

CONVENIENCE

CONS

PROS

INDIVIDUALITY

CONS

PROS

DISCIPLINE

CONS

PROS

DISTRACTIONS

CONS

PROS

SOCIAL CONSIDERATIONS

CONS

PROS

COMFORT

CONS

PROS

OTHER

CONS

Extension Activities
1.) Present your case as though you were in a courtroom to a group of students who were not part of the assignment. Explain what your found in your research and make a persuasive argument for your side. 2.) Make a video that supports your point of view citing the results of your research. 3.) Use a Web 2.0 tool such as Scratch, Prezi, or GoAnimate to make a creative, interesting presentation that presents arguments for both points of view.