Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies Program on Energy and Sustainable Development Stanford University


Research at PESD


Seeing is Learning - Project Impact

REAP Project
Ongoing

Summary:

 

Researchers and practitioners have long sought to establish the relationship between vision care and educational performance. This project is the first to establish a causal link between correcting a child’s vision and improvement in their learning. According to our analysis, a nearsighted child can perform up to twice as well in school if they wear glasses regularly. 


While the level of need for vision care that REAP found was extraordinary, perhaps our work’s most remarkable finding has been the impact wearing glasses has on a child’s schooling.

By randomly assigning members of our sample into intervention (glasses) and control (no glasses) groups, we were able to measure what happens when glasses are provided to a child with poor vision.

We found that over a period of nine months, the simple act of wearing glasses raises a nearsighted child’s test scores by an average of 14 points. That means without the glasses, the child is essentially losing an equivalent amount.

An increase of that magnitude means that nearsighted children who received glasses learned nearly twice as much over a nine-month period than those nearsighted children that did not receive glasses.