The Essex study was initiated to investigate what acoustic environment is required in a classroom for the inclusion of hearing impaired children and what the general implications of achieving this in mainstream schools are. Other additional and powerful benefits were also identified for the teachers and children during the study.
The study took place at Sweyne Park school, involved 400 students and 13 teachers and was carried out by Essex County Council and educational audiologist David Canning of consultants Hear2Learn. The teachers and students were asked to test four classrooms, three acoustically treated rooms and one untreated control room. The researchers quickly found that a good acoustic environment had additional benefits such as a dramatic improvement in student behaviour and in some cases teachers reported that problems with discipline were eliminated. The teachers were also able to let students work in groups, something that had previously been impossible and the staff reported that they had fewer voice and throat problems.
See and hear the difference for yourself by clicking on the video above, or read the academic report here.