Category: Education

New report shows that European schools neglect their sound environment

A new report finds that far too many European schools neglect their sound environment. Noise harms children’s learning and health and creates inequalities for students with special needs. More schools should regularly measure noise levels and design according to acoustic standards and recommendations in order to provide optimal learning environments, that have the added benefit […]

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Education 176

Design, guidance and induction loops

To create a school environment that works well from an auditory perspective, the acoustics must meet the needs associated with the purpose of the premises. Good acoustics are an investment in teachers’ occupational wellbeing, learning and comfort. “I have teaching spaces that work well for me.“ This is what Heikki Ylhäinen, fifth-grade teacher for a […]

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Education 176

Expert Interview: Prof. Astolfi and the Italian school acoustic standard (UNI 11532-2)

Professor Arianna Astolfi’s tireless work within the field of architectural acoustics culminated in the publication of the Italian acoustic standard for schools, UNI 11532-2. This standard broke new ground in 2020 by including an expanded set of acoustic parameters ensuring optimal communication and speech perception in the classroom. Following the standard is now a legal […]

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Education 176

Italian acoustic standard for schools breaks new ground

The Italian government has distinguished itself by allowing its building policies for school environments to be guided by overwhelming scientific evidence linking classroom acoustics to academic performance. Now the world has a strong example to follow in the shape of the newly published Italian acoustic standard for schools, UNI 11532-2. In 2020, Italy initiated a […]

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Education 176

I LISTEN project harnesses acoustics for special education needs (SEN)

IO ASCOLTO (I LISTEN) is an innovative research project tested in Turin to improve children’s learning abilities at school and intended to combat specific learning disorders experienced by children with special education needs (SEN) such as dyslexia – the inability to read words and texts quickly and correctly – which, according to AID (Italian Dyslexia […]

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Education 176

New research shows that a lower reverberation time helps children cope with multi-talker listening situations

How children make sense of the complex signals they hear in the classroom depends partly on their hearing and cognitive abilities. But newly published research shows more about the important part played by the acoustic environment in this process; specifically, the role of reverberation time.  The ability to make sense of what you are hearing […]

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Education 176

World Health Organization (WHO) predict global increase in hearing loss in young people: challenges and acoustic solutions

Hearing loss in young people aged 12-35 years is a growing issue worldwide [1]. Smart phones and iPads have come to dominate children’s lives and yet regulations limiting sound levels are not in place. Meanwhile, parents are struggling to regulate their children’s device usage. In 2022, the World Health Organization (WHO) estimated increase globally in the […]

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Education 176

Embracing Aural Diversity in Education through Universal Design for Learning

Classrooms the world over are filled with children that have a range of hearing conditions: from tinnitus and hearing loss to glue ear and noise sensitivity (hyperacusis). Meanwhile, schools claim to be “inclusive” without accommodating this aural diversity in any way. How can they achieve real inclusivity and accessibility by applying some of the core […]

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Education 176

Universal Design: Embracing Difference

In the 1970s, architects began to acknowledge that the people which inhabited the buildings they designed might depart slightly from da Vinci’s Vitruvian Man (pictured below). This movement, christened Universal Design [1], brought with it specialized ramps, doorknobs and other design features which anticipated that people from the broad spectrum of humanity should be able […]

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Education 176

Diffusion or absorption?

The Subjective Experience Depending on Type of Acoustic Treatment Recently, PHD student Emma Arvidsson, published an article regarding different acoustic treatments in ordinary rooms and how they are perceived. The article concerns how people subjectively experience different acoustic environments and furthermore, if the experience was different depending on where in the room they were sitting. […]

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Education 176