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    ‘Noise in classrooms’ by Guest Presenter Dr Kirir Mealings

    Guest presenter Dr Kiri Mealings will present a one-day workshop on how the acoustics of classrooms and open plan innovative learning spaces affect primary school children’s speech perception abilities.

    Date October 19, 2017 - October 19, 2017
    Time 10:00am - 4:00pm

    About the speaker:
    Dr Kiri Mealings graduated from her PhD in Linguistics at Macquarie University, Sydney, in 2017 for a thesis entitled “An investigation into how the acoustics of open plan and enclosed classrooms affect speech perception for Kindergarten children”. Kiri’s earlier studies include an Associate Diploma in Music Australia (Flute) in 2008 through the Australian Music Examinations Board, a Bachelor of Science (Mathematics) in 2011 at Macquarie University, and First Class Honours in Speech and Hearing Sciences in 2012, also at Macquarie University. Kiri is currently working as a postdoctoral research scientist on the auditory processing disorders team at the National Acoustic Laboratories in Sydney.

    About the workshop:
    The workshop has three main parts:

    • Part 1
      • Introduction to classroom acoustics and speech intelligibility, and the effect of noise on children and teachers
    • Part 2
      • Introduction to open plan classrooms/innovative learning environments
      • Description of four case study classrooms found in Sydney (including how the acoustics of the classrooms affect 5- to 6-year-old children’s ability to hear their teacher’s speech, and how the teachers perceive these classrooms in relation to noise, ease of speech communication, and vocal health)
    • Part 3
      • Group activity – identifying the weaknesses and strengths of your own classrooms, and discussion on how the environments can be improved
      • Practical activity on how to measure noise and reverberation in the classroom.

    Workshop Outcomes:
    By the end of this workshop, attendees should be able to:

    • Better understand how noise affects children and teachers
    • Understand the pros and cons of innovative learning environments
    • Know how to measure and monitor noise levels in the classroom
    • Understand how to design and work in classrooms so as to minimise noise levels/reverberation, and make them conducive environments for children’s learning.

    Who should/should not attend? Any prerequisites, assumed/required knowledge:
    This workshop will be useful for people who work in primary school classrooms; for example, teachers, principals, special education teachers, itinerant teachers of the deaf, audiologists, speech pathologists, classroom designers, parents. No previous knowledge on acoustics is needed.

    Preparation before the workshop:
    Prior to the workshop, attendees are encouraged to send in a floor plan of the classroom they work in for the group activity. Attendees are also encouraged to bring their iPad (if they own one) for the practical activity.

    Course Materials:
    A course workbook including all materials will be provided on the day.

    Recommended Readings:
    "Jones, K., Castles, A., & Kohnen, S. (2011). Subtypes of developmental reading disorders: Recent developments and directions for treatment."
    A PDF copy of this paper will be emailed out to all registrants one week before the workshop.

    Morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea will be provided. Please email yumi.sheehan@mq.edu.au with any dietary requirements

    Getting There:
    Robert Menzies College is located on campus at Macquarie University. Access to the seminar room is through the gate on University Road- please refer to the Campus Map for access details.

    On campus Parking Permits can be purchased at a special rate of $6.00. Click here to add parking to your shopping cart. 
    Parking is available in South 2 and West 3 car parks – please refer to the Campus Map for parking locations.

    Alternatively free street parking is available on Talavera Road, North Ryde (Macquarie University side).

    Robert Menzies College is a 2 minute walk from Macquarie University Station on Herring Rd, and travel to and from the workshop by train is highly reccommended. Macquarie University Station is on the T1 North Shore/Nothern Line.

    Cancellation Policy and Rules:
    1. If a registrant cancels before the registration deadline of 1 week before the workshop, 80% of the fee will be refunded. The remaining 20% will be kept as an administration fee.
    2. No refund is available after the registration deadline. However, another person may attend in your absence. At the discretion of the Macquarie University Reading Clinic, an 80% refund may be offered on production of a medical certificate.

    Registration deadline: 1 week before workshop.

    Enrolments are now open.

    All Macquarie University Reading Clinic Professional Development Workshops are registered for Continuous Professional Development accreditation.