Classroom acoustics and the performance of secondary school students.

WILSON, Anne. (2006). Classroom acoustics and the performance of secondary school students. Doctoral, Sheffield Hallam University (United Kingdom)..

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Abstract

The academic achievements of students in School are often reported in the media where successes and failures are highlighted and scrutinised. The environments in which these students work is rarely reported, but is vitally important in the learning process. Currently there is a huge school rebuilding programme with millions of pounds being invested in our educational establishments. Recent tightening up of building regulations relating to schools has meant that school planners and architects have to now conform to acoustic standards in classrooms. One question that has to be asked is whether, in the mainstream classroom, the students can hear the teacher clearly.In Sheffield six PFI funded schools were rebuilt in 2000-1. Four secondary age and two primary. These were built under BB87 regulations. There were reports of problems in these schools immediately. Many of the problems were related to the acoustics in the classrooms; teachers unable to hear students and students unable to hear teachers, and an increase in background noise levels in the classrooms, amongst other issues. As a result this research was initiated to investigate selected classrooms. An initial pilot project was completed, then further research was done in another of the secondary schools. This research included measuring and recording reverberation times and background noise levels, alongside classroom observations. Four rooms with different reverberation time profiles, but with many common factors, were then selected. A speech discrimination test was devised and completed using year 7 students in the school. The test was designed so that typical seating positions in typical mainstream classrooms could be assessed and compared.The aim was to see whether different reverberation time profiles would inf luence the ability of students to hear in the selected classrooms.When the results of the speech discrimination testing was analysed there were certainly some speech discrimination difficulties apparent in some of the rooms and some of the seating positions of the students. These are discussed alongside the room profiles, the reverberation time, and background noise measurements completed in the rooms.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Additional Information: Thesis (M.Phil.)--Sheffield Hallam University (United Kingdom), 2006.
Research Institute, Centre or Group: Sheffield Hallam Doctoral Theses
Depositing User: EPrints Services
Date Deposited: 10 Apr 2018 17:22
Last Modified: 08 Jun 2018 10:48
URI: http://shura.shu.ac.uk/id/eprint/20549

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