Corrective Lenses

The impact of the provision of corrective lenses on the learning, behaviour and social outcomes of students in years 5 and 6.

This study, carried out by Associate Professor Alison Kearney and Dr Julia Budd, is investigating the impact of corrective lenses on the learning, behaviour and social outcomes of students in years 5 and 6. The project involves

  • The examination of identified students' school records in relation to learning and behaviour
  • Questionnaires with the students who received glasses, along with their parents/whanau and teachers. There will be two questionnaires, one prior to each student receiving their glasses and one five months after (either online or paper copy);
  • Follow-up interviews

Participants are those children who have been part of a project funded by Essilor and who have been identified as requiring corrective lenses. It also involves their parents/whanau and their teachers.

Research Contacts

Please feel free to contact either of the researchers. Contact details are as follows

Dr Julia Budd

Massey University Institute of Education

Private Bag 11 222

Palmerston North

Phone (06) 3569099 Ext 84412

Email: j.m.budd@massey.ac.nz

Associate Professor Alison Kearney

Massey University Institute of Education

Private Bag 11 222

Palmerston North

Phone (06) 3569099 Ext 84416

Email: a.c.kearney@massey.ac.nz

Project News

Equity through Education researchers from Massey University, Associate Professor Alison Kearney and Dr Julia Budd, are investigating the impact of the provision of corrective lenses on the learning, behaviour and social outcomes of students. The project begins with a pilot study at Rowandale School in South Auckland. In this school 176 students had their vision tested, 46 required follow-up testing at an optometrist and 24 students required the provision of glasses.

From left: Labour MP's Poto Williams & Louisa Wall. Massey University researchers Alison Kearney & Julia Budd. (Newshub)


Why is this study important?

Success at school is critical. Difficulties with vision that can be corrected with the use of spectacles is something that is easily identified and corrected allowing students to access up to 80% of learning that occurs visually at school. We know that the higher the level of educational attainment, the greater the advantages in adult life - for example higher earnings and better health. Therefore, providing the means by which these children can access learning visually and succeed educationally has lifelong benefits to the student and to society as a whole.

Overseas research tells us that 80% of children who experience difficulties with learning have an undiagnosed vision problem. Early intervention is the key – identifying and intervening for these children as early as possible is critical. It is not just the learning that is affected when children cannot see – difficulties with learning can lead to being turned off school and learning, lack of engagement, lack of involvement in school wide activities and a lack of belief in their ability to be successful

Economic benefits

Investing in intervention as early as possible will have significant short and long term economic benefits. In the short term, providing the means by which student can access learning and feel good about school and learning will save on interventions that may be required further into a child’s school life. The long-term benefits relate to less need for social and health interventions in adult life.

Raising awareness

It is hoped that this study will raise awareness of the importance of the provision of corrective lenses, and the difficulties that can be associated with this in low decile schools. The study will also draw attention to the current processes of testing the vision of New Zealand children. Presently, children have their vision tested at the B4 School Health Check, and then not again until they are in year 7 when they are approximately 11 or 12 years old.

For more information - see

http://www.newshub.co.nz/nznews/school-glasses-graduation-aims-to-break-poverty-cycle-2016062318#axzz4COVMidOi