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Title: Reading conditions in schools: a review of fluorescent lighting, ultra-white paper, unexplained learning difficulties, and visual stress in the classroom
Contributor(s): Loew, Stephen  (author)
Publication Date: 2017
Open Access: Yes
DOI: 10.23923/rpye2017.12.147Open Access Link
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Abstract: Reading involves complex visual and phonological processing, however, the crucial first step in the reading process begins when the retina receives photons reflected off the written page, and this is greatly influenced by three external factors: the amount of illumination; the spectral properties of the illumination; and the reflectance properties of the page being read (i.e. brightness, contrast). These three fundamental factors, which are essential to visual comfort and reading efficacy, have changed significantly in the classroom over the past two decades. Herein, current issues relating to these factors are reviewed and levels of literacy and numeracy in today's school students are compared to long-term trends (with a specific focus on Australia, the author's country of residence). This theoretical paper also examines the author's hypothesis that relatively recent changes to the reading conditions in primary schools have impacted upon a significant subgroup of students with visual sensitivities that can potentially cause reading difficulties. In particular, the latent role that the common visual processing deficit Meares-Irlen Syndrome (MIS), also referred to as Visual Stress (VS), may play in student performance is scrutinised, as is the possibility that increased fluorescent lighting and brighter visual media may be detrimental to learning for students in general.
Publication Type: Journal Article
Source of Publication: Revista de Psicologia y Educacion, 12(2), p. 85-94
Publisher: Universidad Complutense de Madrid
Place of Publication: Spain
ISSN: 1989-9874
Field of Research (FOR): 170103 Educational Psychology
130312 Special Education and Disability
170112 Sensory Processes, Perception and Performance
Socio-Economic Objective (SEO): 930101 Learner and Learning Achievement
930103 Learner Development
939907 Special Needs Education
Peer Reviewed: Yes
HERDC Category Description: C1 Refereed Article in a Scholarly Journal
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