Teachers’ knowledge of classroom acoustics : a pilot study.
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Audiology
Purpose: This pilot study explored the knowledge held by NZ primary school teachers regarding classroom acoustics, and investigated the effectiveness of an information package for improving teachers’ knowledge of classroom acoustics.
Methods: Twenty teachers (10 = MLEs and 10 = traditional), all whom had never heard of the Ministry of Education (MoE) acoustic guidelines, participated in this study. Participants completed an online survey which investigated their knowledge regarding different aspects of classroom acoustics. After the completion of the initial survey, participants were sent a portable document format (PDF) information package. Following this, a post-survey was distributed to all participants. Results were analysed using Microsoft Excel 2010 and the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (IBM, 2016).
Results: A significant difference existed in ability to elaborate upon ‘reverberation’ between the two survey conditions for teachers of MLE classrooms. A significant change was witnessed between the pre and post surveys regarding the importance of reducing external noise. Whilst qualitative improvements were observed across the majority of questions, the information package and classroom type had no significant effect on how teachers’ rated their classroom listening environments, which proportion of noise inside the classroom was student generated or whether issues were reported regarding external noise.
Conclusion: Teachers’ knowledge of classroom acoustics was not significantly influenced by the type of classroom environment. Qualitative improvements in knowledge were observed following the distribution of the information package, though rarely at a level indicative of statistical significance. Further research regarding the effectiveness of an information package may lead to the development of a training programme to support teachers’ knowledge regarding classroom acoustics.