Toronto, Jan 26, 2021 – Pearson is the world’s largest publisher and synonymous with education. This self-financing world learning company has operations in more than 70 countries and regions, providing content, evaluation and digital services to government educational institutions.
Pearson’s diversified development in all areas of the education sector has enabled the company to flourish. It performs very well in digitizing the entire product suite (including mastery courses, teaching materials and real-time assessment tools).
Pearson has always been at the forefront of the industry with its innovative AI technology (such as Aida Calculus) and intends to personalize its AI experience by creating fully customizable learning materials.
A race in higher education sector
The education publishing industry includes courseware, including textbooks and other learning materials, and is mainly designed for students in K-12 schools and higher education institutions. Today, in terms of revenue, Pearson has become the largest education publisher in the United States, with a 40% market share.
Pearson is followed closely by Cengage and McGraw-Hill, with 24% and 21%, respectively, while smaller competitors such as Wiley, Macmillan and Oxford University Press account for the remaining 15%.
Traditionally, education publishers earn most of their courseware income through physical textbook sales, supplemented by other digital products, such as video representations of textbook concepts. However, recent technological trends are shifting learners and educators from physics textbooks to “online classrooms,” where most of their learning is done through digital exercises.
In addition, technological advancements have allowed companies to focus more on personalized services, and organizations such as Khan Academy allow individual students to learn at their own pace through customized modules.
The two trends of digitization and personalization are the main developments in the higher education sector today, and will continue to shape space in the foreseeable future.
A need for change in education sector
For decades, as the United States fell from sixth in education and healthcare in 1990 to 27 in 2016, education reforms are widely needed across the United States. Regarding the issue of educational inequality, they claimed that in 2016, the average reading ability of fourth-grade students in the United States was worse than five years ago.
Public officials’ opinions clearly indicate that people’s confidence in the public school system is declining, and the root cause It is considered to be the decline in the affordability of textbooks, the reduction of school funding, the inadequacy of the common core standards, and the focus on exam learning rather than wide application.
Several systems have been proposed in the last century to try to reform the American education system. However, no one has gained enough appeal to become a viable alternative nationwide. The Montessori education method is such a system.
Montessori method is an older system. It reconsidered the essence of developmental learning and proposed a discovery-based model. In this course, students can learn concepts by processing materials, exploring their uses and understanding their interconnections.
Although this method is considered effective under certain conditions, it requires high investment costs and provides students with too much educational independence, so it has received strict scrutiny from the public. In addition, the Montessori method provides a limited potential source of income for educational publishers, and therefore lacks important support from industry leaders.
Pearson project based learning
A more feasible alternative system is project-based learning (PBL). Edutopia defines PBL as “a dynamic classroom method in which students can actively explore real-world problems and challenges and gain deeper knowledge.” PBL does not isolate courses from other courses and strictly abide by textbooks. Instead, it provides students with a project work environment that can integrate multiple skills at the same time.
For example, in the PBL system, one of the projects students may be working on is building a hypothetical spaceship. The educator will guide students to complete the project and learn several key modules in related fields. For example, to build a spacecraft, in addition to other topics, students also need to understand mathematics, physics, and chemistry. Since tasks are organized around projects rather than specific topics, students are encouraged to think more when solving problems.
Framing education in this way gives meaning to classroom activities and often builds skills that can be directly transferred to the workforce. In the PBL dynamics, teachers become less like authority figures, and more as a guide to students, participatory teaching.
As a result, the classroom becomes more fascinating and boring. Indeed, PBL educators believe that absenteeism is lower, participation is higher, and test scores are higher. Research on the implementation of PBL has recorded countless examples, in which the performance of PBL schools in standardized tests exceeded the overall progress score of the statewide by three to ten times.
Leading digitalisation in education sector
Combining popular digitization and personalization trends, the online PBL platform provides a cheaper alternative to physics textbooks. The Common Core process has been revised through tailored education and focused on learning for wider applications rather than exams.
These factors corrected the major problems facing the American education system today. However, leading industry players have not yet chosen PBL. Traditionally, traditionally relying on the sales of physical textbooks, incumbent operators had to cannibalize their original business when pursuing expensive alternative models.
In other words, industry leaders insist on using their profitable bread and butter and have no incentive to pursue large-scale alternatives like PBL.