In school classes it is loud. That may be because there are about thirty children - and not all are good students. Above all, it is the bad acoustics in classrooms. High, relatively bare rooms without carpet have long reverberation times: Spoken language is poorly understood and the many background noises can be heard undamped for a long time. Under such conditions, many students can hardly concentrate. Those who are unfavorable sometimes have problems understanding the teachers at all. Thus, it was found that students make fewer mistakes in dictation, if they can hear the text on headphones, and thus trouble-free.
In a quiet class, there is a mean noise level of about 52 decibels (dB (A)), while a very loud class sometimes produces as much as 100 decibels, according to the University of Edinburgh's Heriot Watt study. In Germany, between 50 decibels were measured during quiet work and about 75 decibels in normal teaching phases. One could as well as far as the volume, on a main road teach. F
For predominantly mental activity, however, the Workplace Ordinance requires a volume which does not exceed 55 decibels. Concentration is therefore usually only possible in lessons under difficult conditions. At 75 decibels, both students and teachers are at increasing blood pressure and heart rate, causing physical stress. Who wants to prevail against this noise level, must speak even louder. Voice and laryngeal problems are inevitable. A survey showed that 80 percent of teachers felt stressed by the noise of the class.
Good acoustics - better performances
Heriot Watt University's study found that the acoustics are poor in most classrooms. Thus, many students could only understand their teachers if they tried hard and focused heavily. It was also interesting that the teachers did not rate the room acoustics as negative. Communication problems in the class were not attributed to the acoustic conditions, but rather to the behavior of the students, lack of discipline or their own pedagogical competence.
You can retrofit rooms acoustically. As part of the study, acoustic ceilings were installed in the classrooms. Students taught in classrooms with good acoustics performed significantly better than students in loud classes. Bad acoustics not only affect students but also teachers. Thus, the study revealed that teachers in classes with good acoustics had significantly fewer sick days than their colleagues. And that's good for everyone.
Did you know ...?
... that the Ordinance on the Protection of Workers against the Dangers of Noise and Vibration, after the approval of the Bundesrat at the end of February, is now valid law? According to this, employers have to provide hearing protection from a continuous sound level of 80 decibels. From 85 decibels, workers are even obliged to use it. The previously possible exception rules for individual cases are no longer there. In Germany, ears are better protected in the workplace than prescribed by the EU. This had set the limit at the workplace to 87 decibels.
... that, despite clear rules, there are always noise incidents? In Norway too, the upper limit of sound exposure at the workplace is 85 decibels. Nonetheless, hearing loss is by far the most common workplace injury, three times more likely to be skin or respiratory. Obviously loud places of work were not sufficiently marked, so that the offered ear protection remained unused.
... that even at German workplaces ears are still being damaged? Noise deafness has been leading the statistics of recognized occupational diseases for years. In 2004 alone, there were 42, 000 noise-related pension cases among the professional associations, for which 162 million euros had to be raised. In addition, around 6, 000 new cases of occupational noise-related hearing loss were reported within the same year, according to the Federal Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs.
... that every third firefighter hears badly? A study of 3, 300 firefighters in Madrid showed that deafness occupies second place in occupational diseases. The cause is loud sirens, machines and equipment. In the first place are chemical burns due to contact with chemicals.