Too much classroom noise can cause discomfort for the student and the teacher. The student may experience learning difficulties, and the teacher may suffer from irreversible health issues. The World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends a maximum noise level in classrooms of 35 dB however 50% of schools average 70 dB, double the WHO’s recommendations and an uncomfortable audible experience for students and teachers.
Where does classroom noise originate?
- Outside the building – cars and lawnmowers
- Inside the building – students talking in the hallway
- Sounds from inside the classroom – such as air conditioners and students in the room
Reverberation in the classroom is how sound acts after it first happens. The soundwaves stay in the classroom, and they bounce off desks or walls – in general, any hard surface. If there are a lot of hard surfaces reflecting sound waves the teaching space can be very loud, and sounds can appear ‘muddled’.
Effects of too much noise on students
When there is too much noise in a classroom, it can cause problems with how a student:
- Understands speech
- Reads and spells
- Behaves in the classroom
- Pays attention and
Effects of too much noise on teachers
Not only are high levels of noise detrimental to the learning abilities of students, but noise can also cause hearing loss and tinnitus in teachers. Recent studies found:
- Seven out of ten preschool teachers suffered from sound-induced auditory fatigue.
- One out of two had difficulty following speech.
- Four out of ten had become hypersensitive to sound.
Noise in classrooms leads to increased stress, and the teacher has to raise their voice to be heard. Students also talk louder and louder to be heard over other classroom noise. This increase in volume can, in the long term, be detrimental to the hearing of all in the room. It also makes the classroom an uncomfortable place, and an unpleasant place to be.
Classroom noise management is essential for all students, but it is more important if the student has:
- Hearing loss in one or both ears
- Ear infection or fluid in the ear
- A learning disability
- Auditory processing disorder
- Speech and language delay
- Attention problems
and for students who’s first language is a language other than what is typically spoken at their school.
Classroom Management Strategies for Noise
The good news is there are many solutions to help improve classroom acoustics.
Classroom Noise Improvements
- Install acoustic products such as:
- Place carpet or rugs in the room
- Hang curtains or blinds on the windows
- Hang soft materials such as felt or corkboard on the walls
- Turn off noisy equipment when not in use
- Replace noisy light fixtures
- Show students how hard it can be when many children speak at the same time
- Place soft tips on the bottom of chairs and tables
The information in the article is generic and not specific to your classroom – if you require more information on how to improve your classroom contact Avenue Interior Systems today on 1300 827 177.