Campus Reform | Leading textbook company goes 'woke,' vows to switch from using only 'English names'

Leading textbook company goes 'woke,' vows to switch from using only 'English names'

Pearson Education announced new standards “for content relating to race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, social class, religion and disability.”

The guidelines include an intention to avoid only using English names when laying out fictional narratives.

Curriculum company Pearson Education announced sweeping changes that would enhance standards “for content relating to race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, social class, religion, and disability.”

Pearson — which produces educational resources for primary, secondary, and postsecondary courses — revealed new guidelines to “advance the company’s commitment to fighting systemic racism in education” and “create meaningful representations of minorities and challenge racial stereotypes and associated prejudices in all Pearson courseware, digital materials, services, qualifications, and assessments,” according to a February 25 press release.

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The guidelines include an intention to “avoid only using identifiers that are clearly associated with individuals in the dominant culture” with fictional narratives — in particular, “only using English names for characters, including when images are of people of BIPOC/BAME ethnicities.”

Likewise, the guidelines note that an implicit “intersectional view is considered” when discussing race and other issues.

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“As forms of oppression and privilege, race, class, gender and sexuality ‘intersect’ in people's individual lives, in the cultures and communities of which they are a part, and in the institutions that give structure to their life chances,” explains the document’s glossary. “In the 21st Century, the term intersectionality has been broadened, and is used to refer to the complexities of multiple marginalized identities e.g. being Black, female, disabled and gay.”

The company also launched a portal through which students, parents, and teachers can report biased content.

National Association of Scholars Director of Research David Randall told Campus Reform that “Pearson is codifying progressive bias into their textbooks.”

“Practically, they will provide employment to a new cadre of ‘anti-racism’ enforcers within Pearson, who will be necessary to enforce these new guidelines,” he said. “Presumably Pearson believes it is aiding all stakeholders, although subordinating academic quality to radical ideology will only benefit the purveyors of used Pearson textbooks, written before 2021, who will be able to provide superior products.”

Campus Reform reached out to Pearson for comment; this article will be updated accordingly.

Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @BenZeisloft