Author(s): Shield BM, Dockrell JE
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Abstract 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 standardized tests of literacy, mathematics, and science. A study has been conducted to examine the impact, if any, of chronic exposure to external and internal noise on the test results of children aged 7 and 11 in London (UK) primary schools. External noise was found to have a significant negative impact upon performance, the effect being greater for the older 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 levels being significantly related to test results. 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. Linear regression analysis has been used to estimate the maximum levels of external and internal noise which allow the schools surveyed to achieve required standards of literacy and numeracy.
This article was published in J Acoust Soc Am
and referenced in Journal of Communication Disorders, Deaf Studies & Hearing Aids