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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 <email@example.com>, 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 - firstname.lastname@example.org
QUIET-LIST: Internet Mail List and Forum for discussion of Noise Pollution,
Soundscape Awareness, and the Right to Quiet. Email: "email@example.com"
To subscribe, email "firstname.lastname@example.org" with message "subscribe quiet-list".
For info, send message "info quiet-list" to same.
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