Quiet-List 1997

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Re: Classroom Noise

On Tue, 21 Oct 1997 12:44:08 -0700, 
Maxine Carpenter wrote:

>When I brought up the soundscape, the uncomprehending silence was profound.
>Thinking people didn't know the word, I explained. It didn't help.

   I think most people are still unfamiliar with the idea.  Until it 
gains wider acceptance, I think the only ones who'll get it are those 
who've at least heard of R. Murray Shafer, which is at best a minority 
within the minority which has studied classical music.  In the meantime,
as Michael suggests, I think pointing out the need for quiet, or at 
least controlling noise, will be easier to get across.

   On the general subject of noise in schools, I am alarmed at the 
expanding use of electronic devices.  Where the office intercom was 
once a novel technology, we now have TV's, VCR's and squawking 
computers in nearly every classroom, even in kindergarten!  Not long 
ago in a high-school newsletter, I was stunned to read a teacher's 
comments in praise of a proposal to let student DJ's take over the 
school PA system at various times during the day, saying it would give 
them "valuable, real-life experience"!

   How long before we have teachers using mic's and amplifiers to 
teach an ordinary class of 20 or 30 students?  Sound ridiculous? 
It may be just around the corner.  In fact, I wouldn't be surprised
if it's already routine in some places.  

   McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario has an on-line survey of 
teacher comments on classroom noise which may be of interest, see:  
"http://socserv2.socsci.mcmaster.ca/~fss/tlc/surveydx.htm";.  This is 
the "index of surveys" page.  Select the subject "noise" to go to the 
noise survey.  I'll keep looking for more such sites to post.  Others, 
please do likewise.  I've been using "www.yahoo.com" to search using  
keywords like "noise and learning", "classroom noise", etc.  I've also 
had good results using "www.altavista.digital.com".     

   In the U.S. the UNPLUG campaign <unplug@igc.org>, a project of the 
Center for Commercial-Free Public Education, is doing a great job 
fighting Channel-One, the so-called "news" service which broadcasts 
about 7 minutes of "info-tainment" and 3 minutes of advertising to a 
captive audience of millions of students every day.  UNPLUG isn't 
directly concerned with quiet, but they are definitely sympathetic.  
If anyone wants more information on this group I'll be happy to send 
it via private e-mail.  

David Staudacher - quiet@igc.org

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