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Noting the impact the skills of a nation’s workforce can have on the future of its economy, we have a deep responsibility to play a part in helping to improve life opportunities for students wherever our educational services are being used. Our continued investment – both in bolt-on acquisitions (Maskew Miller Longman, Longman Nigeria and Fronter in 2008 and Wall Street English in 2009) and in content, services and technologies (we invested over $800m in product development in 2009) – puts Pearson in a strong position to fulfil that responsibility. Our education business has continued to expand this year, consolidating our strong roots in China, India and across southern Africa, while extending our leading position in our largest market, North America. We have been working to connect our products and services to provide integrated learning platforms that make teaching more efficient and learning more personal. Our research – both in-house and independently conducted – provides evidence that our products are helping to enhance student learning; by bringing some of these together, we are able to offer students and educators highly effective tools to support education.

Wall Street English
Snapshots from 2009

Project Tapestry. This is the first connected learning environment built specifically for the US school market, the product of Pearson’s collaboration with over 500 key education partners. Have a look at the ‘Focus on...’ feature in this section for more on integrated learning platforms.

We launched Prevent in the US, a software programme which aggregates the most relevant and predictive student information data to pinpoint which students are most likely to drop out of school. This early warning system helps teachers determine where best to prioritise their time to prevent students leaving school without a qualification.

Reading street

Results of a new independent study show that students are jumping two grade levels in their vocabulary, reading comprehension and overall reading achievement with Pearson School’s highly successful Reading Street programme.

Reading Street logo

Pearson Education South Africa’s longitudinal study to determine the impact of MyMathLab at the University of Witwatersrand found that the Pearson service has improved the results of 7,000 students from 35% average in the first semester to 65% in the second.

Students using Connected Mathematics Project 2 (CMP2) in the US demonstrated significantly greater gains in problem-solving, maths communication and maths reasoning strategies than their peers using other maths programmes, as seen from their performance on the Balanced Assessment of Mathematics. An independent efficacy study also showed that CMP2 students demonstrated significant improvement from pre-test to post-test in the areas of concepts and problems, estimations, and computations.

Pearson Student Advisory Board

2009 saw the launch of the Pearson Student Advisory Board (PSAB) in the UK, as the US PSAB moved into its third successful year of enabling our company leaders to receive guidance and input from students about existing and future products and services they feel will help other students to succeed. The PSABs are made up of 8 to 10 top students of a wide range of talents and backgrounds at different universities across their respective countries, each of whom has been paired with a Pearson executive for mentoring and support.

Pearson Custom Learning The US Pearson Student Advisory Board went out to university campuses last autumn to find out how their peers feel about customised textbooks and bring the results back to Pearson.

Student Advisory board logo laptop

Focus on: The Pearson Foundation Research Program

This research programme was established in 2009 to complement the research we already conduct into the effectiveness of our education services. The Program will focus on the ingredients of personalised learning across the globe, including learning technology, language learning, innovative assessment and teacher quality. It will support three to six research projects each year in these areas and others, in addition to ten annual graduate fellows at major international universities.

Existing partnerships include:

Oxford University Centre for Educational Assessment We have funded an endowment for the Centre and the Pearson Chair for Educational Assessment for the past three years, which now becomes part of the Pearson Foundation Research Program. The Centre is a leading university partner with Pearson, undertaking research and international development work in educational assessment. The research programme covers general schools-based learning, as well as vocational, professional and higher education. It also supports Priorities in Educational Assessment, the move to lifelong learning, alongside the needs of multinational employers and an increasingly global workforce.

Project Red (Revolutionising Education) In September, we agreed to join a small group, including Apple, Intel and eChalk, to sponsor a study conducted by the Hayes Connection, The Greaves Group and the One-to-One Institute. The survey-based study will address the impact of technology on improving student achievement and evaluate the total financial impact of technology on state budgets in the US.

University of Western Australia’s Pearson Psychometric Laboratory Pearson funded an endowment for the Laboratory and the Pearson Chair in Psychometrics at UWA to undertake research and development for application to the broad area of measurement and assessment in education and the social sciences including psychology, health and marketing. This endowment will be kept up by the Program until 2011.

Partnership for 21st Century Skills The mission statement of this national multi-business initiative is ‘To serve as a catalyst to position 21st century readiness at the center of US K12 education by building collaborative partnerships among education, business, community and government leaders.’ In 2009, the Partnership held the Cyber Summit on 21st Century Skills, a two-week online conference giving thousands of education, policy, civic, community and business leaders the opportunity to interact with one another and discuss important education reform initiatives. Pearson’s Kathy Hurley was elected to chair the Strategic Council in September last year.

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Pearson custom learning

Pearson custom learning

Fast fact:

Promoting indigenous literature and language

Pearson Southern Africa is the only company that runs literary competitions with workshops to train new authors, hosts literary awards, then publishes the winners in the 11 official languages of South Africa to help promote indigenous literature and language.

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