Gisborne Central School is another example; a recent retrofit of existing buildings into ILE has been welcomed by staff, teachers, and students alike. Noise had been recognised as an issue prior the transition as students were easily distracted, so teachers would have to raise their voices to compete with the external noise sources. Post retrofit teachers have noticed that students are more focused, with disruptive noises no longer a distraction.
Though ILEs have been widely accepted, there has been some negative responses and resistance to the change. One element that is important to bear in mind, whether you’re for or against ILEs, is acoustics. Competing background noise can be very disruptive, causing students to miss key words, phrases, and concepts. Research conducted in US classrooms revealed that speech intelligibility rating is at 75%, indicating that on average, every fourth word is misheard (Seep, Benjamin., Glosemeyer, Robin., Hulce, Emily., Linn, Matt. Aytar, Pamela). This is detrimental to a student’s ability to learn and communicate. Acoustics are highly important in any learning environment, whether it be traditional or modern. It is important that schools consult an Acoustician or the Ministry of Educations guidelines before implementing an ILE approach.
* pedagogy: method and practice of teaching
Dumont, H. & Istance, D. (2010). Future directions for learning environments in the 21st century.
In Dumont, H., D. Istance and F. Benavides (eds.), The Nature of Learning: Using Research to Inspire Practice, Educational Research and Innovation (pp. 317-338), OECD Publishing, Paris.