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A GOOD SOUND ENVIRONMENT IS ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT REQUIREMENTS FOR LEARNING

PAULI PALLASKORPI



Learning is largely based on listening. The student gets information by listening to the teacher and other students' answers. Active listening requires attentiveness and concentration in order to remember things. A good sound environment in the classroom facilitates concentration and thus supports both learning and the teacher's work.


Talking and listening is easy in a good sound environment. In the classroom, this means that the space is calm enough, the teacher's speech carries well and the students in the back of the class can hear and distinguish the words well.


A good listening environment is one of the most important prerequisites for learning. For example, when studying foreign languages, it is extremely important that all sounds are clearly distinguished and heard correctly. This can be achieved with good acoustic planning and implementation, sums up Kuulooliitto's special expert on accessible sound environments, architect Jukka Rasa.


 

TEACHERS HAVE A LOT OF VOICE DISORDERS


In a noisy environment, distinguishing speech is difficult. Students have to strain to understand the words and get tired. As it becomes more difficult to follow the lesson, concentration decreases and restlessness and disruptive behavior increase. The effects of a bad sound environment - health and, through learning, social - can extend far into a child's and young person's life.


─ Concentration, directed attention, memory and good speech discrimination are key factors in learning. Noise disrupts these functions and impairs learning.

A poor sound environment makes learning difficult, especially for the hearing impaired and students who do not speak Finnish as their mother tongue.

─ Good acoustics in teaching spaces is not only a special solution for the hearing-impaired, but all teaching spaces must be designed so that they are also suitable for hearing-impaired students. When implemented in this way, they are good spaces for everyone.


Hearing damage usually occurs slowly over time and therefore may go unnoticed. According to the Hearing Association, there are more than 700,000 people of different ages with hearing problems in Finland.


For teachers, working in a noisy environment affects hearing, voice production and speaking. It has been studied that up to 30% of teachers suffer from voice disorders, and the number is increasing.


─ A noisy environment is a safety risk for teachers. During the working day, teachers use a lot of amplified sound, which can lead to voice disorders. In addition, noise increases stress and teachers' workload at work (Eeva Sala. 2012).


INTERACTIVE PEDAGOGY SETS UP CHALLENGES

The function of sound deadening in the classroom is to shorten the reverberation time sufficiently and to dampen the noise caused by activities in the classroom. In the past, pedagogy was very teacher-centered, the teacher spoke while the students were silent, and the classrooms were designed accordingly. Modern pedagogy, on the other hand, is interactive and student-centered. Students are encouraged to discuss, ask questions and work in groups, and it places different demands on classroom spaces.


─ Problems with the sound environment are not always due to the oldness of the teaching facilities, but new schools may also have problems. The users, i.e. teachers and students, do not necessarily know how to demand good acoustics, and the decision-makers and builders, on the other hand, do not properly understand the activities that take place in the premises and the sound it produces. The room's sound environment should always match its purpose, only then is it successful.


YOU DO NOT NEED AND SHOULD NOT BE SATISFIED WITH A BAD SOUND ENVIRONMENT


When acoustics are taken into account already in the design phase, it does not necessarily increase construction costs at all. The acoustics of old premises can also always be improved.

 



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