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The effects of environmental and classroom noise on the academic attainments of primary school children

Shield, Bridget and Dockrell, Julie (2008) The effects of environmental and classroom noise on the academic attainments of primary school children. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 123 (1). pp. 133-144. ISSN 0001-4966. DOI UNSPECIFIED

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While at school children are exposed to various types of noise including external, environmental noise and noise generated within the classroom. Previous research has shown that noise has detrimental effects upon children?s performance at school, including reduced memory, motivation and reading ability. In England and Wales children?s academic performance is assessed using standardised national tests of literacy, mathematics and science. A study has been conducted to examine the impact, if any, of chronic exposure to external and classroom noise on the test results of children aged 7 and 11 years. External noise was found to have a significant negative impact upon performance, the effect being greater for the older than the younger children. The analysis suggested that children are particularly affected by the noise of individual external events. Test scores were also affected by internal classroom noise, background noise levels being significantly related to test results. The negative relationships between performance and noise levels were maintained when the data were corrected for socio-economic factors relating to social deprivation, language and special educational needs. These results provide further evidence of the detrimental impact of noise upon schoolchildren and of the need for appropriate acoustic design of schools to minimise these effects.

Item Type: Article
Divisions: IOE Departments > Departments > Psychology and Human Development
Depositing User: IOE Repository Editor (1)
Date Deposited: 14 Jan 2010 10:39
Last Modified: 29 Jan 2015 08:29
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