Acoustics - Loading of teachers and children

Invited paper

Eeva Sala

Turku University

Tuesday 2 june, 2015, 10:20 - 10:40

0.9 Athens (118)

School classrooms are spaces where children and young people learn skills, get knowledge, graduate and further, qualify themselves as professionals and the teachers are key person in learning process of children. Thus, good acoustics in classrooms are the basis for learning which needs first-class conditions for speech communication and hearing. Good classroom acoustics are important especially for young children and for those pupils who have poor hearing, language impairment or learning disabilities; there are several these kinds of children in every classroom. Good acoustic conditions are also needed by a teacher while poor acoustics load a voice organ and impairs voice production the problem that is common in most of teachers. In our study, acoustics of school classrooms (N=40) were measured and compared to the values of national standard (SFS 5907). Moreover, in eight classrooms an acoustic intervention was performed. The goal of the intervention was to achieve the STI-values recommended in the classrooms. Since it can be expected that in every classroom there are several children with some handicap such as language, learning, attention or hearing impairment a target STI-value was set to 0.85. Acoustic parameters, activity noise levels and speech levels of teachers were measured and noise annoyance, perceived reverberance, Voice Handicap Index (VHI), recovery after working day and the behavior of the pupils were studied. The results showed that only few classrooms fulfilled the acoustic criteria of the standard. After the acoustic intervention the acoustics of the classrooms improved, the activity noise levels, the speech levels of the teachers and noise annoyance reduced, recovery after working day happened easier and misbehavior of the pupils decreased.

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