University of Edinburgh

Classroom Acoustics

Part five

Teachers make up about 2% of the UK's working population. They account for something like 10% of the patients in voice clinics in the UK. What does that tell you? It's a big problem. So not only are we going to help the children, we're going to help you. We're going to give you more energy because it's acutally - if I didn't have this mic on - it's quite difficult. You use a lot more energy to speak to the whole room and use your projecting teacher voice. It's tiring.

The children at the back of the room are using so much energy in the physical act of hearing, they get tired. They're kids, so they drift off and do something else. It's completely natural that they should do that.

I wanted to say one more thing about hearing and listening and the difference between that. You can hear the announcer down at Waverley Station making the announcements. It's audible what they're saying, but is it actually intelligible? There's a distinction between hearing what's being said and actually listening and taking it in. That's the crucial thing for teachers in the classroom.

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