Classroom Noise and Learning (10-28-21)

Brill and Wang tie higher in-classroom noise levels to degraded ability to math test scores among students in grades 3, 5, 8, and 11.  They report that “Three metrics describing the classroom acoustics, including the average daily A-weighted equivalent level for non-speech, the average daily difference between the A-weighted equivalent levels for speech and non-speech (a signal to noise ratio), and the mid-frequency averaged reverberation time, were analyzed against classroom-aggregated standardized reading and math achievement test scores, while controlling for classroom demographics including socioeconomic status. . . . A statistically significant relationship was found between the average daily non-speech levels in classrooms and math test scores; higher daily non-speech levels were correlated with lower math test scores. . . . No statistically significant main effects of acoustic metrics were found on reading achievement. . . .  Children learn in occupied classrooms, and the findings from this investigation based on data from occupied conditions suggest that designing for lower unoccupied sound levels can lead to occupied environments that are conducive to better student learning outcomes.”

Laura Brill and Lily Wang.  2021.   “Higher Sound Levels in K-12 Classrooms Correlate to Lower Math Achievement Scores.”  Frontiers in Built Environment, vol. 7, 688395,