by Neil Bauman, Ph.D.
A recent report out of Norway (September 11, 2008) revealed a shocking statistic. “One in six children are affected by kindergarten noise.” One in four employees suffer permanent hearing loss for the same reason (1).
Figures published by the pre-school teacher’s union and work safety authorities indicate that stress, headaches, tinnitus, learning difficulties and at worst, impaired hearing can affect children in noisy kindergartens, according to daily newspaper Dagbladet.
According to a Labor Inspection Authority report from 2005, 75 percent of kindergarten employees are exposed to harmful levels of noise at work. This means that the kids are also exposed to these same harmful sound levels.
Things are no better over here. Many kindergartens are noisy places. I know. My younger daughter works in one. But this does not have to be. She told me the remarkable difference in noise levels in Montessori schools she has also taught in. Maybe the kindergartens should learn how the Montessori schools control excessive racket and do the same. Reducing this harmful racket will benefit both the kids and the staff.
(1) Aftenposten English Web Desk / NTB. http://www.aftenposten.no/english/local/article2648128.ece