A Pilot Study on the Relationship between Primary-School Teachers' Well-Being and the Acoustics of their Classrooms

Suvi Karjalainen, Jonas K. Brännström, Jonas Christensson, Birgitta Sahlén, Viveka Lyberg-Åhlander
2020 International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health  
Although teachers' well-being and vocal health are affected by noise, research on classroom sound environment from the teachers' perspective is scarce. This study investigated the relationship between teachers' well-being and classroom acoustics. The possible influence of teachers' age, experience, teaching grade and class size on the relationship was also investigated. In this study, well-being refers to self-reported vocal health, stress, burnout and self-efficacy. Twenty-three primary-school
more » ... teachers answered questionnaires on well-being. In each teacher's classroom, the acoustical properties were measured with the variables reverberation time, clarity of speech (C50) and ventilation system noise (VSN). A series of non-parametric correlations were run to determine the relationship between teachers' well-being and classroom acoustics. Initially, there was a significant bivariate correlation between burnout and VSN, as well as voice symptoms correlated with VSN and teaching grade. Although the results became not significant after correction for multiple tests, the findings indicate that higher degree of burnout is associated with higher levels of VSN in classrooms, and voice symptoms increase with higher VSN. Teachers working in lower grades had more voice symptoms than those working in higher grades.
doi:10.3390/ijerph17062083 pmid:32245168 fatcat:iz55jujftzdu7cs5vwtfaltds4