An investigation into ambient noise levels at Rietenbosch primary school

Wiese, Ankia (2018-12)

Thesis (MPhil)--Stellenbosch University, 2018. Dept of Music

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Rietenbosch Primary has reported experiencing a noise challenge that negatively affects audible communication proficiency in the classroom environment. This difficulty in communication may be a contributing factor in the school’s poor academic performance. Previous attempts to rectify the problem have been unsuccessful. The primary focus of this study was to identify the cause(s) of the noise problem and the extent to which the school’s noise levels exceed those prescribed as acceptable by internationally recognized standards. This study was predominantly based on a mixed methods approach, as the method allows the researcher to gather qualitative and quantitative data. A noise survey was conducted in multiple spaces, with varying parameters, to investigate the distinctive sound characteristics of the school building. In addition, a questionnaire regarding the acoustic characteristics of the classroom environment was distributed to teachers. This aided in consolidating and analysing perceptions about the noise challenge. The results showed that the school’s ambient noise levels, reverberation time, sound impact noise, and occupied classroom noise levels exceed national and international recommended values. These factors contribute to the poor auditory environment of the classrooms, causing a barrier to learning in the school. The investigation also found that the school’s noise-related problems are due to the layout of the school. Acoustical treatment is recommended. This investigation wishes to include South Africa in the international discussion on excessive noise levels in schools and the effects this has on learning. Key terms: Ambient Noise Levels, Occupied Noise Levels, Reverberation Time, International Noise Standards, South African Standards, Barriers to Learning, Noise in Relation to Health.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Rietenbosch Laerskool gaan gebuk onder algemene hoë geraasvlakke in die skoolgebou en klaskamers. Dit veroorsaak dat onderwysers en leerders sukkel om effektief te kommunikeer en word as moontlike rede uitgelig vir deurgaanse swak skolastiese prestasie. Tot op hede was pogings om die geraasprobleem aan te spreek ondoeltreffend. Die hooffokus van die studie is om die oorsaak van die geraas in die skoolgebou te bepaal en metings te neem, as aanduiding van hoe dit vergelyk met die voorgeskrewe (inter-) nasionaal aanvaarbare vlakke. Die studie is oorwegend gebaseer op gemengde metodes-teorie. ’n Geraasstudie is in verskeie volumes en onder verskillende toestande onderneem, om die gebou se eiesoortige probleem te ondersoek. ’n Verdere manier van datainsameling was om voltooide vraelyste oor die skool se akoestiese katarsis te analiseer. Die studie het gevind dat die skool se klaskamers, oor die algemeen, voorgeskrewe nasionale en internasionale toelaatbare vlakke oorskry vir weerkaatsingstyd, omgewings-, impak- en klaskamergeraasvlakke met insittende leerders. Die gemete geraasvlakke is van so ’n aard dat dit defnitief as leerhindernis geklassifiseer kan word. Verder is vasgestel dat die ongetwyfelste geraasprobleem veroorsaak word deur die onkonvensionele uitleg van die skoolsaal en -gange. Die studie het laastens ook ten doel om die breër gemeenskap uit te nooi om deel te word van internasionale geprekke oor die negatiewe gevolge van hoë geraasvlakke in enige leeromgewing – spesifiek as leerhindernis. Sleutelwoorde: Omgewingsgeraasvlakke, Klaskamergeraasvlakke met Insittende Leerders, Weerkaatsingstyd, Internationale Geraasstandaarde, Suid- Afrikaanse Standaarde, Leerhindernisse, Geraas se Invloed op Gesondheid.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/105096
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