A noisy classroom is a poor learning environment. Children in noisy classrooms and noisy parts of classrooms do not read as well, have lower test scores, and more behavior problems. At particular risk are students who are still acquiring language skills (such as elementary aged children), students who are learning a new language (either English as their second language or a foreign language), students with hearing impairments, students with temporary hearing impairments due to colds, and students with Attention Deficit Disorder. Any student, however, who cannot clearly hear the teacher because noise will suffer.
If you suspect that noise is causing a poor learning environment for
your child, you should work with his or her teachers and administration to
test the classroom and find solutions. The initial investigation doesn't
require a consultant, expert, or significant expense. You will need to:
1. Get a copy of the ANSI Classroom Acoustics Standard.
2. Get a sound level meter and test the empty classroom.
3. Test reverberation.
If you find a problem, the solution might be as simple as moving a noisy classroom appliance, but most likely you will need to consult an architectural acoustics expert to confirm your findings. Contact NPC to find an expert in your area.