Pearson Only Cares about Profit, Not About Your Child’s Education
Pearson is a powerhouse company when it comes to education. With all the recent digital transformations and innovations education has gone through, from online tutoring to using ebooks, classrooms are digitally advancing at a rapid pace. However, what is the limit regarding technology within the classroom? Milena Marinova, VP and head of Pearson’s new Artificial Intelligence, is working on an AI to serve as a virtual tutor in the classroom to promote student learning. To measure a human’s ability to learn is not only ineffective but also impossible when every individual has unique and different comprehensions of learning. Marinova hopes that by providing an AI to classrooms across the world it can have one-on-one interactions with students about every subject. With this, every student would essentially have an Aristotle tutor. Although this sounds like it can advance education for students, there are a few concerns: who will benefit from this and can it advance learning for all students?
It is no surprise that the U.S. education system is extremely biased and segregated. Funding for school districts is based on property taxes, so the schools found in predominantly white neighborhoods receive funding while low-income schools receive little to none, which can lead to schools closing down. Simply put, the rich stay rich while the poor stay poor. Also, there are multiple ways to get an education including homeschooling, public and private schools, and even charter schools. Although each state has different education policies, education is broad and different for every student. Whether a student goes to private school or gets in a school through a lottery, they all take a unique path due to their own environmental factors.
What schools would subscribe to these services? Let’s not forget, low-income schools do not have updated textbooks, yet are expected to subscribe to an AI with a company that solely benefits from well-funded schools. Unfortunately, Pearson is a business and does not care about all student learning. They care about catering to the schools that can fund their new AI, not about students in low-income schools who rely on their teachers to teach them with credible, updated resources that cater to individual student learning. An AI cannot provide that one-on-one student and teacher relationship. It is up to teachers and educators to use multiple styles of learning to guide students both inside and outside the classroom. That sounds more like an Aristotle tutor rather than an AI that is built on data regarding algorithm and so forth.