How Diversity Leads to More Innovative Learning in the Classroom

Diversity and The Best Ideas

diverse learners

Pearson was recognized last night as one of the country’s most inclusive places to work—for the third year in a row.

Pearson achieved a perfect score in the Corporate Equality Index, a benchmark survey of LGBT community inclusivity conducted by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation.

“You can’t change the lives of diverse learners until you learn diverse needs,” says Kendra Thomas, who is Pearson’s Global Head of Diversity and Inclusion.

“We want Pearson to be as inclusive as possible in order to attract the best possible talent,” she says. “You can’t innovate the best ideas, the best solutions, or provide the best services if you’re not hiring the best people.”

“Pearson was the only education and learning company recognized by last night’s ceremony,” Kendra says. “We’re not just leading our peers in the field, we’re also innovating learning in the best ways for students and outcomes at all levels.”

In the Classroom and Beyond

“It’s important for children to be able to see themselves in the characters of the books they’re reading,” says Jennifer Rosenthal, a Community Manager at Pearson, Diversity & Inclusion Advocate, and former English teacher.

“If they’re not identifying with materials in the classroom,” she says, “they’re not getting a quality learning experience.”

Jennifer says the need for classroom diversity is also important for a child’s future.

“We learn from each other,” she says. “These kids will one day join a competitive, global, diverse marketplace and it’s really important that they are exposed to many forms of diversity as early as possible.”

Improving Outcomes in the Absence of Fear

“Ultimately,” Jennifer says, “it improves student outcomes.”

Jennifer attended last night’s award ceremony in New York to receive the award on Pearson’s behalf.

“One of the speakers said: ‘No student should have to worry about being bullied on the way to the bathroom in the same way they worry about a pop quiz,'” Jennifer recalls.

“Learning companies have to stand up now to make sure that doesn’t happen,” she says. “Hopefully, it starts to trickle down in to all parts of education.”

Developing an App

Pearson’s Diversity and Inclusion team is already working on the next step of that process.

“We’re working on an app for students based on our commitment to inclusion,” says Kendra Thomas.

Jennifer Rosenthal accepts Pearson's recognition from the Human Rights Campaign Foundation as one of the country's most inclusive places to work.
Jennifer Rosenthal accepts Pearson’s recognition from the Human Rights Campaign Foundation as one of the country’s most inclusive places to work.

“With one swipe,” she says, “we hope to give them access to a compilation of suicide prevention and other hotlines when they have serious needs.”

Jennifer says: “We can’t forget that we’re dealing with students lives—and their futures.”