In the past, many educational audiologists dedicated the majority of their time to assessing the hearing status of students and providing listening solutions to those students with hearing loss. More recently, educational audiologists are positioning themselves (rightfully) as experts not only in hearing loss, but also in the acoustical environment for all students. In this role, audiologists are being called on to provide solutions for improving the listening environment in average classrooms that are full of students with normal hearing and with mild hearing impairment.
Although Flexer, Wray, and Ireland (1989) and Crandell, Smaldino, and Flexer (1995) have recently provided excellent reviews of classroom listening for the hearing professional, there is a need for a simple description of classroom listening for the educator, administrator, and parent. To assist local educational audiologists and classroom teachers in obtaining technology to enhance the classroom listening environment, the following article has been developed for use with administrators, school board members, and parents. The style is purposefully "chatty," and some terminology is simplified for the target audience.
KEY WORDS: sound field, classrooms, hearing, signal-to-noise ratio, classroom acoustics
Submitted on November 21, 1995
Accepted on September 20, 1996