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Acoustical barriers in classrooms: the impact of noise on performance in the classroom

Dockrell, Julie and Shield, Bridget (2006) Acoustical barriers in classrooms: the impact of noise on performance in the classroom. British Educational Research Journal, 32. pp. 509-525. ISSN 0141-1926

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Abstract

There is general concern about the levels of noise that children are exposed to in classroom situations. We report the results of a study that explores the effects of typical classroom noise on the performance of primary school children on a series of literacy and speed tasks. One hundred and fifty eight children in six Year 3 classes participated in the study. Classes were randomly assigned to one of three noise conditions. Two noise conditions were chosen to reflect levels of exposure experienced in urban classrooms (Shield & Dockrell, 2004): noise by children alone, that is classroom–babble, and babble plus environmental noise, babble and environmental. Performance in these conditions was compared with performance under typical quiet classroom conditions or base. All analyses controlled for ability. A differential negative effect of noise source on type of task was observed. Children in the babble and environmental noise performed significantly worse than those in the base and babble conditions on speed of processing tasks. In contrast, performance on the verbal tasks was significantly worse only in the babble condition. Children with special educational needs were differentially negatively affected in the babble condition. The processes underlying these effects are considered and the implications of the results for children’s attainments and classroom noise levels are explored.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This is an electronic version of an article published in Dockrell, Julie and Shield, Bridget (2006) Acoustical barriers in classrooms: the impact of noise on performance in the classroom. British Educational Research Journal, 32 (3). pp. 509-525. British Educational Research Journal is available online at: http://www.informaworld.com/10.1080/01411920600635494
Divisions: IOE Departments > Departments > Psychology and Human Development
Depositing User: IOE Repository Editor (1)
Date Deposited: 22 Dec 2009 08:41
Last Modified: 14 Oct 2013 11:49
URI: http://eprints.ioe.ac.uk/id/eprint/779
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